Hi Everyone and even though this will be my 4th neck surgery on Jan.4th I have a question. When I saw the surgeon a few weeks back I asked him at that time if they would remove the plates from the previous cervical spine surgery and he said "No reason to do that" but the forms I signed today had on there for the procedure "Removal of previous hardware". I know I should have said something to the anesthesia nurse who was going over everything with me but I didn't. I know there are several people on this forum who like me have had numerous cervical spine surgeries. Did your doctor remove the previous hardware?
Thanks in advance for any information you can give me. I know I am ready to get this over with but also as always anxious about the procedure. Many of you know that I also had lumbar surgery done 2 years ago and I still do not have fusion (only 1/4 the way). I said something to the PA today at the surgeon's office and I asked her what would be done if I don't fuse completely and she really didn't answer me.
I call the office on Thursday for my surgery time for January 4th. I need to do some major cleaning at the house before this happens but we are making a trip to see family for New Year's this weekend so that will help keep my mind on better things. I have been having major spasms in my left scapula for the past 2 days so that assures me that this is my best solution. At times it even hurts to take a deep breath and it feels like there is a knife stabbing me in the back. My headaches are worse, also. I am looking forward to feeling much better after my recovery.
If they are going in from the same direction as they have in the past, and are perhaps extending a fusion, they will likely have to take out the hardware. But if the hardware was put in anterior (through the front) and they are now going in only from the back (posterior approach) then they would not be able to remove the anterior hardware.
What type of surgeries have you had done specifically and what will this one be?
Thanks SpineAZ for your response. I have had ACDF on 10/2002 on C4/C5 and C5/C6 and then 10/2006 I had ACDF on C3/C4 and they were all done through the front. When I had the one done on the C3/C4 I ended up with a hematoma which has made my scar look pretty bad. I kept calling the doctor's office after the surgery and telling them something wasn't right and there was a lot of stinging & pain. Finally the PA told me to come on in so he could check it and as soon as I walked in the office he said "Oh my gosh no wonder you were complaining you have a hematoma". He apologized for not listening to me better. Of course they treated with a round of steroids but unfortunately I have to watch how much predisone I am given because I already have osteoporosis.
The one that will be done this time is C6/C7 and the T1 is pushing against it also so I don't know what will be done with that unless just taking care of the C6/C7 will fix all of it. I had permanent nerve damage on my left side because I put my surgery off for several years due to work obligations.
I really appreciate all the information. I also want to wish you good luck and speedy recovery on your upcoming surgery,too.
Seems that since they'll be working on C6 again, which already has hardware, and they are going in the same way - then they may have to remove hardware.
My doc had planned a 360 lumbar fusion (thru front and back at same time) but after he thought it over opted for a posteriolateral (back but more toward side of current posterior incision).
So perhaps after looking at all the options your surgeon realized the approach he wants to take will require hardware revision? Can't hurt to ask for a clarification.
On the day of my planned L3-S1 fusion I plan to make it clear in the presence of my surgeon and my husband that I hereby give permission to do whatever it takes to fix anything they see when they open me up. Even if that means they fuse more, open me up in front too, etc.
Thanks SpineAZ and I agree I want them to fix whatever has to be done while they are in there. That does make sense about the C6 already having hardware and I should have thought about that before I asked the question. I am sure you are right also that after I left he got to looking at my past surgeries and realized he may have to do something different. Thanks again for your help.
I went out with my daughter & grandson today for some of those great After Christmas sales and unfortunately my lumbar spine went out on me and I had such terrible leg pain also. I want you to know that I am praying that all will go well with your surgery and a speedy recovery.