It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



Back Problems Message Board

  • Hardware removal.

  • Post New Thread   Reply Reply
    Thread Tools Search this Thread
    Old 03-18-2019, 08:19 PM   #1
    martinb8034
    Member
    (male)
     
    Join Date: Jun 2017
    Posts: 59
    martinb8034 HB User
    Hardware removal.

    Hello, having severe pain in my back. One year PO. L3-S1. The spine surgeon who did my surgery thinks it is hardware related. Had a CS, says I am fused so it would be safe to take it out. Says it's not serving any purpose anymore. I'm not so sure from what I've been reading. There seems to be about a 50% chance of relieving the pain. Then I can have additional problems on top of that. I know a fellow who had his hardware taken out by my surgeon and he said it didn't help at all. But his situation was different. The recovery would be nowhere is severe is the initial operation the surgeon stated. I'm just nervous about having him go back in there and it not working. He says this is why I can't sit down for any amount of time. Realistically I can't sit down at all either with or without pillows underneath me. Anyone else had there hardware taken out. Plus I need to get back to work. I have been off a year and it is causing problems in my marriage.
    Should have not had the surgery. I am far off worse than before. Still on pain killers and I know that is not going to last forever.

     
    Reply With Quote
    Sponsors Lightbulb
       
    Old 03-20-2019, 12:59 PM   #2
    teteri66
    Senior Veteran
    (female)
     
    Join Date: Nov 2010
    Location: USA
    Posts: 9,198
    teteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB User
    Re: Hardware removal.

    Personally I would be skeptical that removing hardware will resolve your symptoms...unless you have good reason to believe hardware is touching a nerve, or is otherwise causing an issue that is responsible for your symptoms. If the reasoning is because they cannot find any other reason for the symptoms, that wouldnít be a good enough reason for me to undergo further surgery, etc. Usually, or at least many times, there is an indication on MRI that hardware is causing a problem.

    Have you had consultations with any other spine surgeons? If not, that would be my first suggestion. No spine surgeon is going to tell you his own surgery may be the cause of your ongoing symptoms. A second opinion might see something the original surgery has not noticed or paid attention to. I forget if you saw a neurosurgeon for your fusion? If so, I would recommend seeing an orthopedic spine surgeon for a second opinion. Now that a year has passed, surgeons should be willing to meet with you. Just present it like you are looking for a new set of eyes...not that you think something is ďwrongĒ with the first surgery.

    You should be aware that some spine surgeons have a policy that you will no longer be his/her patient if you seek a second opinion!

    My recollection is that you have had pain ever since the surgery...that surgery didnít resolve your pre-surgical pain...would that be correct?

     
    Reply With Quote
    Old 03-20-2019, 01:20 PM   #3
    teteri66
    Senior Veteran
    (female)
     
    Join Date: Nov 2010
    Location: USA
    Posts: 9,198
    teteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB User
    Re: Hardware removal.

    I should add that I have one acquaintance who was worse off (more pain) after a one level fusion. She was convinced it was the fault of the hardware...her surgeon refused to believe it was a possibility...it took her two years to finally find a surgeon who took her complaints seriously. That surgeon did extensive testing and a bone scan finally showed that a screw was bisecting a spinal nerve....hardware was removed and that particular symptom was relieved....

    In her case, the misplaced hardware was removed...but there wasnít a happy ending as removing the hardware did not resolve her pain and symptoms.

    Everything I have ever heard anecdotally or have read indicates the surgery to remove hardware is quite a bit less intense than the original procedure. Pain from the surgery is less as they donít have to cut into bone.

     
    Reply With Quote
    Old 03-20-2019, 07:40 PM   #4
    martinb8034
    Member
    (male)
     
    Join Date: Jun 2017
    Posts: 59
    martinb8034 HB User
    Re: Hardware removal.

    [QUOTE=teteri66;5493130]Personally I would be skeptical that removing hardware will resolve your symptoms...unless you have good reason to believe hardware is touching a nerve, or is otherwise causing an issue that is responsible for your symptoms.

    My surgeon gave me about a 70% chance this would fix my problem. Not good enough for me. He told me since the back is fused now that the hardware is not serving any purpose anymore. That could be true but my theory and own personal experience with other surgeries that I have had on other parts of my body is a higher rate for complications. Unless he can tell me with a 90-95% chance this would help, I am going to leave it in. My surgeon was a Orthopedic spine specialist. I thought about consulting a Neuro Surgeon instead to get a different view point.

    My recollection is that you have had pain ever since the surgery...that surgery didnít resolve your pre-surgical pain...would that be correct?[/QUOTE]

    No, not excactly. It was good for about 5 months until I started getting more active. Remember I am also a musician. So I do setup and tear down plus a lot of sitting. But even laying down is difficult also. Have to have at least two pillows under my legs with still pain. Plus I am starting a full time job in three days. I am worried about that. Is my back going to be giving me more problems. I am also worried about the hardware failing. This would be devastating.

     
    Reply With Quote
    Old 03-21-2019, 07:55 AM   #5
    yayagirl
    Senior Veteran
    (female)
     
    Join Date: Jun 2010
    Location: USA
    Posts: 2,468
    yayagirl HB Useryayagirl HB Useryayagirl HB Useryayagirl HB Useryayagirl HB Useryayagirl HB Useryayagirl HB Useryayagirl HB Useryayagirl HB Useryayagirl HB Useryayagirl HB User
    Re: Hardware removal.

    Dear martin,

    There are never guarantees with surgery, so yes it's a major concern. Get all the opinions you need for making a decision. That's the best we can do. I have had hardware out and there is some that remains and may always be best to be left alone. Time will tell.

    Sometimes we need to exercise through the pain to get on the other side of it. The main thing is to try to find out the true source of the pain. It could be muscular or how you stand, or that muscle needs built up or stretched.

    Finding the facts helps us with the decision making.

    Very best to you. I know by experience that what you are going through is tough to deal with.
    __________________
    ~ YaYa ~

     
    Reply With Quote
    Old 03-21-2019, 02:27 PM   #6
    martinb8034
    Member
    (male)
     
    Join Date: Jun 2017
    Posts: 59
    martinb8034 HB User
    Re: Hardware removal.

    [QUOTE=yayagirl;5493153]Dear martin,
    Sometimes we need to exercise through the pain to get on the other side of it. The main thing is to try to find out the true source of the pain. It could be muscular or how you stand, or that muscle needs built up or stretched.

    Very best to you. I know by experience that what you are going through is tough to deal with. [/QUOTE]

    Thank you so much for your input. Again, the surgeon keeps insisting it is the hardware that is giving me problems sitting. He told me that he takes it out in about 40% of his patients. If they know this is big problem with patients, and especially if I had a problem on that side before surgery, wouldn't they take extra precautions on making sure your not going to have that problem again on that side?

    I do stretching for periformas muscle twice a day that gives me short team relief but nothing permanent.

     
    Reply With Quote
    Old 03-21-2019, 02:42 PM   #7
    teteri66
    Senior Veteran
    (female)
     
    Join Date: Nov 2010
    Location: USA
    Posts: 9,198
    teteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB User
    Re: Hardware removal.

    If you could find out the true source of the pain, then youíd know where to start. That is the whole key to the issue and the great unknown! There is no way to know...and so you are left with trial and error.

    What does your surgeon tell you about the recovery? Iíve had the feeling all along that you feel OK about your surgeon...you donít feel he has failed you...or am I wrong in thinking that?

     
    Reply With Quote
    Old 03-21-2019, 02:50 PM   #8
    teteri66
    Senior Veteran
    (female)
     
    Join Date: Nov 2010
    Location: USA
    Posts: 9,198
    teteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB User
    Re: Hardware removal.

    At what level is your fusion...L4-S1?

    OK, just noticed you stated L3-S1...same as me. Is yours posterior? I assume it was an open surgery although I don’t know why I say that...did he go in from the back?

     
    Reply With Quote
    Old 03-21-2019, 02:56 PM   #9
    teteri66
    Senior Veteran
    (female)
     
    Join Date: Nov 2010
    Location: USA
    Posts: 9,198
    teteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB User
    Re: Hardware removal.

    I donít think you need to devote energy to worrying about hardware failing. An MRI would show if a screw were placed at a weird angle, if a rod looked suspect, etc. Spinal hardware failure is very rare. When it occurs, it is usually a broken screw.

    Is your new job musician related or something entirely new?

     
    Reply With Quote
    Old 03-21-2019, 06:52 PM   #10
    martinb8034
    Member
    (male)
     
    Join Date: Jun 2017
    Posts: 59
    martinb8034 HB User
    Re: Hardware removal.

    [QUOTE=teteri66;5493173]I donít think you need to devote energy to worrying about hardware failing. An MRI would show if a screw were placed at a weird angle, if a rod looked suspect, etc. Spinal hardware failure is very rare. When it occurs, it is usually a broken screw.

    I hope so. My surgeon said every thing looks good on the CS. I really do not need to see him anymore unless I agree to have the hardware taken out which I'm not at this time.

    Is your new job musician related or something entirely new?[/QUOTE]

    Well the music thing does aggravate it in a sense. I have to sit for three hours on a stool quite a bit. I try to get up after every tune and stretch a little. We have a few 10-minute breaks and that gives me a rest. I do not pick up any heavy weight at all. Nothing over 40 lb's. The band members give me all the help I need to get any of the heavy stuff to the car. Then I leave the heavy bag in the car trunk all the time. Other than that I don't know what the heck it is. But I had it before the surgery and I have it now after the surgery. Might be something I might just have to battle with the rest of my life.

     
    Reply With Quote
    Old 03-21-2019, 07:26 PM   #11
    yayagirl
    Senior Veteran
    (female)
     
    Join Date: Jun 2010
    Location: USA
    Posts: 2,468
    yayagirl HB Useryayagirl HB Useryayagirl HB Useryayagirl HB Useryayagirl HB Useryayagirl HB Useryayagirl HB Useryayagirl HB Useryayagirl HB Useryayagirl HB Useryayagirl HB User
    Re: Hardware removal.

    Dear martin,

    There are some things we can modify, and one is what we do. Maybe you need to change professions or how you sit or where you sit or how long you sit. Maybe you need to stand. Or maybe a ten minute break is not enough, or maybe you need to do better and more productive stretches on the breaks. Or get some physical therapy, or a brace, or...you know. talk these things out with a GP or physical therapist, not just surgeons.

    I personally can do very little of what I could do before a serious accident many, many years ago. The doctors fixed me up the best they could. I sure miss what I used to be able to do, but, I can do other things. Yep there are certain things we have to endure, and that's that.

    I hope you can find some viable solutions and keep on with what you enjoy.
    __________________
    ~ YaYa ~

     
    Reply With Quote
    Old 03-21-2019, 10:43 PM   #12
    teteri66
    Senior Veteran
    (female)
     
    Join Date: Nov 2010
    Location: USA
    Posts: 9,198
    teteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB User
    Re: Hardware removal.

    Great post Ya-Ya! I’m going to copy it and put it where I can read it often...because I need to have that message constantly beat into my brain! At what point though do we decide that is the attitude we need to accept and stop looking for medical answers?

    As far as I am concerned...in some ways I am still recovering from the L3-S1 surgery I had in 2010! I think it takes quite awhile for a certain level of acceptance to arrive...and at least for me, it was after exploring ALL my options.

    For Martin, you aren’t there yet! You still have options to explore.

    Do you have insurance that would cover the hardware removal? If you still have some respect for your surgeon and feel he is genuine in his belief that removing hardware would help, maybe it is worth the try?

    I do not want to get more personal than you wish, but why is your spouse not supportive? You mentioned your situation was beginning to cause marital issues....

     
    Reply With Quote
    Old 03-22-2019, 01:36 PM   #13
    martinb8034
    Member
    (male)
     
    Join Date: Jun 2017
    Posts: 59
    martinb8034 HB User
    Re: Hardware removal.

    For Martin, you arenít there yet! You still have options to explore.

     
    Reply With Quote
    Old 03-24-2019, 09:53 AM   #14
    teteri66
    Senior Veteran
    (female)
     
    Join Date: Nov 2010
    Location: USA
    Posts: 9,198
    teteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB User
    Re: Hardware removal.

    After further consideration, I think what I am trying to say is that perhaps you do not yet have enough information to make a good decision.

    It just doesnít sound to me like the surgeon has valid reasons for believing the hardware is the pain generator...other than perhaps examine all other possible options and concluding hardware is the only thing left to consider...

    Based on my own experience where about 8-10 various spine surgeons in three states couldnít figure out the cause of my sciatic pain...I am very aware that the pain generator(s) can be very illusive and difficult to identify.

    But I still am a big believer in second opinions from unrelated sources!

     
    Reply With Quote
    Old 03-24-2019, 11:59 AM   #15
    martinb8034
    Member
    (male)
     
    Join Date: Jun 2017
    Posts: 59
    martinb8034 HB User
    Re: Hardware removal.

    [QUOTE=teteri66;5493264]
    But I still am a big believer in second opinions from unrelated sources!

    That is what I am going to. Just hope I can find some answers.

     
    Reply With Quote
    Reply Reply




    Thread Tools Search this Thread
    Search this Thread:

    Advanced Search

    Posting Rules
    You may not post new threads
    You may not post replies
    You may not post attachments
    You may not edit your posts

    BB code is Off
    Smilies are On
    [IMG] code is Off
    HTML code is Off
    Trackbacks are Off
    Pingbacks are Off
    Refbacks are Off




    Sign Up Today!

    Ask our community of thousands of members your health questions, and learn from others experiences. Join the conversation!

    I want my free account

    All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:12 PM.





    © 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved.
    Do not copy or redistribute in any form!