View Full Version : I had most of my hardware removed

07-08-2004, 05:46 PM
Hello out there. A couple of months ago I was in the process of deciding whether to have my rods removed. I was having pain because of a hook that came off at the end of one of the rods. Both the end of that rod and the hook were causing problems.

Anyway, I had my rods removed three weeks ago. The only hardware left in my back was some small wires that were too dangerous to remove. But everything else is gone. I am happy to report that the pain from before the surgery is totally gone. My doctor also said that I am free to get back to almost all physical activity. I can't believe it's been only three weeks, but honestly I feel really great. It's still early to tell how things will work out, but it looks good. It's nice to sit back on a chair and not feel like I'm leaning on my rods!

I want to thank all of you that gave me some great info about this topic. If anyone has questions about rod removal or the doctor I used who is one of the best in the world(it was a fluke that I was able to be operated on by this guy, but it was well worth it). Again, it's only been three weeks, but I feel good. I will keep everyone posted on how I'm feeling the next few months.


07-24-2004, 08:03 PM
Hi Jeff! I'm glad things worked out and you're out of pain. Could you let me know where you are located or who your good surgeon was? It would be useful. Thanks!! Laura

07-24-2004, 10:34 PM
Hi Laura,

I'm Located in Los Angeles. The name of the doctor that I used was Jeffrey C Wang MD at the UCLA Spine Center. He was great. I think he deals with people coming from out of town to do surgery as well. He's listed on this website so you should be able to find his contact info on there. If you have any other questions about rod removal or the original surgery let me know.


08-02-2004, 01:37 PM
Dear Jeff: I am glad you're feeling better. Can I ask how long did you have your rods in? Also, does the drs. say the curve will start progressing again as it was before any surgery? Just curious, since my daughter has been having one problem after another since her original surgery 4 years ago. I feel that sometime in her future she will have to remove her hardware. Thank. Grace

08-02-2004, 02:04 PM
Hi grace,

I had my hardware in for 7 years.

In terms of the curve getting worse after removal of rods... well my doctor says it really shouldn't. If the spine is fused then it should be solid, and bone is stronger then metal. However, I have heard of people who've had the hardware removed and the curve has gotten worse, but in technical terms if the spine had a good fussion, the rods don't really serve any purpose once it's fused. I'm no doctor though so this is just what I've learned by doing research and talking to doctors, so who knows. You just have to trust your doctor.

Hope this was helpful.


09-13-2004, 11:25 PM
I have had my rod for almost 27 yrs. I have been in pain for 5 yrs. I met with a new Dr. today who wants to remove it. I am glad to know you have had a good outcome. I got a good feeling from this Dr. but I still have reservations. I don't want to get my hopes up. I will be very interested to hear how your progress comes along. I am due to have my surgery in Nov. haven't gotten the exact date yet. I was seen at Dartmouth/Hitchcock Medical Center, NH. Good luck with your recovery, I hope to have the same.

09-14-2004, 02:52 PM
All I can say is my rod removal was about 3 months ago and I don't even really think about it. It was perhaps one of the easiest recoveries that one could ever hope for when it comes to back surgery. Basically, at least for me, rod removal was cake compared to the original surgery. And the pain that was there before, is now basically totally gone. So I feel good, doing full physical activity.

Good luck!


09-15-2004, 07:11 PM
Hi Jeff,
Thanks so much for your story. I needed to hear that. I have a positive feeling about this. It certainly sounds simple enough. I hope mine goes as great as yours. Were you in much pain after, for a little while? And how long were you down for? I would really like to go back to work. It has been too long of a break. :)
Have a great day. Kate

09-15-2004, 09:11 PM
Hey Kate,

I was able to go back to work about 4 1/2 weeks after surgery. By that time I was feeling pretty good. The first few days were rough in the hospital. But once I got home I started to feel a lot better. I don't know how old you are, but I'm only 24. I think that helped a bit.

Overall, like I said, this surgery was NOTHING compared to the first one. There was pain yes, but not too bad. There was some stiffness and muscle weakness, but again not too bad and it all went away pretty quickly.

Well, I wish you lots of luck. I'm sure you'll do great! Keep me posted on how you're doing.


09-16-2004, 08:55 PM
Hi Jeff,
I actually am 40 and my rod has been in longer than you have been alive, it would be 27 yrs. in January. I got my date for surgery today. It is Nov. 2, I am scheduled for one overnight in the hospital. I am hoping all will be good. I am in pretty good physical shape. I haven't worked in 5 yrs from all that pain. I will be so happy to get my career back. I will keep you posted on my progress. Thanks for your feedback, it is truly appreciated. Kate:p

09-18-2004, 04:20 PM
Hi everyone,
Just wanted to let you know that I had a spinal fusion for scoliosis in 1954 and no metal hardware of anykind was used and still don't to this day have any. But after fifty years the fusion and or back is just tired and I'm now applying for retirement. So for fifty some years I had no metal intrusions in my body, so I would say that is not bad. Maybe luck or just a good fusion.

10-23-2004, 12:08 PM
Hi jeff
glad to hear your doing good!! i have my hardware out this year and i am now back to the way i was before surgery :( i have to go back in jan 2005. i am new to this web site hope to hear from some one. thanks joanne

10-24-2004, 04:42 PM
Like Danite I have an uninstrumented fusion from 1983.
Despite a solid fusion it seems to have progressed by 1 degree per year since surgery. I saw a consultant regarding revision a few weeks ago and he suggested that large fused curves(over 60 degrees) can progress slowly over time whereas under 60 degrees they seem to be more likely to hold.
Mine of course are 120/60 degrees.
I have seen some fused curves progress after rod removal especially if it's a large long single curve.It certainly deserves a lot of thought before opting for rod removal but if the pain is so severe it's best to have them taken out.

10-24-2004, 08:33 PM
hi everyone,
i have a 60 degree curve and the dr. put rods in 12/1999 and improved my back and rib hump i looked great!! The lower screws where backing out and causeing really bad pain so the Dr. said she could take out all the hardware that was 4/2004 I said great! Well around june i could really notice a change in my back ie: my bra stapes sliding off when I would lie down on the tanning bed I felt my bones on my back in different places. That was the biggie because the tanning bed is so flat I could really tell the difference. My neck and head were moving forward too. So in the last 4 months it has moved back to the same before surgery. Now I have to go back again in Jan 2005 to put the hardware back in and now have a halo too. That will help my neck to hold the fusion better. But there is a higher chance of paralysis. Well I hope it works, they say 3rd times a charm...right?
Do you know of anyone that has had Halo Traction? If so Please let me know.
Thanks joanne

10-24-2004, 08:36 PM
Hi Joanne...

Who is your surgeon?

Did they give you any ideas as to why your spine didn't fuse?


10-25-2004, 06:32 AM
Hi Joanne,
I had Halo traction in 1983.I spent 8 weeks on a stryker frame to try to straighten a severe curve.The Halo clamp was attached to my skull and pins through my tibia and I was pulled from above and below with water weights.The concept of Halo aounds a lot worse than it actually is.Even as a 15 year old I didn't find it painful or distressing in any way.Modern styles of Halo have been developed which are a lot more patient friendly and it does a great job of stabilising the spine.The only drawback is that the entry points of the pins into the skull leave a small scar and the doctor placing my halo clamp put them straight into the front of my forehead and the scars mean that I keep my hair in a fringe(bangs) to cover them or wear a lot of concealer underneath my make up.Just ask if the doctor will insert them in a place where they will not show later on.
Any questions please ask.