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suzyjay
06-19-2008, 07:23 AM
In a few months I will be having surgery to remove all of my hardware because of a staph infection (going on for almost a 1 1/2). From what I read here a few people had their hardware removed and their spine curved returned after doctors telling them that their fusion was solid. How can the doctor think it was fused when it wasn’t? It seems like there is no way to tell for sure if a person fusion is solid. My doctor said he can tell whether the spine is fused from the x-ray, from what I read, that was not possible.

Sue

Susie*Bee
06-19-2008, 07:54 AM
Sue-- I just sent you a PM-- but I have read and heard conflicting information on whether or not you can tell for sure if there's pseudarthrosis (failure to fuse) or not by examining x-ray. I know I have read that the definitive confirmation, either way, is shown through surgical examination. So my answer is wishy-washy at best, mostly thinking you can't tell for sure from the x-ray-- but maybe more recent information is available that answers that better. Best wishes for a successful hardware removal-- and riddance of the staph infection!!! You've been struggling with that for a long time! :eek:

Jenlw
06-19-2008, 10:12 AM
I am having my hardware removed soon as well. We know there was a failure of fusion in one spot because the rod broke, but my doctor said once they open me up, they will be able to tell if there are other spots.

abhbarry
06-19-2008, 11:37 AM
I saw my surgeon today and he also told me that my spine was fully fused, but I have to have the left screw in T12 removed because he sees that that is the culprit for my nerve damage. I'm waiting until January to do it when I have a couple of weeks off. I guess I should start visiting the revision thread now, huh? I don't know how to feel about it. Any advice?
Thanks,
Anya

Theresa
06-19-2008, 05:11 PM
Suzyjay,

The doctor's can't tell for sure if everything is fused until they are actually in there looking at the spine and also feeling the spine. They can have a pretty good estimation by looking at x-rays and such. For an example, I have a partial vertebrae that was not seen on any x-rays or MRI's before my first surgery. The doctor's had to do some quick refiguring on their plans when they saw that!

scolimich
06-21-2008, 12:49 PM
Hi,

Some recent research I have done in spine journals (to try to find out about re-curvature after hardware removal) showed that even by investigating the fusion mass when you get in there doesn't guarantee that everything is fused. There can be hidden parts that aren't easy to get at when they're searching around. The studies done in these journals showed that everything in each of the patients appeared solid upon thorough surgical investigation of the fusion, but re-curvature happened after the hardware was removed.....makes me uncertain if I should have my rods taken out or not!