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Thread: Hardware removal

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Kentucky
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    17

    Hardware removal

    Does anyone have any good news about hardware removal?
    I had fusion surgery (T4 to L4) in 2004 at age 54 for approx double 60 degree curves. Since that time I have had continuous pain. Now I am facing hardware removal because a rod is actually coming through the skin in my back. Most of the information I find seems to indicate curve progression without the rods. Can someone out there tell me something good about this?
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    311
    My understanding is that, if fusion has happened, there will be no curve progression.
    In my case, I had my hardware removed last Nov, because my surgeon suspected a non-union(s) (and to rule out that my hardware was infected). BECAUSE there were 3 levels of non-union, my curves progressed (quite quickly) once the hardware wasn't there to support the vertebrae. So, removal was the right thing to do, or else I would have continued with pain until I broke a rod, and then it would be obvious that there was a problem with non-union. Non-unions need to be fixed.
    So, I had those 3 levels re-done (with BMP this time) and had hardware put in from T-10 to L-3, with an osteotomy (you can see all this in my siggy), to correct a sagittal imbalance. By 2 weeks post-op, I felt great, and stopped needing anything for pain. I have had a couple minor "setbacks" in how I've felt, lasting from 2 days to about a week.
    I am so very glad that I had the hardware removal, the surgeon located the problem, and I had the revision surgery, all in pretty short order.
    Good luck!

    Good luck!!
    Last edited by mgs; 06-12-2011 at 08:35 PM.
    Fused T-3 to L-3, Aug 25
    Hardware removal surgery, Nov 2, 2010
    Fused T-10 to L-2, osteotomy, Feb 22, 2011

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    6,794
    Quote Originally Posted by patif View Post
    Does anyone have any good news about hardware removal?
    I had fusion surgery (T4 to L4) in 2004 at age 54 for approx double 60 degree curves. Since that time I have had continuous pain. Now I am facing hardware removal because a rod is actually coming through the skin in my back. Most of the information I find seems to indicate curve progression without the rods. Can someone out there tell me something good about this?
    Thanks
    Hi...

    It depends entirely on whether you're fused or not. Who is your surgeon?

    --Linda
    Never argue with an idiot. They always drag you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience. --Dilbert
    I'm sarcastic... what's your super power? --Unknown
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Surgery 2/10/93 A/P fusion T4-L3
    Surgery 1/20/11 A/P fusion L2-sacrum w/pelvic fixation
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    If you've signed up and are having trouble posting, please check your spam folder. An email was sent to the email address which you subscribed. You have to follow the instructions in that email. Done that and still having trouble posting? Contact Joe O'Brien at jpobrien@scoliosis.org.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
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    MGS
    It is good to hear that you had such a good outcome with your rod removal. Glad you are feeling well. I hope I might be so lucky as I have been in pain every day since my surgery in 2004. It is possible that I have some non-fusion and, if so, maybe that can be fixed. Thanks for the encouragement.

    Linda
    I rather not put any surgeon names out in a public forum, especially before my surgery. He is a respected revision surgeon. In addition to the prominent rods, I have 90+ kyphosis. The two revision surgeons, I’ve seen previously, elected to “do nothing”. That was before I had a rod poking out covered with blue/red paper thin skin.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Central NJ
    Posts
    1,956
    Quote Originally Posted by patif View Post
    ......That was before I had a rod poking out covered with blue/red paper thin skin.
    You poor thing. I hope it all works out ok for you. Good luck.
    __________________________________________
    Debbe - 50 yrs old

    Milwalkee Brace 1976 - 79
    Told by Dr. my curve would never progress

    Surgery 10/15/08 in NYC by Dr. Michael Neuwirth
    Pre-Surgury Thorasic: 66 degrees
    Pre-Surgery Lumbar: 66 degrees

    Post-Surgery Thorasic: 34 degrees
    Post-Surgery Lumbar: 22 degrees

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    3,261
    I hope you're seeing a new surgeon, not one who's left you with possible non-fusion for 7 years and only now doing something about it because the rods are coming through your skin. Wishing you the very best of luck.
    Surgery March 3, 2009 at almost 58, now 63.
    Dr. Askin, Brisbane, Australia
    T4-Pelvis, Posterior only
    Osteotomies and Laminectomies
    Was 68 degrees, now 22 and pain free

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
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    Before the final decision is made on the hardware removal, the doctor ordered a CT.
    My current doctor is not the doctor that did the original surgery. The doctor that performed my original surgery is a good surgeon. I think that I was just part of the unlucky statistics with a poor outcome. Now I just hope that the hardware removal or something will help me. Things have not been good since the original surgery.
    Thanks all for your replies.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    17
    An update. -- My surgery is scheduled for next Tuesday, Aug 30. My back surgeon wanted a plastic surgeon in on the surgery and there has been a problem coordinating schedules. This week the rods have actually broken the skin (you can see the metal coming out of my back) "forcing" the schedule. Besides quite a bit of additional pain associated with this, I am now terrified of infection.
    Does anyone have any experience with exposed rods and their removal? I have been told that taking out the rods is a much easier time than putting them in. I am just very worried about loosing correction and infection. Thanks for any insight you all have.
    Pat F

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    3,261
    I hope someone can help you with experience of that happening. I just wanted to wish you all the best for Tuesday. Please let us know the outcome, every experience is important on a forum like this. I hope your outcome finally frees you of the pain you've been living with for so long.
    Surgery March 3, 2009 at almost 58, now 63.
    Dr. Askin, Brisbane, Australia
    T4-Pelvis, Posterior only
    Osteotomies and Laminectomies
    Was 68 degrees, now 22 and pain free

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    South Jersey
    Posts
    133
    I wish you the very best on Tuesday. Your fears are definitely warranted but have faith in your surgeon and yourself that you'll pull through this alright. I will be thinking of you and keeping you in prayer for a successful surgery and speedy recovery. All the best.

    Michele
    1993/1995: PSF w/ Harrington rods T3-L4
    Jan. 24, 2012: ALIF of L4-L5, L5-S1 w/ cage spacer and BMP
    Jan. 31, 2012: PLIF of L1-S1 w/ pelvic anchors
    Scheduled Nov.15, 2012: Fusion T2-S1 w/ pelvic anchors to fix T12 fracture
    http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c3...ot/myback2.jpg - BEFORE
    http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c3...CT2342x406.jpg - AFTER
    http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c3...CT1410x229.jpg - AFTER
    www.jerseyot.blogspot.com

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Waterloo, IL
    Posts
    1,690
    Pat,
    I'll be thinking about you on Tuesday and wishing you the best. Be sure to post when you are able.
    Karen

    Surgery-Jan. 5, 2011-Dr. Lenke
    Fusion T-4-sacrum-2 cages/5 osteotomies
    70 degree thoracolumbar corrected to 25
    Rib Hump-GONE!
    Age-60 at the time of surgery
    Now 66
    Avid Golfer & Tap Dancer
    Retired Kdgn. Teacher

    See photobucket link for:
    Video of my 1st Day of Golf Post-Op-3/02/12-Bradenton, FL
    Before and After Picture of back 1/7/11
    tap dancing picture at 10 mos. post op 11/11/11-I'm the one on the right.
    http://s1119.photobucket.com/albums/k630/pottoff2/

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Southern CA
    Posts
    2,224
    Pat, you will be in my prayers and I hope that all goes well.Please post when you can

    Melissa
    Melissa

    Fused from C2 - sacrum 7/2011

    December 8, 2014 - Another Broken Rod Surgery

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    17
    All - Thanks so much for your prayers and good wishes for Tuesday. I am pretty nervous today but anxious to get it over. Next weekend I will update and hope all is well.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    3,531
    Pat

    You are going to be ok, you can do this.....

    Post when you can
    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 58, the new 53...
    Pre surgery curves C12,T70,L70
    ALIF/PLIF T2-Pelvis 01/29/08, 01/31/08 7" pelvic anchors BMP
    Dr Brett Menmuir St Marys Hospital Reno,Nevada

    Bending and twisting pics after full fusion
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt...on.&highlight=

    My x-rays
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...2&d=1228779214

    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...3&d=1228779258

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    3,261
    Thinking of you and wishing you the very best outcome, Tuesday.
    Surgery March 3, 2009 at almost 58, now 63.
    Dr. Askin, Brisbane, Australia
    T4-Pelvis, Posterior only
    Osteotomies and Laminectomies
    Was 68 degrees, now 22 and pain free

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