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Thread: What does removal of the iliac screws involve?

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Indianapolis area

    What does removal of the iliac screws involve?

    Hi all,

    I'm coming up on 2-years postop in March. I am doing well, generally.

    However, I still have trouble tolerating the iliac screw on my left side, especially when I exercise.

    What does removal entail? Is it a big operation? Are you in the hospital long? Do they remove both, or just the one bothering you?

    Also, if you get these anchors removed, do you have a higher risk of fracturing the SI joint later? (Assuming my spine is fused.)

    Just not sure it is worth the risks/recovery, but at the same time I would like to be able to exercise without pain.

    age 44
    80* thoracolumbar; 40* thoracic
    Reduced to ~16* thoracolumbar; ~0* thoracic
    Surgery 3/14/12 with Dr. Lenke, T4 to S1 with pelvic fixation
    Not "confused" anymore, but don't know how to change my username.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    hi Ev
    hope you and family are well...

    i thought you might want to contact
    Anne..."admoul" is her forum name...
    she had full length fusion with
    Dr. Lonner in Manhattan a few years ago...
    and had the screws removed a couple years
    after her surgery....she said she was
    doing well.
    i am sure you could type in "admoul"
    and write and ask her...

    wishing you the best 2014
    jess...and Sparky

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    New Bern, NC
    I asked Dr. Hey about removal of my iliac screws because I have a lot of pain in that area and he wasn't too keen on that in my case because he felt that although my fusion is solid, it isn't really thick and was afraid it might fracture. I would ask your doctor for his opinion regarding the thickness of your fusion and if he thinks you would be safe if the iliac screws were to be removed. I plan on getting a second opinion from Dr. Rand sometime in May. I sometimes can't stand the pain. I can't take anti-inflamatories because they were damaging my kidneys and my latest blood test shows that my kidney function has returned to normal after two years. Nothing else seems to help my pain. Good luck Evelyn.
    Diagnosed with severe lumbar scoliosis at age 65.
    Posterior Fusion L2-S1 on 12/4/2007. age 67
    Anterior Fusion L3-L4,L4-L5,L5-S1 on 12/19/2007
    Additional bone removed to decompress right side of L3-L4 & L4-L5 on 4/19/2010
    New England Baptist Hospital, Boston, MA
    Dr. Frank F.

    "In God We Trust" Happy moments, praise God. Difficult moments, seek God. Quiet moments, worship God. Painful moments, trust God. Every moment, thank God.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008

    Sorry to hear about this pain.....Iím wondering what kind of exercise your talking about? Does this flair upon 60 seconds of walking? Or does it take a mile to get it to produce pain?

    It seems that we have to think 3 times before making our surgical decisions, and 6 times before our revision decisions.

    How is the back otherwise?

    49 yr old male, now 59, the new 55...
    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

    My x-rays

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Northern California
    Well, I haven't had my iliac screw removed, but I've talked to a lot of people who have. For the most part, people tell me it's an easy surgery, with a very short recovery time. Some patients have it done as an out patient procedure.

    Never argue with an idiot. They always drag you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience. --Twain
    Surgery 2/10/93 A/P fusion T4-L3
    Surgery 1/20/11 A/P fusion L2-sacrum w/pelvic fixation

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    St. Louis Missouri

    I have similar problem

    I have similar pain. Ever since my 2006 revision (was T4-L4 from 1969-2006). 2006 - current is T3-Sacrum. Have never been able to sit without pain. I also blame the Iliac Screws, but not sure. Most pain is on my right side, however, mid section and left side also give me pain.

    They tried to give me Epidural Injections next to Iliac Screws, but they were unable to penetrate the fusion.

    Still don't have enough data to go for any hardware removal.

    If anyone has more info, please share.

    Daily Pain
    58 Years old

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