View Full Version : Aware of the Hardware

Denise Preuss
01-12-2005, 06:59 AM
Hi Friends,

Here is a question.

I am 6 months out from being fused from T4 to my sacrum. They used an anterior and posterior approach.

I am back into my routine and working out.

I am having practically no pain. None along the incision sites.

The feeling/sensation that I am having is the feeling of the hardware in my back...especially in the lumbar areas. There are alot of screwss and cages there. Nothing feels loose and it isn't a painful feeling.

But on cold and/or rainy days, the feeling of the hardware can be described as uncomfortable in itself.

My questions are...is this a normal feeling?...does the feeling ever go away?...if it does go away, about how long did it take for you.

Thanks again,

01-12-2005, 12:38 PM
Hi Denise...

Though not common, I've heard some people say that they were sort of hyper aware of their hardware. In fact, one such friend had surgery earlier this week to remove her implants.

I have a relatively prominent connector at T5 or T6 that is uncomfortable from time to time. (I'm 13 years post-op.) When it's bothering me, I berate myself for not having it removed. Other times I think I'm a wimp for even considering it.

If you find that you always feel the hardware, I'd recommend that you investigate having it removed, but not until you're 2 years post-op.


Karen Ocker
01-12-2005, 02:13 PM

It's too early to be completely healed. I had all sorts of weird feelings for a long time as my body got used to being "uncoiled". Bone grows around the hardware and that is not complete for a good 2 years. Try not to dwell on every little sensation. You will go nuts. Some of the things I felt while healing were jabs, pins and needles in my skin, itches I couldn't relieve by scratching, hot and cold feelings as well as varying degrees of soreness/pain (especially with thoracoplasty) and muscles spasms. This is all normal according to the pain specialist I used. Now 2 years later I do not need anything for pain unless I do a new exercise and use new muscles.
One thing that helped me was tightening my trunk/pelvis isometrically when turning in bed or moving around. I learned this in Pilates. In the beginning I felt I might break in two if I turned a certain way in bed or even changing positions.

The body needs lots of time to get used to a more normal alignment after being mis-aligned for so long.

01-12-2005, 02:49 PM
For the first 1 - 2 years after my surgery, cold/wet weather definitely made my shoulder hurt. I even got to the point where I could predict rain! :rolleyes: Now however, I am almost 6 years post-surgery, and it seems to have gone away.

Give yourself time, and don't do any jarring exercises. The bone grafts take 1 full year to fully harden. Good luck!


01-13-2005, 10:48 AM
I'm pretty thin and bony along my vertebrae. Can you actually feel the metal against your skin like you do your bones? Also, is there any chance of increased risk of lightening being attracted to me because of the hardware? There was a Discovery Channel program on body piercings in relation to attracting lightening and it just got me thinking about it.

01-25-2005, 02:46 AM
That sounds normal to me. I had my surgery nearly 6 years ago, and I know what you mean about sometimes feeling a little uncomfortable. I had every vertebrae fused together and then have hardware up and down my entire spine. When it's cold outside I too get a lttle uncomfortable, but I've heard the same from many people who have had many different kinds of surgeries that involve any kind of hardware being placed in their bodies. Also something I have learned especially is that while I am sitll the same person I was before my surgery, I cannot necesarrily push my body the same way I did back before I had the surgery. Your body after 6 months is still adjusting and in a sense healing. Don't push yourself too hard and understand that this kind of thing takes time. The worst thing you could do would be to push yourself too hard only to hurt yourself. Good luck!

Denise Preuss
01-30-2005, 12:28 PM
Thanks for the replies, everybody.

I found out recently that the hardware in my back totals 3 pounds!

It's no wonder that I can't run and doing push-ups really feels like I'm pushing alot more weight than before. My upper torso is actually three pounds heavier!

I still look forward to not being so aware of the metal in the future.