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Thread: Can you have your "Hardware" removed?

  1. #1
    Senior Member TheAbleChef's Avatar
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    Can you have your "Hardware" removed?

    I was talking to a guy at the gym and he told me that he had his hardware removed. How can you have your hardware removed? What are the pros vs. cons?
    Never Give Up!

  2. #2
    bump
    pros and cons
    those who getting hardware removed with function return, and with no function return

  3. #3
    Senior Member fishin'guy's Avatar
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    I have to have mine taken out this spring. Infection. I'm on controlled A-biotics till then.I have 5 level fusion L1-S1 w/rods.Guess I'll find out.

  4. #4
    If they are not causing you problems, it is usually best to leave them alone. It is not necessarily a small surgery to have rods, etc. removed, depending on how overgrown with bone they may be, and where they are located. If they are infected, broken, or causing you serious pain, then you should discuss the pros and cons of removal with your orthospine or neurosurgeon. Most are reluctant to remove any hardware (except if broken or infected) sooner than 12-18 months post injury.

    (KLD)

  5. #5
    Senior Member Kaprikorn1's Avatar
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    In 2001 I shattered L1 and after decomp was fused with rods from L3 to T8. Things were OK and I relearned to walk some with cane thru 2 years of rehab and lots of exercize...still enough nerves intact to be medical miracle of sorts. In 2006 I got staph infection on spinal processes and rods. Due to degree of infection I had another surgery to take out rods (fusion was solid) and cut off infected processes and soft tissue. Before and after surgery had 12 weeks of IV antibiotics thru heart pic line and healed and licked the MSSA infection.

    Surgeon always said he wouldn't remove rods unless they became a problem, which they did. In hind site though I have more mobility, flexibility and less pain since they were taken out and I healed up and rehabbed from surgery. Don't think insurance would have paid for removal unless there was that problem though.

    Kap
    accept no substitutes

  6. #6
    Senior Member TheAbleChef's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SCI-Nurse View Post
    If they are not causing you problems, it is usually best to leave them alone. It is not necessarily a small surgery to have rods, etc. removed, depending on how overgrown with bone they may be, and where they are located. If they are infected, broken, or causing you serious pain, then you should discuss the pros and cons of removal with your orthospine or neurosurgeon. Most are reluctant to remove any hardware (except if broken or infected) sooner than 12-18 months post injury.

    (KLD)

    Okay I think I'll stay away from the removal of any hardware.
    Never Give Up!

  7. #7
    Hi TheAbleChef,

    If it's any relief to you, I've had my Harrington rods in for 30 years and they haven't caused me any pain or problems. I'm a T4-5 and the rods span T2 - T7. One downside to having rods is they interfere with getting a clear MRI picture of your spinal cord. You can still get an MRI done it's just that the picture loses some of its detail. And because of this the option of getting an Open MRI is not recommended. I'll know how my Open MRI went when I get the results in a couple weeks. I kinda freaked out in the closed tube so it was an Open MRI or nothing. The Open MRI wasn't much more claustrophobic-friendly but I did manage to get it done.

    Bob.
    "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle." - Philo of Alexandria

  8. #8
    Senior Member vgrafen's Avatar
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    On the other hand, I had mine removed after a year and a half because I was uncomfortable; couldn't sleep, felt like a robot with no mobility. I'm glad I had them removed, as I sleep and move better and have had no problems since.
    vgrafen

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  9. #9
    Senior Member TheAbleChef's Avatar
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    What is a Spine Surgeon called? Is there a poper name?
    Never Give Up!

  10. #10
    It's called a Neurosurgeon and a Ortho Dr needs to be involved. I had mine removed and am very happy with it but sometimes I have a little pain where I have scoliosis.
    Mary
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