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Thread: Remove hardware to reduce pain?

  1. #11
    MomDonna, sorry about not seeing this earlier. I got your email.

    It is true that removing the hardware does not always relieve the pain. But, even if it is a 50% chance that it would reduce the pain, I think that it should be done. Perhaps you should focus on that problem first. Decompression and untethering can come later after the hardware is removed. If the pain is still there, you can consult a neurosurgeon. One step at a time.

    Did they say whether the bony fragments were removed? If you want, I can refer you to a neurosurgeon in New York. Please note that most neurosurgeons probably would not want to deal with the rods (this is more orthopedic than neurosurgery) and the orthopedic doctors who put the hardware in should probably be the ones to remove it. The MRI quality will be better once the hardware is removed.

    I hope that this is helful.


  2. #12
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Shickshinny PA USA

    Bone fragments still there

    Dr Young,

    On a CT scan that was done right after the emergency back surgery (where the hardware was put in), it says that "there is evidence of bony fragments retropulsed in the spinal canal in the right paramedian region at the T11 level". What is the meaning of "retropulsed"? The report goes on to say that the alignment of the spine has significantly improved since the prior study. Could these bone fragments be a cause of pain?

    Once again, thanks for your help. MomDonna

  3. #13
    Senior Member krstofer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Corvallis, Oregon
    I was told by one neurosurgeon that should my rods come out, there *may* be a reduction in the pain.
    I've decided against it, as the Dr who put them in has told me they were never meant to come out.
    The bones have grown around them, and apparently it would be quite a procedure to take them out.

    I also had many bone fragments in the spinal canal, which took an extra 2 hours during the implantation surgery to remove.
    All are gone.

  4. #14
    momdonna, the term "retropulsed bony fragments" means that the fragments were pushed backward into the spinal canal from the front. If so, they could be a cause of pain because they would a source of possible compression and inflammation/adhesion in the spinal canal. Wise.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    I just had Harrington Rods removed two weeks ago. They were there almost 20yrs. Pain is definately subsiding and nerve pain seems to be reduced already. Some bone fragments were removed as well. I say look into the surgery as long as your spine is stable enough without the hardware, or removing the fragments won't do more damage as mine did.

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