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Thread: twins225 - 4 month post Fusion UPDATE - Hardware Removal???

  1. #1

    twins225 - 4 month post Fusion UPDATE - Hardware Removal???

    Hi everyone!!! I saw my doctor a few days ago and got confirmation that I am doing really well, considering the trauma done to my back. Glad that he was pleased with my progress, you can imagine my surprise when he hinted around to possibly wanting to COMPLETELY REMOVE the hardware in my back!! I had heard of people having their hardware removed, but I didn’t even think it was an option for me – I just wasn’t expecting to hear this!!! Here I am almost completely PAIN FREE and we are talking about more surgery?? Before making any rash decisions…he wanted to review the operative report (notes from the surgery) and consult with the doctor who did the surgery in Georgia (accident and surgery in GA...i live in Florida). In his opinion, the type of hardware that was used on my back appears to be a temporary “fix”…the surgeon’s office in Georgia agrees. He said if the surgeon’s intent was to permanently fuse my thoracic spine, he would have individually fused each vertebrae - this would not allow me to ever move my back again in the thoracic area, which is already what I was expecting. Since I have 2 long rods fusing my back for now, his biggest reason for wanting to remove the hardware is because of the stress the hardware puts on the healthy vertebrae over time…especially since I am young and active…WITH TWINS! He also said I am a good candidate for hardware removal surgery, because of my age and good health. I would probably make a full recovery and have full motion in my back again. BUT we can’t make any decisions about further surgery until we have confirmation that the burst fracture has completely healed and the bone graft is a true success. I don’t think the damaged (fractured) vertebrae could support my spine without the hardware right now, so only time will tell. So for now, we won’t know the verdict about surgery until I have more CT Scans and X-Rays in the months to come. IF we decide to proceed with removing the hardware, it would be in the next 3-4 months. I was terrified sitting there in his office while he even mentioned the possibility. He said the procedure to remove the hardware only takes about 20 minutes, since the screws are threaded and come right out. And I would probably only stay in the hospital for 2 days. But most importantly, recovery will be nothing like what I experienced 4 months ago…still painful, but probably a breeze after what I have already been through. I see him again in a few months, so until then, I will stay in my back brace and keep praying that God will take care of me, no matter what is in store for me.

    I am interested in any of your thoughts about Hardware Removal. Anyone have theirs removed after a multi-level fusion???

    Be well,
    Injuries: T5 Burst Fracture (Broken Back); Fractured Scapula; Bruised & Fractured Ribs - Near Fatal Auto Accident on 11.21.07.

    Corrective Surgeries: 7-Level Thoracic Fusion (T2-T8); Decompression Laminectomy at T4; and Bone Graft from Hip to Burst T5 Vertebrae (11.26 and 11.28.07).

  2. #2
    Yes I was recommended for the same reason, but found out after that it was WRONG advice given. I now see Dr. Long at John's hopkins. He said he never would have recommended to remove the hardware because I have a multi level fusion and also the rods helped to keep my back straght. After the removal my back rebroke(active compression fracture at T6), developed kyphosis and also suffered another spinal cord injury because of bp drop during surgery. Please make sure you ask about all the possibilities. I did ask my neuro, but he didn't know about the bp drop because he did not deal with strictly SCI patients, and he specifically told me that there was NO way I would suffer another SCI from the removal surgery. Then I was sent a certified letter that he no longer wanted me in his practice, of couse be cause he f*^&ed up. Didn't find out any of this until a year post op.

  3. #3
    PS I have fusion at T4-T5, T5-T6, T6-T7, had hardware, rods screws, from t2-t9

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