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Removal of 16 year old Lumbar Hardware, 69 yrs old with COPD

Having a lot of pain and suffering with old lumbar hardware/cage put in 2002, 8 inch rods, 6 screws etc. CAT Scan of lumbar shows allkind of problems, broad based disc bulges above and below the cage. I have put off this surgery for 3-4 yrs now. Have a good n/surgeon but at 69 yrs old am afraid of the rehab whether the fix will be worse than the disease?? I am in constant pain but at least functional. Trying to decide whether to just live with it or risk the major surgery. This will be the 4th time through the large lumbar scar. Had a staph infection post-op in 2002, took 1 yr to recover. Any advice? Anybody had old lumbar hardware removed? Advise welcome.

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Comments

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 6,480

    tmac48

    I hate to hear this for you. That is a major decision that no one can make but you and your surgeon. He stated he was good, you you have a good open relationship with him? Maybe sit down with him and have a heart to heart on this one.
    I will be 69 next week. Last Dec. we finally found a neurosurgeon that said he could fix me. We liked him and have a lot of faith in him. But because of so many health issues and my weight (i'm very tiny), length of surgery and would be from my neck down, he didn't suggest it. My husband and I talked it over with the kids and grand kids, they all said no. 
    One thing I would ask him about is rehab. Would there be any way you could stay at a rehab facility while going through rehab and recovery. That's what I did on my last lumbar surgery and it was worth it.

    Do some research on the forum. Go to the top right of the page to the search box and key in removal of hardware. Scroll down and you will find other discussions on this topic.

    Good Luck and please keep us posted on your decision.

    Sandra
    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    Please read my  Medical Story  
  • Tmac,

    I am 68 and had 5 level fusion in 2007, all caused from a spinal infection that destroyed my spine. I had to wait one year after the infection to have the fusion so I know where you are coming from. My spine held up for maybe 5 years than I developed scoliosis. I can't stand straight and am in constant pain. I have had 3 surgeons tell me my back can be fixed but all said the risks outweighed the rewards. So, I live with a pain managed by opioid medications and function somehow.

    Dick

    Emergency surgery in March of 2006 for spinal infection of L 2 and L 3. During surgery, discovered I had Cauda Equina Syndrome. Spine became unstable after surgery and had 360 fusion with 10 pedicle screws, plates and rods in April of 2007.
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  • Tmac, Defnitly have a complete talk with your surgeon prior to deciding! Address the COPD issue with him as well! There's a high risk of nonfusion among COPD patients  due to the oxygenation blood circulation. If he says it's no problem, then discuss using a bonegrowth stimulator. Best of luck to you my friend!

    DavidG

    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 6,480

    debarbeau48
    Same thing happened to me. I was 60 when I had my last lumbar surgery, L2-S1 and it held up for 5-6 years. Then I developed scoliosis which hit hard and very fast progressing. I had a pain pump implanted in Jan. because we could not control the pain with meds.

    tmac
    Please let us know how you are doing.

    Sandra
    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    Please read my  Medical Story  
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