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4 Things You Need to Know About Spinal Hardware Removal

Jan 26, 2018

Doctors performing minimally invasive spine surgery on patient

Revision Surgery

Practically no one wants to hear the news that they’re going to need a second surgical procedure. When surgical intervention fails to alleviate the symptoms and conditions it seeks to treat, one option is revision surgery. Spinal hardware removal is just one version of a revision surgery.

With most back surgery, the spinal hardware will never have to be removed. That’s because, when it was installed, it didn’t create any new pain-causing problems in the spine.

Reasons Spinal Hardware May Be Removed

When spinal hardware creates new pain, it could be for one of several reasons:

  • An infection has developed
  • The hardware is irritating a nerve
  • The hardware is causing irritation in a nearby tendon
  • There is a defect in the hardware
  • The hardware is damaged or broken

 

Hardware Recalls

When it comes to hardware defects, these are rare, but not completely unheard of. A spinal implant made by Stryker called the Oasys was recalled in 2013. Similar cases have arisen with replacement hip joints. If you have concerns about your spinal hardware, check with the FDA or the device manufacturer to investigate any possible recalls. This could have legal ramifications on top of needing to have any recalled hardware removed.

What to Expect from Spinal Hardware Removal

Hardware removal isn’t for everyone. Again, usually, hardware doesn’t need to be removed and should not be removed unless there is a serious complication. Removing hardware after a fusion surgeon may cause some additional side effects that perpetuate moderate back pain. In the event of infection or failed hardware, it’s possible that new hardware may be installed and the problems you’re experiencing will be alleviated as you recover. It’s hard to predict how your body will respond to hardware removal, so it’s critical that you have ongoing talks with your specialist to determine the right course of action to treat your pain and its causes.

If you’re experiencing pain beyond the general aches and pains of daily living after having spinal hardware installed, you should consult a specialist to determine if spinal hardware removal is right for you. If that is the case, choosing the right provider to perform the procedure is crucial. At Back Pain Centers of America (BPC), we work with the nation’s most skilled board-certified surgeons. Call us today at 1-844-201-1308 to learn more about your options and to get matched with a quality specialist near you.

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