Removal of spinal hardware
During spinal fusion your consultant used surgical plates, rods or screws to weld your spine together eliminating motion that caused you back pain.
There are several reasons why your surgeon may recommend removal of your spinal hardware:
- Failed fusion
- Pain from misplaced or broken hardware
What happens during removal of spinal hardware?
This procedure is done under general anaesthetic. It may take 1-3 hours depending on your own condition.
Your surgeon will normally re-open your original incision. They will remove any scar tissue that has grown over the hardware. If your spine has fused correctly they will remove the hardware. If your fusion has not been successful they may put new hardware in its place.
After removal of spinal hardware
Immediately after your surgery you will be taken to the recovery area. Staff will monitor your blood pressure, heart rate and breathing. If you are in any pain be sure and tell the recovery room staff. When you are stable a nurse will take you to your room.
Once you are back in your room, our nursing team will continue to check on you to make sure you are recovering well. After you’ve recovered from any effects of the anaesthetic, you can have something to eat and drink. Be sure and tell us if you are in any pain.
You may have a catheter to drain your bladder. This will usually be taken out the day after your surgery.
A physiotherapist visit you to ensure you can move around on your own. Your movements will be restricted. This will mean no twisting or bending. Do not lift anything heavy or drive until released by your surgeon to do so.
To prevent blood clots (deep vein thrombosis) you may need to wear compression stockings.
Going home after removal of spinal hardware
Your length of stay in hospital will depend on the extent of your surgery. Be sure and arrange for someone to drive you home.
Take any pain relief medication as prescribed. Icing your incision may help decrease any pain. Be sure and wrap ice pack in a towel before applying to your skin.
Continue to adhere to any activity restrictions and stop any activity that increases your pain. Avoid sitting for long periods.
Your stitches or staples will be removed by your GP or practice nurse 10-14 days after surgery.
Most people make a good recovery from removal of spinal hardware. As with any procedure there can be complications:
- Blood clots (deep vein thrombosis)
- Reaction to anaesthetic
Specific complications may include:
- Continued back pain
- Nerve damage
- Numbness or tingling
- Increase wear and tear in another part of your spine.
Cardiff and Vale02920 836700
Cardiff Bay Hospital, Dunleavy Drive, Cardiff, CF11 0SN
Chester01244 680 444
Wrexham Road, Chester, CH4 7QP
Exeter01392 276 591
Wonford Road, Exeter, EX2 4UG
Haywards Heath01444 456999
Burrell Road, Haywards Heath, RH16 1UD
Newcastle upon Tyne01912 816 131
Clayton Road, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE2 1JP
Plymouth01752 775 861
Derriford Road, Plymouth, PL6 8BG
Taunton01823 286 991
Staplegrove Elm, Taunton, TA2 6AN
Our prices are all-inclusive. We will equal any comparable price. There are no time limits on your aftercare.
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