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Persistent pain even after spine fusion, swelling, MRI, X-Ray normal. Should the hardware be removed?

I has a spine fusion at L5/S1 just over 6 months ago an I am still having pain. It is worse than before surgery. I go to physical therapy 2 times a week to stretch my muscles and strengthen my Core and every 2 weeks I get non steroid anti inflammatory Injections at the surgery site. I am currently in South Korea and having some difficulty understanding the doctors reasoning. Today my doctor told me that most people only have the injections 5 times but mine only last one and a half weeks and then I am in major pain and constipated if I do not get my next one. He says the swelling and pain are at the implantation site but all of the MRIs and X-rays say I am healed. Could I be having problems with the hardware? My muscles are getting better, my strength is improving but no matter what we do the swelling comes back. Should I look into getting the hardware removed? Would that recovery be as painful and as long as the addition of the hardware? Any help would be appreciated. Andrea Long
Asked On : Fri, 26 Oct 2012
Answers:  1 Views:  109
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Orthopaedic Surgeon 's  Response
Swelling is generally due to either reaction to metal or infection in the area of implant. Blood culture should be done for ruling out infection..metal reaction causes dissolutio of bone substance and loosening of implant wich may be visible on radiological films after couple of months only, so right now there are not many choices apart from medications as being currently used.
Answered: Thu, 14 Aug 2014
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