My father has a cage in his lower back that is out of place and pressing on a nerve root. It seems to me that this is a fixable problem - take the cage out - but he has been "turned down" for surgery at one of the top hospitals for neurosurgery. Does anyone know anything about having a cage removed? His surgery was 18 months ago.
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replied January 23rd, 2012
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Cages placed for lumbar or cervical fusions can be taken out. However, the surgeons have to be convinced that the cage is actually causing the problem. If it is definitely causing problems, then it can to removed, but the fusion mass may have to be taken down. This would then have to fixed in some way, either with a different type of cage, bone dowels, bone struts, whatever, to fill the void left by the cage and then restabilized the spine.

However, if your father is in poor medical condition, that would have to be addressed first. Spine surgery is very taxing on the body, and if the patient is not going to survive the procedure, no surgeon will take it on.

But, if you believe there is a problem and your father is healthy enough, then get another opinion. You may want to get the opinion from an orthopedic spine surgeon, instead of the neurosurgeon, just to get a different view.

Good luck.
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