Here is my follow up. I really cant handle the pain anymore, the pain is worse now than before I had the fusion done. I have no pain meds because the doctor does not want to prescribe anything. He hasn't given me a prescription since 2004. I tell him I'm just dealing with the pain everyday and he says "that's good, keep up the good work". I want this taken out but I am part of the Flexi-Core study. I was one of 9 people in Utah who had this procedure done. Does anyone know any good results from having their hardware taken out? If anyone is from Utah, my doctor was Dr. Brodke. Like I said before he did an excellent job except for my husband told me they lost me 3 times in the recovery room and had to bring me back to life, something to do with the anesthesia. Am I honestly just stuck with this stuff in my back or can I or should I have them removed. I can only see my Dr. once a year now since they pay me $75 to fill out study paperwork. I don't know if I should go see another Orthopedic surgeon/Neurologist since he is one of the best at the University of Utah. Thanks to the few people who have responded, this has been a great site to get a lot of information from.