Well, it looks like I might have to have my hardware out this fall.
I've pretty much had a constant backache since my surgery. I figured it was what I was supposed to feel, I'd had back surgery for heavens sake! I never thought I'd heal and be at a zero pain level ever again. I expected that.
But,there may be hope!
My NS's Physician's Assistant says that in 10% of the cases the hardware needs to come out. He had warned me last February that I should consider it. Now I have a NS appointment coming up in August to confirm it.
Just FYI -
Symptoms that make us suspect that it is the hardware and that the removal will actually benefit me and not be a useless surgery:
You can push on my back and feel the screws - it is DEEPLY painful to the touch and it affects my legs when you do it.
I feel the grinding of muscles in my back when I do my PT exercises, particularly the recumbant bike, leg presses, anything where my back is against hard plastic as I move my legs.
I feel like I have to hold the side muslces in my back so that they don't move when I walk. I can't touch the center of the spine, anywhere near the scar, that's too painful.
The asst. gave me Valtoren Gel - an anti-inflammatory, I think - and it has reduced the overall pain. It has allowed me to feel the exact points of the worst pain though - which is right over the screws.
So.. we shall see what we see when we see (I'll update after the next apt.)