Hi everyone! I know many of us have on-going hardware issues& I'm considering having mine out next year if things don't improve.
I have some "dumb" questions, tho, & if anyone can help, I'd sure apprciate any insights, etc.
1. Does bone continue to grow around & into the hardware even after you are officially fused? (I am fused) Does it "stop"? Or keep growing? If they take the hardware out, do they need to chip away @ all this "new" bone I worked so hard to create? And my NS said the pedicles have pain receptors, as does the vertabrae itself...by removing the hardware, would this bone-type pain also be less?
2. Do they plug the holes where the screws were? And if so, with what?
3. If scar tissue is forming around the hardware, as it's doing in my case, does removing this help or make things worse? Is the scar tissue adding stability. (I know more grows right back anyway, but still...)
4. I had a 8" open-back fusion. Will the cut for removal be the same size? Or smaller?
5. Do they cut the same paraspinous muscles again (which I've worked so hard to re-strengthen) or just move them out of the way this time?
6.Is it REALLY worth it? Or will the pain eventually lessen over the years as the fusion gets even more solidly grown into the hardware?
I know I could ask my NS these things, but he released me in June, so I don't want to bother him right now. He did say he'd take the stuff out anytime I want it out, as he said he thinks I'm one of those people who won't be able to get used to it & inflamation/irritation around the construct showed up on my recent MRI & he suggested removing the pedicle screws especially (which are very painful) would help me a lot, along w/ taking out the rods, of course, & "cleaning up" the fibrosis.
Sorry for the long post. I am inclined to just wait awhile longer & see what happens. But still....it just hurts all the time & if I could be better, I sure would love that!
Thank you all so much!