Hi all.. I;ve written here before after I had my surgery TLIF L-3-S1. I;ve got 8 screws and 4 plates ( I think) in my lower back. The fusion is healed with nice bone formation. The problem is I still have pain in my lower back. I had thought by now 2 1/2 years later I could take a walk without waiting for my pain pills to kick in. Oh, by the way, I'm only taking Vicodin 5/325 maybe 2-4 a day. If I take more I don;t feel well. I feel sick. So, at my last Ortho docs appt. he wants to do surgery again on L2-3 and remove my hardware. Since my original back surgery did not go well 5 1/2 hrs and blood transfusions, plus the worst pain I've ever felt. It was like having 5 dry sockets ( dental term) I've had one dry socket and it was miserable. I need help deciding if I should have the hardware removed and if it helped other people who have L3-S1 fusions. All I can think about is the pain and also, since now L2-3 is bad. It was bad before but now really bad. Where does it stop. Do you just keep working your way up my spine? I already have problems at C5-6. I think I should be able to get pain medication to help me do my activities of daily living without pain or sitting down every 10 minutes. I see all sorts of people on these sites with really strong pain meds. Well, I missed my appt today went to the wrong place so I see him next week. I've got to have some answers somehow so I can figure out my future.I'm 62 and if I have to have all this done then I'd just rather get it over with and done and spend the winter recuperating. What say you all?