Does any one know how the doctor decides when it's safe to remove your hardware, and how can they "really" know if it's your hardware and not something else causing the pain?
I had a L 3/4 & L 4/5 fusion with a cage and screws on July 1st of 2010. For several months I have had severe pain in my lower back on the right side. Some days the whole lower back hurts, but mostly the right side. My doctor had said he wanted to wait a full year to be sure I was fused before he took anything out, but the pain has been really bad lately, plus I just had a neck fusion on March 30th. I've been told by my surgeon and the Ortho. that I have thin bones. Probably because I have Osteoporosis & Osteoarthritis. What's the worse that can happen if they take it out, and would they leave the cage in? I don't go back to my surgeon until the 25th of this month. Thanks for any help you can give.