I had my first spinal fusion 8 years ago on L4-L5, and also a lumbar laminectomy on the L5-S1. (My age at that time was 49. My L4-L5 were bone on bone and by the end of the day, I could hardly walk I was in so much pain. 3 years ago at age 54, I had another fusion on the L5-S1 lumbar area. The nerve to this vertebra was totally smashed on the left and hardly recognizable on the MRI. Hindsight, I should have had a fusion done on both vertebra the first time around. The second surgery caused my left leg to be almost unusable at first. I actually fell in the bathroom in the hospital on my side 3 days after the surgery. I took my walker and was going to leave and without any notice, my leg gave out totally. I ended up with a bruise on my side the size of one hand spread out and also a black eye. My surgeon was not too concerned. When I went home I fell again with my knee hitting the sliding glass door metal rim. (I later found out that it caused a spot, the size of a thumbnail on the inside of my knee, of articular cartilage to be scrapped to the bone. I would describe it like having a scrapped knee on the inside.) This does not heal up because there is no blood flow to the inside of the knee. I fell a third time on the kitchen floor on my side. Once again my leg gave out. This was all in a 2 week period after my second surgery. 3 years have passed and I have had to continually have some type of brace or compression stocking over the knee area....above and below. I have done everything to try to get better. I walk over a mile 3 to 4 times a week. With tons of pain, I might add. I lost 15 lbs. I only take 2 to 3 Norco tablets a day. (2.5 each-I cut the 5 in half.) I am still in pain, but do not like taking pain medicine, so I have cut it down as much as possible. Next to my husband, my heating pad is my best friend. Now,for the question. I HAVE THOUGHTS OF HAVING MY HARDWARE REMOVED, 2 RODS AND 6 SCREWS. Is this safe or will it cause me to have move back surgery in the future? My leg, including my knee and foot are limiting my life. I can deal with the pain in my back, but to have this added pain makes me want to scream...why me! Any suggestions would be welcome!