Hi, 28 year old male from Sydney, have had L5/S1 Laminectomy and posterior fusion in May 2012. Had re-do fusion of same level in June 2014 as fusion did not take. This time I was done anteriorly and posteriorly. Cage inserted anteriorly and rods taken out during that process from the back, then put back in a week later to stabilise while I heal. Felt good while rods were out from the back for that week.
Pre-surgery I was in what I would now call moderate pain and would often fall over unable to get back up for about 5 years, was taking the odd painkiller and anti-inflammatories, would generally lay down after work (carpentry) each day. I now live with severe chronic pain, try to limit myself to 4 Panadeine forte and 4 Endone per day, plus norspan patch changed weekly, also on valium. Due to side effects I try not to go over that but to actually be out of pain I would probably need to take double that. Have not worked since the operation.
Basically, my gut feeling is, and has been from day one that something is wrong. My first thought when I woke up was "what the Fu@k have you done to me". I understood I may need to get worse to get better. I do everything I can to get better and beat this, I do not expect it to fix itself without me doing any physio and strengthening and keeping mentally stable. If anyone is interested in more details PM me but basically I want to know if anyone has had any success with removal of hardware after a solid fusion. My gut feeling is telling me the rods are stopping my back muscles from working properly and they compensate and work for whatever is going on in there and cause my pain. My surgeon said he will take them out at the 1 year mark, being June 2015 if there is a solid fusion but is generally against it. No one understands why I want to take them out, but when you live with something for so long you understand your body better than anyone. Thank you for reading and any feedback would be greatly appreciated.