First, let me say that this is a fantastic site with tons of information. After reading many many posts, I think the best part of the whole place is the compassion and support of and by the many users. THANKS for the wonderful source of support and information!!!
I've been a visitor here lurking for several weeks but post very rarely...
Now my question. I'm sure it's a case of misunderstanding on my part, but why would someone have their hardware removed after a fusion procedure? Is this only done in the case of failed procedures where the screws/plates/rods are causing problems? I had a TLIF done in Sept '07 which the bone graph failed and never started to fuse (having a 360 in Nov) and the only time the surgeon mentioned removing the hardware from the TLIF was during the PLIF portion of my upcoming 360 procedure.