I HAD MY SPINAL HARDWARE REMOVED...BEST DECISION EVER!
I had searched the internet hoping to find someone who had their hardware removed, and couldn't find anyone. What I did find was a lot of people searching for the same information I was. I have had 7 brain surgeries due to hydrocephalus and chiari malformation. I also had 2 spine surgeries, the major one was a laminectomy, decompression and fusion from C2 to T3. It has been 2 years since I had this surgery done and I was having so much pain around the areas where the screws were. I could actually feel 2 of them through my skin. My scans showed that my bones had fused and they couldn't see any reason for the pain. I decided that I wanted the hardware out!! So on 6/17/14 I had it all removed. The surgery only took an hour and I was in the hospital for 2 days. So far this has been the best decision I've made as far as surgeries go. I am in pain, but I think its from the trauma of the surgery. I should have told you that I suffer from severe headaches every single day of my life, and so far it had come from my brain issues. But since they had gotten those issues under control, I was pretty sure they were now coming from my neck, and I was right. Since the surgery I have only had one headache, and to me that is a miracle! So if you are having pain around the hardware area and are debating on whether to have it removed or not, I say do it!!