I had my right side L5/S1 hardware removed a year ago and the doctor is removing the left side hardware this Friday.
On my right side hardware removal, the surgery only lasted 45 minutes. As soon as I sent to my room after recovery I immediately got out of bed and went to the bathroom (no catherter
) Later in the afternoon, the pt came by and I was able to walk around the hospital without any assistance. The next day, the doctor released me and I was able to return to work after one week (desk job). The hardware removal is not as invassive the fusion because the doctor only goes as deep into the back to gain access to the hardware.
I hope the hardware removal will eliminate your back problems.