spinal fusion/hardware removal
In January of 2010, I had spinal fusion at Level L4-L5-S1. Felt a lot better afterwards but encountered problems after about 10 months. When I became more active, I began experiencing a lot of pain and swelling at the surgery site. I went back to the doctor who thought the hardware may be causing the problem. I am thin, and more likely to run into problems as a result. They did a MRI, CT, and injections to determine if the problem was the hardware. They did a surgery in March of 2011 to remove the hardware. Everything went went well with the surgery. It was fused. The PT afterwards said that in the OR report that the doctor had to actually remove some bone to get the hardware and screws out. The doctor told my wife that I had a lot of scar tissue. After removal of hardware, the swelling and pain at the site subsided. It has been 4 months, and my problem at this point is that the muscles in the lower back always feel very tight and stiff. I walk each day, do strengthening exercises, and try to stretch them out, but nothing seems to help them. I will do fine for several weeks, and then they will tighten up and become more painful. I really don't have any idea how to loosen these muscles up. Any ideas? Is this a permanent thing or does it get better?