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What happens to the metal hardware used in lumbar spinal fusion surgery?

Lumbar spinal fusion surgery is a surgery to join two or more spinal bones -- vertebrae -- so that they eventually grow into one solid bone. Once the bone has fused solid, the metal fixation hardware is no longer needed. Still, it is usually left in place unless it's painful. If it becomes painful, the hardware can be removed with a fairly simple operation.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.