Hi Everyone--After reviewing my discogram results with my orthopedic surgeon today, my only surgical treatments are a 3-Level Fusion (L3/4-L5/S1), from an anterior approach only w/instrumentation. I was positive for pain on L3-4 and L4-5, but L5-S1 is bulged and degenerated badly also, so he said I would have to have all 3 of them fused.
I'm a 41 yr old male, I had a 1989 laminectomy L4-5 by the same surgeon. He is highly regarded and handles the treatment of all 4 of the Major Professional Sports Organizations in Detroit. I have tremendous faith in him and trust his analysis of my condition. However, I am somewhat disappointed by our discussion today. He said this is not a so called "slam-dunk" surgery like I had in 1989 for one severely ruptured disc. He said this is a "whole new ball game", and that were dealing w/ something completely different. He said I have a 60% chance of being better, and a 40% chance of staying the same. He emphatically stated that I would not be worse. He said that I could have additional problems down the road with arthritis and it is hard to predict how severe it could get.
He truthfully admitted that w/3 level fusions, the success rates go down. Overall he was not very eager to do the surgery, mostly because I am fairly young. He said if it was him, he would wait another year and keep working on the p.t. and core strengthening. I don't have any numbness/tingling or weakness in my legs, and very little leg pain. My problem w/any motion of my spine created by activities, my muscles spasm up horribly to protect my spine by forming a splint.
Have anybody out there been told, or no of anyone who was given the same type of odds from their doc's and went ahead and had the fusion??
I don't know what to do? I know if I don't do it, I'll never be able to have a normal activity level on a day to day basis, no matter how much conservative treatment I do. I've already done it all the past 4 yrs, it's too much to even list.
Thanks for any help/advice.