I'm looking for some information on having a fusion verses not having a fusion. I would love to get some opinions/advice from the "pros" (all of you back sufferers) on whether this type of surgery is so risky, it just isn't worth the risk.
I had 2 laminectomies - one lasted 20 years, the other, well, my back gradually got better for 4 months and then the pain came back. My dilemma is... I only have a small amount of scar tissue showing without disc re-herniation. The thing is, the pain drives me crazy. It is on my right S1 nerve root, so the pain radiates down to my toe. It is worse some days more than others. Some days, I think it will get better. Until all of a sudden, there it is again, strong as ever. Every little movement (squatting, twisting slightly, walking, sitting) aggravates the pain. Shopping is especially painful.
I just received a call from a minimally invasive surgeon who said that he would not go back in to my back. He said there's nothing he can do for scar tissue. I have the option of seeing him for $300 out of pocket or moving on. He's the one I've really been hoping could help me. I thought he'd have some new techniques he could use for the scar tissue.
I've also been seeing another dr. here in town. He's very attentive and has discussed fusion with me - but with hesitation. I guess I'm just leary if fusion is my only option. And I'm just trying to see, before I make another mistake, if this is really something to consider. I only have about a 1 - 3 pain level most of the time. But my activities are limited. I am 42 years old and am active when I can be. Does anyone feel that if this doctor offers a fusion, I should refuse it? Or go for it?
I know we're not "experts" or surgeons, but I sure would like to hear from you.