After a fracture in L1 and more trauma to L5/S1 that had already been bothering me for years, I am looking forward to finally doing something for the pain. Everyone said - don't do back surgery! But, it is time to take that step so I can live my life again! I have a few questions that I can't seem to find good answers to:
First: I have severe DDD in L5/S1 (healing fracture in L1), severe facet disease, osteoarthritis, bone spurs on facets, severe end-plate degeneration of L5. Severe pain but no numbing or leg pain except for many many muscle spasms due to guarding. I have been in a TSO for 5 weeks from my fracture of L1.
So... my questions - please answer!
1. Anyone get a minimally invasive procedure that addresses all my issues?
2. Those who got a fusion - how much pain? how long in hosptial?
3. How much can I expect a single level fusion to cost?
4. How much of that cost does insurance usually say they are going to cover? (I find most of my costs have been reduced by about 50% by using in network doctors).
5. I have an OS who wants to do my fusion from the front with an 8 inch cut in belly and I am going to see an NS next week to try and find a better option - would love something that will cut less but still work - any thoughts on using a OS vs. NS?
6. How long after surgery can I really start to exercise, I am putting on a lot of weight due to my 5 weeks of healing to date for this fracture and I want to be exercising again!
7. Anyone get the nerves lasered to help reduce pain? Would you recommend it?
8. Anyone have a blog about their whole experience that I can read?