Need some advice - Since September 08 I have been dealing with pain/discomfort associated with a fairly large L5 disc herniation along with a grade II spondylolisthesis L5 over S1. I have seen an Ortho Surgeon and Neuro Surgeon - both have offered to do a Fusion when I was ready. Meaning the pain/discomfort and/or life restrictions have finally got the best of me. The worst part of the pain - muscle spasms has passed as I have been taking Mobic, Nuerontin, Valium and sometimes Tramadol since December 08. At present I am feeling the slippage of the L5 over the S1 during certain movements - it is not generating horrible pain. I am also feeling frequent numbness and tingling in both legs and enduring major life restrictions as I am very careful not to move a certain way that would cause pain or discomfort. I find myself asking the question - why I haven't signed up for surgery yet? Well I am meeting with the Ortho Surgeon tomorrow and wanted to know if there was anyone out there that has had an L5/S1 Fusion (ALIF or PLIF) for grade II spondy and if you could share your experience - hopefully positive. I read so so many horror stories, but I can't imagine living with this discomfort/pain without pursuing additional treatment - especially with a spinal stability issue.
I have been doing PT (core/stability) exercises for about four months and while I thinnk it has helped - it has not put me where I'd like to be as 39 yr old father of three kids. I feel like my life restrictions is affecting the entire family as well. Please share your story - thanks. Mike