I really wish the results of spinal fusions could be more predictible. I have a TLIF scheduled for 3 Aug due to 1) badly herniated L5 and 2) grade 2 spondy L5 over S1. I was seriously thinking about canceling and just dealing with the pain and discomfort as well as being a long-term pill popper to manage day-to-day. Then I read an interesting article regarding the treatment of spondylolesthesis on Spine Universe. a OS from Isreal wrote that his research confirmed conservitive treatment of spondylolesthesis (drugs and exercise) was not as successful in long-term pain relief as surgery (fusion) - especially in patients with DDD - he further explains and shows xray evidence of a patient whose slip gets worse as the disc degenerates more. Have any of the Spondy paitients out there heard this from their surgeon?
My OS basically said that the only procedure he could perform on a Spondy patient is a Fusion and that is not likely to change anytime soon. That said - my thoughts are more towards the surgery now for a few reasons 1) 39 yrs young 2) no other health probs and 3) in good physical shape. Why wait it out? I have waited and been working through PT for almost a year now - if my condition was going to get better on its own I think it would have by now - correct? One last question for my spondy friends - overtime did your back pain get worse? When I injured my back my leg/buttock to back pain ratio was 90/10 it is now about 70/30. Thanks in advance for any comments.