Hi, Everyone. Until four months ago, I had my problems (arthritis) but I wouldn't have said I have back problems. Then I started having numbness and tingling in a leg, then I could only walk shorter and shorter distances (before pain in my rear hip area would stop me).
I have spondylolisthesis, grade 1. I'm fortunate enough to live near two major medical centers. My rheumatologist recommended a spine guy and knowing I'd want a second opinion, found the other after an exhaustive web search.
Both agree I am a candidate for spinal fusion of L4-5.
Doctor One presented me with a large incision, 4-hour operation, roughly half spent on a laminectomy and the other half on the spinal fusion. I'd be in the hospital about 4-5 days.
Doctor Two presented me with a 4-hour operation but using XLIF -- and a minimally invasive approach. Minor incisions, screws and other additional hardware, 1-2 days in the hospital and NO laminectomy.
Both doctors know each other. Both are highly regarded. Both are XLIF certified.
But Dr. Two feels the compression will be relieved by correcting and fusing the affected vertebrae.
In this city, at these medical centers at any rate, there's no chance to re-question the surgeon. One meeting, one conversation, that's it until the day before the surgery. So I can't really go back and even ASK Dr. One why he feels a laminectomy is necessary and why he felt I was not a candidate for XLIF. I even tried to set up another appointment but the guy was so booked it was a full month from the surgery date they'd given.
Talk about feeling like cattle. Clearly, I'd rather preserve my lamina and have the less-invasive procedure with the shorter recovery.
Dr. One was highly recommended but the whole practice seemed overworked and I started to get the uncomfortable feeling that maybe the doctor was recommending the procedure that was easiest on HIM, not me -- a terrible thought, I know.
Does anyone been in a similar situation or had a similar experience?