I'm 45 and active. Herniated L5-S1 in the Navy 16 yrs ago. Was diagnosed with DDD, spinal stenosis and arthritis but decided to live with it as long as I could (very painful at times!). Had a laminotomy in 2005 resulting some pain relief. Pain gradually got to the point that I ended up seeing the surgeon again. Had an X-stop inserted in 2008. Was a dramatic improvement. Thought I had it licked. Now the X-stop is moving and causing "popping and clicking" (I can make it pop on command by twisting). Doc says it has to come out and is recommending a fusion at L5-S1. I've done some homework and don't like what I am seeing. Anyone have any advice? Once the X-stop is out, I'm back to square one and have two choices (I think).
1. Do nothing and live with the pain and pains meds (I hate them)
2. Have the fusion and chance ending up back at #1.
What are the percentage of fusion failures?
Needless to say, I scared to death and need some advice.