Decision to have spinal reconstruction
I am 59 and in generally good health. I have scoliosis and have had periods of low back pain on and off for several years. The pain was short lived and treated mostly with physical therapy.
In the past year my symptoms have increased. I was vacuuming one day a year ago and fell to the floor because my right leg stopped "working". This lasted about 20 minutes. I had another episode three months later after walking a long distance. I have pain at times so bad I cannot stand. I can go weeks without this happening. I find that car rides over a few hours are difficult; the pain because of sitting that long is bad. My pain is episodic; if I do a lot in a day...housework, walking, lifting, then I pay the price later in the day. After a long car ride (10 hours) I was unstable for a couple of weeks afterward.
I have sought the advice of a renowned spine surgeon. He has told me he will operate when I tell him I cannot live with this anymore. He said my operation would require going in through the front, side and back. I would be straightened from the top of my back (at the armpit level) to my pelvis. This will be extensive surgery with multiple rods and screws. The recovery could take 6 months to one year.
I am used to doctors telling me I need a procedure; in this case I am being asked to decide when to operate. I weigh the benefits of doing it now before it gets worse, versus waiting to see how bad I get.
What advice can anyone give me? Will I definitely get worse? Am I better off correcting this now rather than later? I am very confused.
Thanks for your help!