Went to the spine specialist today for a follow up on some injections I had a couple weeks ago that didn't seem to do much. I am fused at the L/5 S/1 level (2007) and now I have developed arthritis and as a result some sever stenosis at the next 2 levels. My pain in manageable right now with stretching and simple motrin 800s. Some days are better than others of course but overall I do ok. I get pain in my foot and shin and it's never so bad that I can't do anything, but it is depressing and annoying for sure.
Anyway, he says i fI was to have surgery he would fuse the l3-l5 making me fused at 3 levels. Told me straight up that I would likely end up having my entire lumbar region fused one day and usually it stops there. Something to look forward too at 36 right? Unreal. But I asked him, why fusion? the disks at those levels are not herniated and have good spacing. At that point he did say there was other options like laminectomy as well. Well, what the hell? Isn't the point to maintain as much motion as possible to prevent the further degeneration? his point was it would mean the possibility of more surgeries later and the fusion may be inevitable. Maybe so, but I am not a old man, shouldn't we take the less severe route first, like laminectomy? I don't know, I am not nearly in enough pain to have surgery yet anyway and will put it off as long as humanly possible and as long as my life is not completely turned upside down with chronic pain. He said he has seen people with worse stenosis than mine (mine is severe) with no symptoms. Makes me hope I can hold on for a long time.
I am too young for this. Lost so much I love to do already at 36 years old. Surgery is likely inevitable, but when time comes, I don't know what to even think. Maybe by then the option for laminectomy or anything else will not be there and fuse is only choice, who knows.
anyone out there with a similar story or condition with any advice?