It was suggested I start in this forum. I am 65, female. I had numbness and tingling for 5 years followed by five years of continuous pain. I have a congenitally small lumbar spine with stenosis, sponylolisthesis -grade2 and unstable, scoliosis, facet joint arhritis, and degenerative disc disease.
For the last four years I have seen a pain doctor who does radiofrequency ablations for the groin and thigh pain and epidural steroid injections for the back pain and radiculapathy. He gave me back a life. With these treatments the pain is reduced from a 7 or 8 to a 3, maybe 4. The surgeons have scared me and the "premier" orthopedic spine surgeon in my locale talks only about a fusion L4-L5, maybe L5-S1 also. He says I might feel as much or more pain because there is so much wrong with my back and one of the other problems might cause just as much pain and the surgery could leave me in more pain. The surgeon said once I start I will have repeat fusions because the stress on the other vertebrae will be greater. It seems everyone I know (5 people with multiple fusions each, every 2-4 years) and all my research tells me that he is right.
I am scared. I can't tolerate this much longer. I used to get relief sitting, bending, or lying down. In the last 3-4 weeks I have developed intense tailbone pain so now nothing relieves it. I am making an appointment with my GP for a referral to Mayo Clinic. I know I must have surgery soon but I am terrified it will not be successful. I only take Neurontin and Tylenol most days, on the pain level 8-9 days I take meperidine or Percocet. I am allergic to codeine and vicodin.