Saw the surgeon today for my 1 year checkup. Seems that I am fused well on the right and fair on the left. My pain is still the same as before the fusion. He asked if anything was better. I told him yes that I can stand up straighter. I told him that my problem is that I am retired (disability @ 50) and I have a high speed internet connection! I search everything, XLIF, artificial facet joint replacement etc. He said XLIF could be part of a larger surgery and artificial facet joints have not been successful.
He told me that the surgery was a success because I fused. The pain is a different story.
He has given me 3 options. Do nothing, and live with it. Have minimally invasive surgery to fuse and straighten out my spine from L-4 to L-1 (already have fusion at L5-S1). Or an "open" surgery for the same thing. Open = filet me like a fish!! He says if it is an open surgery he would be able to "see" my spine and can't see it with minimal.
No guarantee and maybe 50% chance of it relieving my pain.
How am I to make this decision!!??? Especially after the problems with my last surgery! (See link)http://myspinalfusionsurgery.blogspot.com/2010/08/my-spinal-fusion-surgery.html