Hello all, I haven't been around for quite some time but have great news... my spinal fusion is working very well! I was fused from the front at L4-5 on Oct. 3 2011 and am already done treating w/ O S, I did a 2 month walking program followed by 2 months PT and then 1 month work conditioning. I am currently just waiting to see if my employer will take me back with the slight permanent lift restrictions imposed by the dr. I a 29 y/o male and am basically back to me normal self. I of course know that I need to be careful with my spine for the rest of my life... but feel that the surgery was WELL worth it. I don't need pain meds anymore and rarely use the heating pad I was practically attached to pre- op. I just wanted to pop back in to give encouraging words to anyone that's in the shoes I was in last year. Of course surgery on the spine is a LAST resort... but sometimes you know when you are presented with your only option. A year of no working and constant PT and 3 consecutive ESI's with no real reduction in pain (with clearly visible surgically correctable lesions on the imaging) it became obvious I needed the surgery! So clearly don't rush to surgery... but know that if you do you homework and find a skilled surgeon, there a good chance you will get your old life back!! I'm back to playing drums in full force (I have an aggressive style) and am more than ready to go back to work. I can readily say that I feel better than I have in 2 years since I first ruptured a disc and destroyed my back!