I'm 38 years old and decided to go for the 2 level spine fusion after avoiding it for 12 years. My original diagnoses was a grade 2-3 spondylolisthesis of L5 over S1. It is now a grade 4 slippage and about 80%+ slippage. My doctor is going to go thru the front (Anterior) and put a cage in along with a screw connecting L5-S1. This is not common but he feels it is nessessary in order to stabilize the fusion even further. Then posterior screws and rods connecting L4-L5-S1 with some freeing up of the compressed nerves which has creating a mild stenosis. I can manage on pain pills but no longer want to do that. I can't really live free of pain and movement without either pain pills and injections or this surgery. But, my doctor is being optimistic and says that after I recover to "live my life" how I see fit! I'm in great shape, 140lbs, lean, all that but is it realistic to think that I can return to refereeing soccer at a high level (State level and higher) and playing soccer at almost the same level? Is anyone similiar in age and physical condition that can offer some realistic insight? I'm terrified of the surgery but more terrified of not living my life to the fullest. I've always known that surgery was inevitable but I always thought it would be later in life, not at 38 while I'm in such great physical shape. I don't want to be disappointed and worse off after surgery and unable to referee or play soccer after going thru this intense risky surgery. But, I don't want to cease living in any capacity. I've tried all the non surgical options and have been remarkably active up until 6 months ago when I noticed my recovery from being active was getting worse and worse, then had the updated MRI which show he additional slippage. I've said yes to the procedure but I am getting more and more stressed and nervous ad the dates is slowly but surely about to arrive! I've also heard and read about adjacent vertebra such as L3 becoming compromised once two levels are fused but in my case it is necessary due to the degree of slippage. Has anyone returned to being physically active quite a bit after spine fusion surgery that can also offer me some realistic insight?