Hello, I am a former spectator on this site who just joined because if I successfully pass my medical clearance pre-op evaluations, I will have surgery on Oct. 18. I am 61 and was first diagnosed with lumbar spinal stenosis two years ago. Conservative treatment (I.e., non surgical) failed to improve my level of function and I was given referrals to neurosurgeons. It took almost a year for me to muster the gumption to follow through with them. My latest MRI shows severe stenosis at L4-L5 only, with "redundancy of the cauda equina, reflecting the degree of severity." I am not completely sure what that means and plan to ask at my next appointment but I suspect it's not a good thing. Grade 2 spondylithisis (spelling?) was also noted and plain flexion-extension X rays confirmed movement of L4 on L5, so along with a decompression laminectomy at that level, fusion with instrumentation was recommended. I have fair pain control with Celebrex, Aleve, and/or Tylenol extra strength; what I take largely depends on what I think my stomach can tolerate that day and how much I think I will have to be on my feet. I cannot stand still upright for much longer than a few minutes without mounting pain and my ability to walk varies but has slowly diminished over the past year. I have minimal sensory symptoms, only transient pins and needles either on the outside of my right calf or sometimes on the tops of my toes, but what finally pushed me to pick up the phone and make the neurosurgeon appointment was a progressively worse feeling that my legs were no longer going to support me and sometimes stumbling when I did walk, when there was nothing to stumble over. While I don't yet have a visible foot drop on close neurological testing, I did have "signs of denervation" on my EMG's two years ago and after getting the results of the latest MRI (August 2013) I was told that repeating those now would likely just be a waste of time and money because it would not add anything to the indications for surgery, which were felt by both neurology and neurosurgery to be unequivocally clear. I do have some concerns that my PCP does not fully grasp them, however. She cleared me without a hitch when I had knee surgery several years ago but now she has punted me to a cardiologist. I'll be posting a separate thread seeking input from other people on their experiences with the pre-op work-up; I just wanted to introduce myself and express my appreciation for all the on-the-fly education I've been able to absorb as a lurker on this site. I'm a little nervous about the problems many people report after surgery but what keeps me moving forward with this is a fear that if I don't do anything now under controlled conditions, I will find myself having surgery under more urgent or emergency conditions when the remaining space in my spinal canal is finally obliterated. My neurosurgeon says right now I only have 15% of the normally available space left and advised that I would have to have surgery sooner or later. Sorry this is so long!