I decided it was time to join the new forum. I have only been on the old forum for about a week and I am finding it to be very informative and supportive. So once again, I am an RN here in smokey Central California. I have had a "bad back" since age 17 when I jumped off a counter. In April 2006 I began having right hip pain that radiated down my leg. After hip Xrays, lumbar Xrays, and MRI, I was diagnosed with Spondylolisthesis L4 on L5 secondary to bil. spondylolysis(pars defects). My disc at L4-5 is desiccated and I have moderate facet arthrosis L4-5, and L5-S1. My pars fractures are "marginally unstable" according to flexion/extension Xrays. I've had 4 LESI's the last of which didn't help at all. In Feb/March my pain switched to the left hip and leg for unknown reason. Now I am scheduled for PLIF L4-5 with instrumentation on July 24. I am soooo scared and have been considering cancelling it, or putting it off for a while at least. I do water PT on my own at the YMCA, and I do feel a little better. I am however still limping when I walk due to this left hip pain. I live on Ibuprofen 800mg which I will have to give up for at least 4 months with the surgery. I also take T#3 and Soma. Sometimes I think maybe it is not bad enough to consider surgery since I am still managing to work. Luckily I work in mother/baby so don't have to do much lifting. My surgeon says I'll be able to return to nursing after my fusion. He was recommended to me by my nurse friend who works in the neuro-icu. He prefers to do the open procedure instead of the minimally invasive. I will be getting a BAK Peek cage (Polar technique)and titanium rods and pedicle screws. I am very interested to hear any info and opinions on open vs. minimally invasive surgery. My surgeon said he can do the less invasive surgery if I want, but he hasn't found any benefit in his patients from open surgery. I told him I want him to use the technique he is most skilled at. Well glad to be here on the new forum and I hope everyone is having a good day.