I'm so glad I found this forum!
After 4 years of dealing misdiagnosis and pain that is (at times) debilitating, it took an auto accident to finally get me in to see a spine specialist. All I got before that was referrals for chiropractic care and physical therapy - making my condition worse and intensifying pain.
An MRI revealed an "old" fracture in my spine, spondylolishesis, collapsed discs, "severe" bilateral facet arthrosis
(with severe right and moderate left foraminal stenosis), disc bulges, desicated discs and a left sided intraspinal synovial cyst that is compressing and deforming the left nerve root.
*Apparently, I also have an "accessory vertebrae. Interesting to me, but my doctors are pretty nonchalant about it. Guys aren't much into accessorizing, I guess. I have to save my jokes for a better audience.*
I had 2 sets of injections (2 weeks apart) which included a failed attempt to aspirate the cyst. Both injections resulted in pain relief that lasted 5 glorious days... and then my pain and leg symptoms were back with a vengeance.
I have developed foot drop and diminished reflexes in my left leg and the specialist concluded that further conservative would be useless and now we're a "go" for surgery.
In 3 days, I'm having an Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion with Cage and Posterior Lumbar Decompression and Instrumented Fusion. It's a big one.
I've already been fitted for (and issued) the brace that I will have to wear almost continuously for at least 4 months post-surgery. I hate it.
So anyway- I'm looking forward to surgery and getting my life back. While I certainly don't wish this sort thing on anybody, it sure is nice to know that there are others out there who can relate to what I am going through and can offer advice based on their own experiences.
I sure wish I would have found this forum sooner but better late than never!