My 1st post should be titled Experienced Surgery Patient. I have had 5 overall. Soon to have # 6, L-5 fusion on April 30th.2015.I have just discovered this forum and am amazed at all the different spine experiences. It is nice to collaberate with others on su h a stressful subject. My 1st disk related fusion (L 3-4 was over 12 years ago. It was very difficult ,painful open surgery. I had that hardware taken out after 2 yrs. due to neg. X-ray after some lower back pain. That helped. When leg /hip pain returned 2yrs.Iater I found a S.Surg. that did scope or minimally inv. Surg. Had laminectomy, and was advised it might be a temporary fix. All drs. should warn of this.!! I'm an a v.active person and did not slow down, thus after a short time I had to have a 2nd fusion which went easier than the 1st. one because it was a min. Inv. procedure. Well since then, I was referred to a wonderful pain specialist and have dodged anymore surgeries since 2009 with a spine stim., pain med.,py.ther.,& epi.st. injs. I will now continue this in the surgery buddy posts for fun and hopefully hope to support others.