Hello everyone. I am a 51 year old female who is fairly certain that surgery is to only way to fix my back. I have been having low back pain for many years, but it got much worse approximately 3 years ago. At that time, I went to an orthopedic surgeon, and through 2 x-rays I was diagnosed with degenerative lumbar spondylolisthesis and spinal stenosis. I have since had 2 MRI's done, tried exercising and physical therapy, and several epidural steroid injections. The injections worked for several weeks, but each time the pain came back more severe. I have seen a neurosurgeon once, he had the same advice as the orthopedic surgeon-as long as you can live with the pain, so so. But when you are ready, come back and we will discuss surgery.
I wasn't ready in April of this year, but the last injection only gave me 2 weeks of relief. I have spondylolistesis as L4 L5 and have excruciating sciatic pain in my right buttock and going down let. Surgeons want to do a lateral fusion with a laminectomy. I go back on Aug 15 to discuss surgical options. I have ready a lot of negativity regarding fusions, and frankly I am scared to death to have a back surgery and Still have pain. Any words of wisdom? Thanks.