OK, so I'm new to the site and have some questions. I did search for some of these questions but, I didn't see anything recent. I've spoken to some physicians and lets just say - they share a common trait of being straightforward, not being very descriptive and pretty much like this is what you need to do and why. Im in good health, 46, male, hit the gym, lead an active lifestyle, played hockey for years and still get on the.
Everyone that I have spoken to that had a fusion are like - well the pain is gone, subsided but, the xyz drawbacks, limitations, etc so I thought I would get some input. I dread the thought of this fusion deal more than you can imagine and cannot stand the thought of hospitals.
I have had some major back pain since 8/2015, started Chiro in late August, MRI in September, Mobic (anti inflammatory) in Sept with very little help. I have spoken to an orthopedic spine surgeon (very well known) that said I have issues at L4/L5 and the only thing to quit the flaring pain is to do a fusion of 4/5 but, suggested I get a spinal injection to see if that helped.
I have the injection scheduled 10/13. Some of my friends (Ortho surgery reps) said I can expect to get 4-6 weeks of benefit from the injection and to quit wasting time and get the fusion done.
So with all that said I have some general questions:
* How long are you typically in the hospital?
* How long immobile? I go to the gym now 3-4 times a week (cardio each time and weights probably a couple times a week). The treadmill/elliptical is what uncovered the "shooting pain down my glutes/hamstrings".
* How long will I be off work (I work in an office so - no manual labor, etc)? I have flew 70 flights this year and 120 nights in a hotel. Thoughts on downtime for travel?
* How long does the surgery last (he's talking posterior).
* Any thoughts on anterior or posterior? I'm getting 2 more opinions to review the MRI this week (one does anterior).
* Is the pain really as bad as what I have read? I know there's pain meds but, I have heard some horror stories that sounds like it's the worst pain ever. I have had my share of surgeries but, many haven't kept me down too long.
* Is it better to go til you can't go any longer or take action quicker? The pain is shooting, and really getting to the point that it could cause you to fall.
What am I missing and what are the blind spots?
I know there are a lot of contributors here and I appreciate your feedback. I value input that is not the Dr who will be doing the surgery. I want a diverse response.
I know this is a lot but, appreciate your feedback as I go through this "decision" process.
46, Good health, active.