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It's 2 years now since I had a L4/L5 fusion operation for a ruptured/ bulging disc. Right leg problem totally fixed now and I'm mobile and painless in the leg and buttock.. However my old lower back problem is still there which I have had for years at L5/S1 and at the right side facet . (also at L3/L4 facet to a lesser extent). Scans indicate bone to bone contact at the base, posteriorly and often strong pain persists if I get very active with general jobs around the house or try to play golf. Have been told these two vertebra may fuse naturally over time as no disc can be seen....but how long is that " time " ?
Has anyone else in the forum experienced anything similar. My own surgeon can't even guess how long natural fusion takes. He says though, if/when I've had enough and can't wait more years for natural fusion to finish, he'll operate, put fixed spacers in and adjust things with the rods/screws above already in place. Don't really want another op, but maybe with the L5 vertebra elevated back to its old position, the pain from S1 contact and the L5/S1 facet will be eliminated. But which might not happen at that facet , and also maybe the nerve exit spaces on both sides may be reduced anyway by natural fusion if I continue to wait.
Just how long can/should anyone wait for natural fusion to be complete?