I'm new, so please be gentle. In '89 I had my first fusion L4/L5, no hardware. It was so successful that I was on top of the world. No more leg pain (Sciatica), I felt great. About 14 years later I must have done something wrong, probably lifting, and the leg pain came back. I also have DDD, so I'm sure that that played a part. The odd thing about the pain is that it's only there in the morning, but it's excruciating. If I take a 20 minute drive it's usually gone for the remainder of the day and again I feel great. Arthritis? Swelling?
I recently had a CT, MRI and Milogram (talk about barbaric on the last one). These showed lytic spondylolisthesis at L5 upon S1 (bone on bone) and mild spondylosis at L4/L5. I saw a specialist yesterday and he recommended a TLIF. He also said that if I it done that I could also have complications in a few years and have another disc go. This is my biggest worry.
If I stay like I am now, what's the worst that could happen? Would losing weight and physical therapy help that much? He also mentioned injections (not sure what kind), could those help?
I take nothing for the pain except MSM and Glucosamine Sulfate 3 times daily.
I'm on COBRA as far as insurance which runs out at the end of September, so I have to make a decision soon whether to have the surgery or not.
Thanks for any help.