Scared!!! Dealt with pain for the past 4 years. Go to the gym 5 days a week, doing core exercises, chiro, accupuncture, swimming, :< lumbar traction, many rounds of PT, epidurals that once lasted 3 months are only lasting 4 weeks. All non-invasive modalities tried and 4 ortho-spine specialist later... say L4/5 fusion needed. In this last month, I will be building my thigh muscles and my arm muscles to help with movement. Eating super healthy and trying to lose a little weight before surgery. I am not overweight, I do not smoke, I exercise regularly, eat well and generally a happy person. Trying to keep positive. Scared I'll be in pain the rest of my life if I don't do the surgery, and scared I'll be in pain for a very very long time if I DO DO THE SURGERY. I debate the question...how long should I wait to do the surgery if it is inevitable? Doing it next month gives me (3) months over the summer to have a slower pace of life and be selfish with rest and have people help me because school is not in session. I already feel that our life here with my two boys (16) & (12) and husband of 18 years have been compromised by my back pain. All vacations and leisure activities are dictated by my pain level. I am either in pain or don't participate. So.....how long do I wait ?