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Decisions to make : lumbar ablation v fusion
Hi. I am pleased to have Lund this really useful site and forum.
I have suffered with low back pain since my mid-20s and am now late 50s. Have 'severe' arthritis at L4, L5 and S1 with all the facet joints there involved, plus a synovial cyst and considerable disc thinning. Sciatica changes from side to side and sometimes both legs together with pain often worst behind my knees. Sometimes mainly leg pain and not awful back pain with it, sometimes back is aching a d very sore too ... Hate the pressure of chairs etc.
Have tried all sorts of injections from cortisone on the spot, epidurals, facet joints etc. Swapped orthopaedic specialist to a rheumatologist to try and keep me away from surgery, but time between episodes just gets shorter and shorter and now have two options left. Do I try ablation which from these forums has mixed success and mixed stories of how painful it can be afterwards or bite the bullet and go for the fusion?
I love to be with my three very small grandchildren and normally love to be out and about, so after having had other gynae. Ops over the years, already know the frustration of long, confined recovery time stuck in at home.
Would anybody here say fusion really gave them a full life back or did it cure some things and cause other problems?
Currently taking diazepam, amitryptyline and coproxamol ... Hated tramadol which did not work at all for me.
Many thanks for reading my long first intro post.