Greetings, I am 53 years old with a history of back pain (spasms, referred pain, herniated discs, a laminectomy and increasing problems with walking) dating back to my mid-teen years. I had an emergency laminectomy in 1988 which restored leg function which had been lost when L4-L5 burst but have continued ever since with the same stuff most of you already know all too well. I also have very intense but usually momentary shock-like pains in my back, hips and legs which may or may not precipitate a spasm episode. My frequency, severity and duration of "back episodes" has increased significantly. I take 3200mg of gabapentin daily as well as a "PRN" usage of hydrocodone and flexeril. I nearly always take ibuprofen,usually 2000mg/day. I had an epidural at L3-L4 this summer with no benefit. Then I had a facet block at L4-L5 and it was almost too good to be true for several weeks but then gradually the pain returned and now I'm back where I started. Based on that result with the L4-L5 facet block my neurosurgeon is recommending an L4-L5 fusion to immobilize that area (bulging disc, retrolisthesis). He explained, and I completely understand, that this surgery can only address pain that is the result of movement in that joint. As much as I would like it, I understand that my other symptoms will probably not benefit at all from this surgery. Still, the daily pain has worn me down and I have refused to utilize much of the narcotic relief due to concerns about dependency. I guess I'd just like a bit of reassurance from people "who've been there" when it comes to fusion surgery.