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Need advice on whether to have fusion surgery - Please please help!

I am advised to get a l5 s1 fusion. The scans showing l5 bilateral pars defect. Mild disc bulge and mild foraminal narrowing and mild anterolethesis. I guess its considered "stable" since there is no movement on flexion films.

These findings seem "mild." But I've suffered with variety of symptoms for years with increasing flares that include all kinds of leg stiffness, feet tingling, hard to walk fast and keep up, and back stiffness and pain. Had various injections and recently did some ablation procedure. I'm 40. Symptoms for over 10 years have continued to worsen.

How do I know if the fusion surgery will actually address my symptoms? Any advise would be greatly appreciated. Part of me thinks the surgery is a good idea because it seems likely that I will get long term stability in the spine to prevent worsening. But, usually I read about fusion for spondylothesis that is severe, not just for the pars defect with mild findings.

Please help me make this decision! Thanks.


  • I had a fusion at L5 S1 April 28th of this year. If I was you I would have the fusion now. Why wait until you have nerve damage that can not be reversed? You have already had problems and you say the symptoms have worsened. Some people have a hard time with this surgery maybe I was one of the reasonably luck ones. I did not find the operation particularily painful apart from when I came round from the operation. I have been off pain killers since 6 weeks. My main problem is leg weakness which I feel is because by the time I had my operation I could hardly walk. I am nearly 60 so a lot older than you. I am sure other people would advise differently.
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