Re: Fusion or Not
I presume your job is pretty strenuous, is in it? Easy to suggest change the job, especially at age 53, but trust me, if you have fusion, I hardly believe you will be able to do strenuous job anymore.
I am glad you go and see other doctors. See if they can offer you something but the surgery. I am not a pessimist by nature, but have to say that during my own ordeal after spinal fusion I met too many people with permanent disabilities after this type surgery, to just tell you : go on and do it. This would be unfair on my part.
If I would know than, what I know now - I would live without it. But again, this is my opinion. Even though the word fusion means same thing, every surgery is different. Some surgeries may take only 4 hours, mine was 10 1/2. Of course recovery and success rate is different too.
All depends how much pain you live in now. Before my surgery, my pain was 6, I worked with it, was unhappy, but lived my life somehow.
My Dr promised I will have better life quality and will be back to work in 8 weeks. 4 month after surgery when I was asking why don't I get better and not back to work, he said I have to be patient, it takes up to 2 years to fully heal.
Now, after couple more fusions, where pain of 7+ for 24/7, tons of pain medication, I wonder what would happen if I wouldn't do that?
But I never knew...
One thing is for sure: if you have a choice not to go for spinal surgery - take it.
But if you must - wishing you all the best!!! And hope everything will be great for you.