What was your diagnosis before surgery? I am a year post two level lumbar fusion and I am still in a significant amount of pain. What levels did you have done and just curious to know the details of your surgery. I am really happy for you and I hope things continue to progress so well. Heather[/QUOTE]
Here's a quick summary:
I ruptured L5/S1 in 2008, had a microdiscectomy to repair the rupture. They diagnosed me with DDD after reviewing the MRI's from that episode and said that more surgery was probably in my future. After doing a few months I started to develop pain in the lower back that continued to increase as the months went by.
My surgeon referred me to a pain management specialist to try ESI's. I saw no relief from those so they tried RFA on the L5/S1 nerve roots with no relief. At that point they did a new MRI and found that L5/S1 was basically gone, L4/L5 had a rupture that healed but was slightly herniated, and I started to develop bone spurs and arthritis in L4 through S1. After talking about it with my surgeon I decided that fusion was my best option to give me a chance at pain relief. I had 2 lvl PLIF L4-S1 with cages and full hardware. I'm not sure what the rules are here for posting pictures, as I have a good picture of the x-ray with all the hardware
At the time of surgery, I had sharp pain in my lower back and glutes with radiating "burning" type pain down my left leg. I wasn't able sit, stand or walk without pain and I absolutely DREADED sneezing.
I think the vast differences in surgical outcomes depend on so many factors that it's difficult to do a apples to apples comparison of results. Have you talked to your doctor about your pain?