Re: Help with back situation
I would continue to pursue whether the infection has cleared up. Even under the best of circumstances, infection is the number 1 risk in patients undergoing additional spine surgeries. Your chances of infection being a big problem if you were to have further surgery goes up significantly (and is even worse if the original infection has not cleared up--) If there is infection, your chances of fusion taking place are put in jeopardy.
I agree with you that it is not a good long-term plan to try to manage the pain through injections. Injections have their place, but they are not meant for ongoing pain management through the years.
If there is little cushioning between the two vertebrae, eventually the nerves will be compressed, which may be part of the reason you are having pain now.
It would seem that a fusion would be the next step, with spacers between the vertebrae to keep the spacing open between the vertebrae. A two level fusion from L4 to S1 would not take away a lot of spinal movement, as the L5-S1 segment is already fairly stationary. However, carrying heavy loads on your back will not be a good idea, and repetitive bending is a bad idea, too. People in general are not encouraged to do heavy physical labor after a fusion.
Let me know if you have specific questions. I do think you need to return to your spine surgeon, let him know you are still in the same amount of pain and ask to be tested to be sure the infection is not an issue.