Re: My doctor visit OMG and an introduction (kind of long)
It is always a shock when you learn you are headed for a multi-level fusion. You will want to take your time in reaching a decision on the surgeon and just how much needs to be done.
When I first began my journey in the wonderful world of spine problems, I thought I had a minor ailment, so was shocked when the first spine surgeon I went to said fusion. But then it got more interesting: several surgeons indicated they would do a one level fusion at L4-L5. Then I went to another surgeon who said he would do a minimum of 3 and up to 5 levels. I was stunned. I thought that was overkill, and went with a one level fusion, figuring I could always add on if the one level did not resolve my pain.(It did not. I am now fused from L3 to S1 and feel great.)
So you may find that another spine specialist will feel that you do not need that much surgery. It is important to get several opinions. The success rate for multi-level fusions is quite a bit less than for one or even two levels.
So, do your homework. You may end up with the first surgeon, but at least you'll know you made a decision rather than blindly believing whatever the first surgeon tells you.