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Back Problems Message Board

Back Problems Board Index

Should I-----
Apr 6, 2010
-----have surgery now.

59 years old, relatively good health. I have a grade 2 anteriolithesis at l4 and l5 with no disk in between, bone on bone. Mild scoliosis, and some pars fractures at l4-l5. Orthopedic surgeon, good one, wants to do decompression and interbody fusion on l3-l5 with some bone removal at back to make more room for the "squashed nerve". Rods and screws. Two other spine surgeons agree. Have had this condition for many years, but other than some lower back pain on and off no real problem. Last year in March after some out of the ordinary lifting and carrying I had 6 months of severe pain and wanted surgery desparately in December. Due to some medical issues with my wife, I held off. I take Mobic and six 325mg tylenol a day and an occasional vicodin.

Lately the pain is not as bad unless I overdo it. Still have lower back pain, sciatica, groin pain, and foot pain. But, no where near the 6 months last year. Weak legs and very occasional numbness in one leg at a time.

My delemna is whether or not to now hold off until it gets worse again. Will this type of structural damage I have get worse or have I seen the worst, since the nerve is already pancaked at l4-l5.

I have some other possible surgeries I could do, like the thumb and shoulder. Not sure if the groin pain is related to the back, have not had that xray'd yet.

If I knew it was inevitable, I would do it now at 59 while I have access to good Dr's. Also, my wife's issues may return and we can't afford to both be down at the same time. I can live with the current pain levels although they do wear you down long term.

Looking for anyone with similar spine issues who has had them long term with no increase in severity. This is a tough decision when you have up and down days/weeks. The surgery is serious and I could be no better off, or worse after. I am a good candidate and the Dr's I have seen and would do the surgery are highly rated.

Any thoughts, I know it is ultimately my decision and no one knows for sure how things will progress on any one individual. But other insights and personal stories help.

Last issue, is the Dr I prefer for several reasons is about to leave area, so I am now pressed for time. Not good when making a decision like this.


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