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After having 20+ years (I'm 46) of back problems, sciatic pain, muscle spasms countered by painkillers, NSAIDs and a fair few injections, I might now have to succumb to fusion surgery. I saw a specialist on Tuesday and after a CT scan, he's giving me another steroid injection on Monday (i had one back in Jan this year too). If this next injection doesn't sort it out (which is likely as the l5/s1 disc is pretty much gone and there's a bone spur poking into the nerve), then he has recommended fusion, rather than a disc replacement. He said it would be keyhole surgery through the abdomen. Has anyone on here had similar surgery? I know people recover differently, but what can I expect after surgery? I'm in a job where I sit down all day, and need to sit, stand and walk on the commute to work. How long should I expect to need to stay off work? How long before I can get back to a reasonable level of activity? I go to the gym, play golf and tennis, as well as skiing; I realise I'll need a fair amount of rehab to get back to strength, but what's everyone's experience of the recovery time?
And most importantly I guess, I'd love to hear some success stories from surgery. I'm feeling pretty nervous about committing to surgery, but I know I can't carry on with all the leg pain, muscle spasms, severe restless leg problems at night and lack of sleep, so if its the only option, so be it. So many back specialists in the past have told me to avoid surgery whenever possible that I worry about the outcome.
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