Surgery or not? Scared and confused. Facet Joint syndrome

Laura63LLaura63 Posts: 4
edited 05/10/2018 - 9:48 AM in Arthritis, Osteoarthritis Forum

I’m needing some advise or insight. I have facet hypertrophic of the L5-S1 which is now severe. I also have it L4-L5 moderate, L4-L3 mild. I have nerve involvement down to my feet from this. 

I have been dealing with this condition for 4 yrs. I have been going to pain management getting RFA every 6 months and now getting injections. 6 weeks ago was my last RFA an it  didn’t work very well to say the least. I had an MRI done 10 days ago and my GP called today with the results. It in now severe on both side of the L5-S1 and he wants me to meet with a surgeon. The thought of getting surgery scares me but I don’t know how much more of the constant sciatica I can deal with. I’m scheduled for a steroid injection next Tuesday to see if it calms things down. 

I guess my question is has anyone had the surgery and gotten relief?

My old life up until a couple of years ago was extremely active and now I can barely go grocery shopping. Driving is my enemy. I’m tired of the pain, and what I have heard is once you have surgery you are never out of pain. 



  • My guess is your probably going to need surgery.  I would suggest that you write down every question you come up with so when you do see the doctor, you can get the answers your looking for.

    I had a two level fusion L4-S1 and for a few months I felt great.  Things started to go downhill after that but I think it was because I did too much too quickly after surgery.  As you read the boards, some people have done well while others have had continued issues.

  • Thank you for the reply. That is what I’m thinking too. I have RFA every six months for the last 4 yrs and too many injections to count. I knew things were getting worse but to actually be told you need ortho took me off guard. I was trying to avoid surgery at all costs. I did get the names of two very good surgeons and will set up consultations soon. Thanks again. 

  • advertisement
  • L4_L5LL4_L5 Posts: 1,275
    edited 05/10/2018 - 5:23 PM

    Don’t ever think that if you have surgery that you’ll be in pain forever after.

    This is a blanket assumption that could very well be faulty thinking. 

    I personally know people who have had very invasive (multiple) back surgeries who are doing excellent 3-6 months post-op.

    I wish you the best. I’m glad you found two excellent surgeons to consult with. 

    Please keep us posted. 

  • Thank you for the good advice. I tend to get in my head to much. I’m relatively young, 54, and really want to get my life back. Having to cancel plans and not being able to drive for anything longer than 1/2 hour is not a way to live. I miss taking my dogs for walks. I’m not in a rush as I don’t want to be recovering during the summer. After I meet with both doctors, discuss what they think, weigh it all out. Im thinking this fall/winter is when I will be ready. 

Sign In or Join Us to comment.