TL;DR - Was fused in 2005 from T8-L4; I fractured my L5 recently & Doctor now recommends I have surgery again to fuse L5/S1 and connect them to previous construct. Wondering if anyone has experienced this; worried about loss of mobility and recovery.
In 2005, I had spinal fusion surgery from T8 - L4 to correct my severe rotary scoliosis condition. I had harrington rods inserted using hooks and screws (a practice, I'm now told is archaic). I was told this would be the only surgery I'd ever need in life (anyone else hear that same story?). Anyway, jump to 1.5 years ago where I was exercising and felt something weird "move" in my lower back. I assumed I pulled a muscle in my right buttocks area since any pressure placed there caused me immense pain on my right side. I tried pain meds; acupuncture; chiro visits; and even x rays and an MRI to find ZERO solutions to my pain problem. My chiro finally recommended a new Ortho surgeon who looked at my xrays/MRI and saw my SI joint was squished. He ordered an epidural for me and suggested I get a CT scan immediately. The epidural lasted a whole 3 weeks before my pain came flying back. Turns out, my CT scan showed I fractured both sides of my L5 on the backside. I also have pelvic obliquity so that's why my pain is stronger on my right side as opposed to my left side.
My doctor is now recommending that I have anterior surgery to remove what's left of the discs on either side of the L5; move the bone back in place; place spacers in between; and then fusing L5/S1 while connecting it to my current construct (which ends at L4). So I'll essentially be fused from T8 to S1. I have so many worries, I don't know where to begin...
My first major concern is loss of mobility. The fusion will essentially be my mid back all the way down to my base. Does anyone here have experience with this much fusion? I'm relatively young still and am super active in dancing and exercise. I'm worried that fusion to my S1 will severely restrict my mobility. I'm already fused to L4 but I can still bend all the way over and touch my hands to the ground. I have a surprising amount of flexibility and I don't want to lose that.
I'm also concerned about being fused in general. I asked my doctor if he can just replace the discs and not fuse me; however, he said that that's not possible. Has anyone had something similar where they didn't have to fuse? I'm not sure if I should get a second opinion on that.
Anyway, I'm just so nervous about going through this again. I've already had so many other residual issues with my first fusion (daily back pain; nerves never coming back; not being able to wear tight clothing around my hips without pain, etc). It doesn't really seem like I have an option to NOT fuse, but I'm looking for a hail Mary.
Thanks for reading all this and for your support!