A bit over two years ago I was diagnosed with a fracture of the L5 spinous process, degenerative disc disease in the L5/S1 joint, and a grade 2 spondylolysthesis. The ortho I was seeing advised me against surgery unless I started having more severe nerve problems. He said I was too young for surgery (I was 28 at the time, now 30) and that I would probably have to have the next level fused later down the road (he would do ALIF if that makes a difference).
Fast forward two years and I'm having much more severe pain in my back and my legs, along with weakness, parasthesia, and proprioception issues. I use a cane most of the time, with part time wheelchair use because it decreases my pain. My hesitation with the surgery is that I also have hormone deficiencies that can cause bone density issues later in life, even with proper replacement....from what I can tell, my risk of pseudoarthrosis is decently high.
What do folks think....should I still pursue surgery? I know that this is probably not going to lead to be getting back into doing triathlon or kickboxing or powerlifting (activities I did before the fracture)....but I can't figure out if going under the knife would actually make my quality of life better :-(
1/16/2013 Minimally invasive TLIF with rods, screws, and cage on L5/S1 joint to treat grade 2 spondylolysthesis, pars defect, degenerative disc disease. Dealt with chronic pain & nerve issues since at least 2007.