Saw the surgeon today for my 1 year checkup. Seems that I am fused well on the right and fair on the left. My pain is still the same as before the fusion. He asked if anything was better. I told him yes that I can stand up straighter. I told him that my problem is that I am retired (disability @ 50) and I have a high speed internet connection! I search everything, XLIF, artificial facet joint replacement etc. He said XLIF could be part of a larger surgery and artificial facet joints have not been successful.
He told me that the surgery was a success because I fused. The pain is a different story.
He has given me 3 options. Do nothing, and live with it. Have minimally invasive surgery to fuse and straighten out my spine from L-4 to L-1 (already have fusion at L5-S1). Or an "open" surgery for the same thing. Open = filet me like a fish!! He says if it is an open surgery he would be able to "see" my spine and can't see it with minimal. Both surgeries would be 360 degree. In through the front (stomach) and back. LONG surgery and even longer recovery.
My insurance has changed. My old insurance was GREAT, meaning better than Cadillac. New insurance is not as good.
No guarantee and maybe 50% chance of it relieving my pain.
How am I to make this decision!!??? Especially after the problems with my last surgery! :(