Marield65: I had my first back surgery 32 years ago. I had a bulging disc and one icy day I slipped, didn’t fall but twisted my spine in such a way that two vertebrae nipped off a chunk of disc and it got tangled in nerves. No CT scans or MRIs back then! After months of excruciating pain and useless treatments I finally connected with a great neurosurgeon who did a Myelogram and when he saw how bad it was he did the surgery the next day at 6 am so he could still be best man in his partner’s wedding at noon. Such excitement…it all happened so fast I didn’t have time to be afraid of my first surgery. After 30 years of no back pain, it got bad again because so much scar tissue and bone growth occurs that my spinal canal was packed in and crushing my spinal cord. The surgery to correct it went well but I did need two fusions. I had no pain for 6 months but then it got progressively worse until now I’m pretty disabled. The pain Dr calls it failed back surgery but so far tests show my spine looks ok, I’m thinking it’s a trapped nerve and may end up at Mayo.
I have also had two cervical spine surgeries, two fusions with the first one and one fusion with the second one. I was told at the time that the second surgery was necessary because of additional stress on my spine from the first surgery. Again, I had a fantastic surgeon which I believe makes all the difference. I also faithfully did neck strengthening exercises with a great physical therapist. I think if you have faith in your surgeon, you should have the fusion.done. To just let it go would cause more damage over time. Good luck! Let me know what you decide. Fran (Maxiesmom). fyi: Maxie is Maximillion, my white long-haired chihuahua.