Do the benefits of a lumbar spinal fusion outweigh the risks?
I am 70 and have been diagnosed with advanced OA of lumber L4and L5 and an 'unstable' spine following an MRI. I am told other vertebra are fine (although suspect problem in neck but this has not been checked) . I am advised I need a fusion.
I am reasonably mobile - but can't bend easily and radiating pain (ache) across buttock and hip and down leg, but usually tolerable. Tingling in foot. I still walk the dog most days. I was shocked to be given this diagnosis and said I didn't think necessary as in past back pain has resided. Therefore I didn't ask many questions and not easy to get another appointment and the surgeon I saw was very matter of fact. I was told maybe a 90% chance of success but have read on line that sometimes that means fusion is ok but doesn't take account of other pains, and problems due to fusion. It seems so drastic that would appreciate more details about outcomes for people so I can make a better informed decision. I do appreciate everyone is different and nothing guaranteed.
Appreciate any information that is available - not sure were else to look