Concern re: ALIF Surgery with limited pre op pain
I am scheduled for my first single level ALIF at L4-L5 this Monday. I have always been very athletic.. I've been diagnosed with degenerative disc disease and foriminal stenosis and when doing any kind of pedal motion - walking, cycling, swimming, indoor rowing, etc I have a radiating burning sensation, general weakness and numbing in my right leg. I've tried non conservative treatments like prednisone, epidural steroid, and gabepentin all of which did not relieve the symptoms when I start to be active/exercise. i have no pain when sitting or standing; when I am active I push for as long as I can to failure and loss of power, wait about 30 seconds and can start again. Repeat. After doing research and reading people's online experiences my sense is that only people in great pain for a long time have spinal fusion surgery. I understand that the recovery will be painful and it will be a long time before I can get back to being active and get back to the lifestyle I want. I'd really like to get any feedback from others who chose to do fusion surgery even though they were relatively pain free. What has your experience been regarding success of the surgery and are you in more pain now than before you had the surgery? Appreciate any insights. I want to get back to my lifestyle but not at any cost. Thanks.