spinal fusion surgery questions
First let me tell you my history. 7 years ago I had a discetomy at l5-s1. Recovered 100%. 2 years ago fell out of my attic and fractures at l4 and l5. Last August, my back started hurting again so I went to see my docotor. I presented with low back pain and numbness in legs. Did physical therapy, medications with no relief. Did mri which showed two heriniationsl4-l5 and l5-s1. In dec, involved in auto accident and new mri showed both herniations had worsened and one was touching s1 nerve root. Also, in the report it was noted that i had at least moderate stenosis and also epidural liptmosis. I did two rounds epidural steroid injections that worked for a couple months then the numbness started in both legs. While on vacation in August I was rolling an icechest down a hallway and my back started hurting so bad I left the icechest behind. I could not move for two days. Since then things have gotten worse. Now getting shooting pains down to both feet. Big tow on both feet have sharp pains. I work on my feet for about eight hours a day and twoards the end of the day it feels like i am swinging my right leg. It really starts to hurt. The pain in my legs gets to be a real bad burning at times. Have sharp stabing pains in my back. It is really hard to get through a day of work. Besides the pain concentrating after taking vicoden does not work well. My doctor sent me for another esi and it did no good. He no longer does surgery so he refered me to another othopedic surgeon. Went to see him and he sent me to do an emg and said my leg pains could be caused by neuropathy. I did the test and the report show that there is denervation at both level and stated there is no signs of neuropathy. The doctor then said our option would be surgery but did not want to do this because of my age. He said that I would need to be two fused levels and that I would never work again. He said because of my history and my weight the chance of full recovery would not be good. I am at about 350lbs. He suggested that i get another opinion. This will actually be a third opinion because my original doctor told me I would need a fusion. That appointment is for next week. I have several questions that maybe someone can help with.
1) Is it true that with my history I will probably never work again?
2) Should I continue to work feeling the way I do. I do not feel productive anymore.
3)What questions should I ask?
4)My last mri was done in January should I get an updated one?
PLease give me your thoughts. I am so stressed about this. It will be hard enough to miss work for a simple surgery but to never work again was hard to hear. thanks