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I am scheduled for a first level spinal fusion of L4 and L5 in 2 weeks. I have heard the horror stories and yet I am looking forward to the surgery to be 'set free' from a life of pain - I have been suffering for about 10 years with pain and now weakness in both legs and feet. I would like to hear more encouraging stories - my goal is to be able to play tennis about 3-4 months post surgery! I am 54 yrs and used to play tennis several times a week as well as walking, swimming and dancing. Let me hear your story - thanks! M

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I am 35 years old and I was recently introduced to the debilitating world of nerve pain. I have been to three doctors and they all agree I have a significantly advanced degenerative disc disease with spondylolysthesis of the L5 - S1 vertebrae. I've been told the nerve root that is impinged is being suffocated by a collapsed vertebrae and time is of the essence to preserve nerve function before there is irreversible nerve damage. I'm scared. All anyone wants to say when they hear slipped disc is... exhaust everything before surgery. But the problem is any aggrivation on this poor nerve root could cause irreversible damage. And then when I do want the surgery I may not lose all the pain... but I'm scared.. And I know when you wrote this you were scared... maybe in the same place I am now so I wanted to tell you that in all the reading I have done and am doing... the one thing that comes back to me is that the road to recovery is long and hard but worth while. And I pray for a good recovery for you. I pray you are in the hands of a good doctor and you have a good hospital and that his or her hands are divinely guided.
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I had spinal fusion L4/L5 for Spondylolysthesis on July 6, 2009 . So far, I feel pretty good about the results. Recovery is definitely a long time. The back brace for 3 months and minimal walking and exercise. However, prior to surgery, I was unable to run a short distance without severe pain down my leg.
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