I have visited this site many times in the past and this is my first time to post. I have been impressed with the caring and support I have seen (read!) and I now find myself wanting to seek others out that may have gone through what I am going through right now. Here's my history:
T3-L3 fusion with Harrington Rod (single) at age 13. I am now 51.
No real issues beyond some pain everyday and some "flare ups" that I have developed ways to cope with. At one point about 20 years ago with a flare up of pain in my right leg that was persistent, I had a CT which showed marked degeneration of the facets at L4. Duh. Was put on daily NSAID which I continue to take (Vioxx, Celebrex, and now Mobic). Fast forward to a few years ago and I had increased right lower back pain which I started seeing a massage therapist for and continue to do so with really good results.
Back in July of last year, I noticed pain in my right groin that would head down my anterior thigh only while walking. My hubby convinced me to go have it checked out in November. I had hip xrays (mild arthritis) and xrays - the only thing different about the xrays from before is now the lower hook of the Harrington Rod rests on my L5 spinous process, so I've lost some height obviously in the adjacent level below the fusion. I underwent a CT Myelogram (wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy) and those results showed severe sclerotic changes, degeneration at L4. The right L4 foramen is somewhat collapsed and show bone spurs. My leg pain varies from "yes, it is there" to I can't walk hardly. I am scheduled for a selective nerve root block next week, so if my leg pain goes away, I am then assured it is the L4 nerve root exit problem. I was so hoping for a hip replacement instead - lesser of two evils, right?! Anyway, I am told the "fix" would be to fuse L4 to the sacrum, even though my L5-S1 space is fantastic.

Has anyone out there faced this before? I would like to hear about your experiences and opinions.

I know I have been extremely lucky given the circumstances; I am married, have 2 kids, 17 and 30, a nurse by education and a great job as a clinical manager with a medical device company. I work a lot with chronic pain patients, so I have a healthy aversion to taking any kind of pain medications on a routine basis. I have good benefits and a robust short and long term disability policies through work. I am truly blessed in that I can be off for many months if needed without a pay cut. So, work and economically speaking, I can undergo the surgery without much hassle. Emotionally and physically speaking, I am dragging my feet big time. I would appreciate any input you all may have!