I am 53 years old. Since I was a child I suffered crippling back pain. When I was 8 years old a doctor recommended a body cast for six months. Thankfully my mother said no!
Through the years I had recurrent severe bouts of pain that would leave me bed-ridden. These began to occur more and more frequently. An MRI finally revealed spondylolisthesis with L4. I do not have an L5 incidentally. It was not bad enough for surgery yet.
But, I had a fall on ice when I was a volunteer for the 88 Olympics in Calgary and was bed ridden for a month. I put it down to my regular old back trouble. However, the situation deteriorated at an accelerated rate and finally in 05 another x-ray had the radiologist questioning whether I'd been in a car accident.
Looking at my MRI and x-rays I asked my surgeon if exercise would help it. He said simply, "See how far out that is? How exactly would exercise help that?"
So I had a fusion from L4 to S1 (one level for me) with the titanium rods and screws and it was the best thing I've ever done. I can do things I could never do before. I can walk for hours (before I could only walk ten to fifteen minutes before I was in a lot of pain).
I'm very glad I did it even though I did acquire a hospital borne infection (I work in a hospital and know how often that happens!). I feel like a new person.