All I can say, after 8 open spinal surgeries, is welcome to the club. I am not a total moron who is hooked on surgery. Each one involved instability and most were done on an emergency, near emergency basis, symptom wise.
Three surgeries were cervical and I am thrilled to say that my neck remains stable and relative free of pain after 15 years. There are a few arthritic changes but that is predictable and easily managed.
The lumbar is another story. The math is simple. Five open lumbar surgeries. Each one at least involved the infamous, ever popular l5-s1. The lumbar is loaded with metal.
Perhaps I have had bad luck but I havent had a spinal surgeon, yet, that I would refer Jack the Ripper to. They had fine reputations, worked out of major teaching hospitals and I got second opinions on everything when possible. I have always been told that every surgery was a flaming success and I was fusing. WRONG. Each one was a little god whose sub specialties were deception, manipulation and intimidation.
Can you tell the weather is terrible and I am in a dreadful pain flare? LOL!!! If it was just the two of you in the room when you discussed the surgical results, you can forget taking action. It's your word against his. I always take a wittness to that special appointment and find they are much more careful in chosing their words, qualifying everything. Even if you have a wittness, good luck finding another doctor to back you up. The good old boy system is alive and well. Best wishes.