Thanks for all the replies! Wow, this is a great board!
HalfPass, we'll continue our pm...
Lacyloo, wow! That's great you were back riding so quickly! Thanks for the inspiration!
Lucentael, I'd like to think my surgeon is reputable. He's the director of neurosurgery for a collection of local hospitals, has an impressive resume, and has been recommended by a few other back doctors that he'd be the one to pick for a fusion. However, he did my lami/discectomy and it was unsuccessful. He told me that fusions are about 80% successful. I'm terrified to be part of the 20%.... I also have rheumatoid arthritis which tends to slow my healing and recovery so not sure how that'll impact the fusion. I've asked for fusion patient references but thanks to privacy laws, they cannot give me any names.
PaintHorseMares, I have an amazing sports medicine guy that does PT/rehab. I think I'll be in good hands with him post-op.
Maura, my discipline is dressage. Of course I would love to continue with that pursuit post-op but worst case scenario, as long as I can even trail ride (maybe jump logs along the way), ride a trot & canter, I'd be ok. I have a 4 yr old horse that I bought as a yearling. I'm constantly reminded by loved ones that an older, more seasoned horse would be much wiser but my gelding is truly my dream horse on so many levels and I can't imagine parting with him for any amount of money or for any reason. He's got a great mind and is quite brave so I'm not too worried.
MissH, thanks for your kind post!
Thanks again to everyone.
Of course I'd love a clearcut "here's how it's going to be" but I realize everyone is different and no two cases are the same and it's impossible to know how it'll turn out for certain. I'm trying to hold out until the fall to have the fusion. I don't want the summer to pass me by completely. Our winter has been soooo long that I'd like to be able to enjoy the nice weather for a bit. At the rate I'm degenerating, I don't know if I'll make it that long though.
Happy riding to everyone out there!