Fusion surgery at L5-S1 is one of the more common areas to fuse and it usually has really good results, pain relief wise. TLIF fusion is a way of accessingand fusing from the side of the vertebra instead of the traditional PLIF surgery. It's better pain wise than PLIF surgery as well.
L5-S1 discs have the least amount of movement of the lumbar spine, so I can see why he wants to fuse that disc alone and not any others. Here is a really good link that explains the spine and talks about the lumbar area in particular-http://www.eorthopod.com/node/10848
and here's anotherhttp://www.allaboutbackpain.com/html/spine_general/spine_general_anatomy.html
As far as fusion one disc causing another to go is not always the case, in fact, another disc may or may not ever have problems, with or without fusion. It is one of those things that there is no way of knowing if it will ever happen to you. I have discs above and below my fusion that are pretty badly off, but they have not blown yet and most probably never will.
I would suggest that you get at least one more opinion and then research what each surgeon tells you. Pick the one that you feel is the best suited for you, one that you have confidence in.
I wish you the best,
PLIF/TLIF Fusion w/Instrumentation L4-5 Spondololysthesis L4-5.Laminectomies L4-5, foraminal stenosis L3-4, L4-5, L5-S1, herniations L3-4, L4-5, L5-S1, central canal stenosis L3-4, L4-5 and L5-S1
POST OP CES 3/30-06
Neurogenic Bladder and Bowel, bilateral numbness legs and feet
Revision for failed Back surgery, pseudoarthrosis L4-5, hemilaminectomies L3-4, L4-5, L5-S1, bmp added to revision fusion, replaced two bent screws that were reversing out of vertebrae - August 2, 2007
On going back pain and neuropathic pain, failed back surgery, consult for scs, decided not to do that at this point.
Adhesive Arachnoiditis also......just what I didn't need..9/08- adding bilateral ulnar neuropathy with severe compression to the mix. They want me to see a surgeon for ulnar nerve surgery, but I'm not biting.
I've seen enough surgeons over the last few years.
Avascular necrosis of left wrist- maybe hips too