I had spinal surgery to fuse L45 six months ago. My surgeon says I had a perfect result. How can that be when my pain level is only slightly better? What's so perfect about that?
Studies show it's not uncommon for patients and surgeons to disagree about the results of spinal fusion. Your surgeon may be looking at X-ray results or other imaging studies and seeing a solid fusion. When there's no motion and no sign of instability, the fusion may be considered perfect.

At the same time, you feel the results are unsatisfactory due to minimal change in your painful symptoms. A patient's preoperative expectations may affect the level of satisfaction after surgery.

If you expected complete pain relief, you might be disapointed with anything less. If you hoped the symptoms wouldn't get worse, then your satisfaction goes up when the symptoms improve even slightly.

It may be a good idea to let your surgeon know how you feel and discuss this situation. There may be other treatment options available that could enhance your results. It's also possible that you will continue to see improvement over the next six months.