Until recently, fusion of the lumbar spine was a massive operation with a high complication rate. Modern techniques now allow a much more minimal approach with a lower risk and complication rate. A single level fusion can now be carried out by 2 short incisions either side of the spine. Recovery is usually rapid and the patient may mobilize as soon as they have recovered from the anaesthetic. In patient stay is 2-4 days. The patient may resume normal activities as soon as symptoms are settling which may be by 4-6 weeks. It must be appreciated that this is still a very major procedure and results can be mixed. It should therefore only be undertaken if the condition is serious.