I had my "last" doctor's appointment with neurosurgery today (there's a chance they want me to come in for another one). He told me I am doing pretty well considering I should probably be paralyzed. He also said that the alignment of the titanium cage looks good and my flexion is remarkable; usually fusions in this area restrict your flexibility quite a bit so I am lucky that I can bend as well as I do.
I noticed on the X-ray that my spine seemed crooked. I looked at previous images and found that this was not new. I asked the doctor about it and he said that it is usually impossible to get things perfectly straight after a burst fracture (good to know, I guess). I suppose that explains my miraculous twisting tummy: in case you were not aware, when I flex my six pack (ha), my belly button shifts over to the right side. In fact, flexing or not I think I am little lopsided. Apparently that isn't going away any time soon.
I also found out that I have about a 20% chance of needing another surgery within 5 years. My cushy deskjob actually makes me a little less likely and I can improve my odds even more by staying slim (time to start the diet again) and doing strength training for my core. Of course, Wendy is thrilled to have a solid medical/financial reason to insist on washboard abs. I guess it can't hurt... Apparently the extra strain on the remaining vertebrae can cause some wear and shifting and sometimes it gets bad enough that they have to go in and fix it. Fortunately, my good recovery, age, and the lack of a degenerative disease all play to my favor. In any case, I think I am done going to the doctor's office. I prefer to live in ignorance (and with my money, thank you).