I do think that a fusion is the correct procedure for your situation. Finding a great surgeon is not easy. Chech the section regarding questions to ask your surgeon on this website to understand what some benchmarks are.
If you are going to a university hospital, make sure the surgeon you talk to is going to perform the entire surgery and the fellow will sticktly be an assistant.
I have been thinking long and hard about how to discover who is a good surgeon and this is a difficult question to answer. It might be helpful to ask what the dural leak frequency is. I have about 2 dural leaks in every 500 surgeries generally including revisions so that might be a good benchmark question to ask. Is the dural leak rate 1 in every 100 or one in every 10?