Just wanted to share a bit about a successful L5/S1 PLIF surgery that I had on 6/24/09. Brief history: Herniated L5/S1 disk sometime around Sept 07. Had an epidural, worked great! Did too much in gym which led to really bad pain in early 08. Had an L5/S1 Diskectomy/Laminectomy in March 08. I never really got much relief from that, still bad pain in lower back, numb left leg and pain in left foot. Took 8 Norco/day & 9 Neurontin/day from March 08 on, continued to work after 6 week LOA. Two surgeons recommended surgery through front & back and said 9 ~ 12 month recovery. New surgeon from Kaiser recommended PLIF w/3month recovery (Much better). Had surgery 6/24/09, absolutely painful, had a real hard time controlling it, in hospital for seven days. Had great family help at home, bought a real nice walker with wheels and started walking within a few weeks. Really bad withdrawls when trying to taper Norco - completely stopped Neurontin at 7/28. Dr. recommended Suboxone, not sure if that was a good idea, did about a 45 day taper with that, no real issues other than one day of bad flu symptoms and several sleep deprived nights. Maybe would have been same with just Norco taper??? Anyway, it's now been over 9 weeks and I have ZERO pain, except when I sneeze :O and bending is still a bit uncomfortable, but overall, just standing, walking, laying down, and sitting is all good thus far. I'm walking 1 to 2.5 miles/day and walking in the pool every day too. I know many are not so lucky, and I truly wish and hope that everyone will find relief. Thank you to all that have posted as the information on this forum is so very helpful.
Take care and good luck to all,