i've learned a lot from reading posts on these forums and am encouraged by people's advice on recovery and surgery. I've been blessed that my leg pain only started 3.5 weeks ago. i don't know what happened, i work as a firefighter-paramedic, and one day the back of my leg started hurting, like a pulled hamstring. i waited a week, as the symptoms got very quickly worse before i saw my GP. the pain down the back of my leg, through my calf into my foot was excruciating. my foot was getting numb and cold. i started PT (no relief) and medications. The next week i was even worse. of course i could not sit or drive. they moved up my MRI and i saw a pain management doctor who did an L5, S1 injection. no improvement. by the middle of the second week i was bedridden with pain and nothing helped. the pain mangement doc saw the results of MRI and recommended a neurosurgeon based on the severe herniation i had of L5, S1. by the end of the third week (This past monday the 21), Merry Christmas to me the neurosurgeon agreed and i had a L5 S1 microdiscectomy that day. my occupational therapist and nurses were surprised i had surgery only 3 weeks after the pain started but i could no longer perform daily activities, and was in danger of overdosing on narcotics, not to mention drinking alcohol along with them because the pain was so bad. i woke up from surgery in a ton of pain, no thanks to my anesthesiologist, who did not treat my post-op pain appropriately. However, i'm' now home, my leg pain is gone GONE,- except for when i roll over onto my left side from my back over my incision. my muscles are still a little weak but my foot reflexes are back. i am sore and stiff, taking muscle relaxers, using ice, and advil and percocet (percocet apporpriatly). this post-op pain is manageable and certainly nothing compared to my pain pre-op. i am a litte frustrated, i don't think i realized how long my reovery is actually going to be. more importantly, given the very physical job i have, i have started to consider a new career path. i'm only 28 and it scares me that i've herniated a disc this bad. my MRI looks good as far as the rest of my spine, though i do have some stinosis of my lumar spine.