Hi, I've been around but just not posting much. Sorry this is a long one. I had a minimally invasive TLIF of the L4/L5 oct 26/2009. Recovery has been up and down. The actual surgery went well, home within 2 days, no complications. Off opiates within 1 week. Started physio at 7 weeks but was not able to continue. Developed pain in my left leg and continued having pain in my right leg. Physio just was not sure what was wrong with me and wanted me to see the surgeon. Had a ct scan in emergency on Jan 01. Nothing of any real interest could be found. My own family doctor prescribed, gabapentin, cymbalta. Both did not help with the nerve pain and had a lot of side effects for me. I was finally able to see my neurosurgeon in early Feb and he went over ct scan, said everything looks great. But he was puzzled about my continued leg pain and ordered an mri to check out all lower lumbar levels. He said the usual, nerves can take 1 year to regenerate, sometimes they only come back 60%, sometimes they get a memory etc etc. In the mean time he prescribed a dose of amitriptyline at bedtime to help me sleep and break the cycle of pain & depression(it was starting). I was able to sleep a bit better, sitting became easier and I was not awoken by pain. At around 5 months I started going to acupuncture and I think that has helped a bit. I have seen improvement in my condition with this surgery. But I am still suffering right buttock & leg pain. It ranges from just annoying to burning painful. I am not taking any meds consistently for it. Yesterday I saw the neurosurgeon regarding my MRI. His words were "The Mri does not show any pressure on the nerves on either side at all. The site of surgery looks excellent. I am at a loss as to explain your symptoms. I do not see any need for more surgery." Indeed the Mri did not show problems at any other levels, he said I did not have a lot of scar tissue and internally I had healed very well. I asked him about pressure on nerves when standing. He said that I would have some pathology to indicate that is happening and I did not have it. I then asked him about fusion. He didn't really explain if I had any or if I did, how much. He said one does not see fusion till about a year and some of the new info out there was that in patients 60 to 70 and older it is not as important to see a solid fusion. I asked him if the screws can break, he said they can but he said you're pretty little and that should not happen. I could tell he was done with me. I gathered he would not actively be following my fusion or fusing. I don't know who will be. He agreed to refer me to a neurologist for an EMG to see just what is happening with the nerve. One if his comments was that sometimes these things just go on for awhile and then just finally burn out. He hoped things settle down over time. I don't know how I feel. In Canada we are so short of neurosurgeons that perhaps they don't follow their patients till they fuse. Any Canadians out there who can comment on their experience. What can I hope to learn from an EMG? Has anyone had continued improvement after 6 months? How long did it take? Thanks in advance for your comments.