just a note to those who have put off surgery after hearing so many horror stories. I had degenerative spondilothesisis and lived with horrible sciatica for years because of all the stories I had heard. Now I wish I had the surgery done a long time ago because I am pain free for the first time in years. I had ALIF surgery done on L4,L5 disc along with pedicle screws and rods put in. They are so much better about pain management in the hospital these days. It's been years since I had surgery Back then I remember after 3 hours begging for another pain shot. Now with the morphine pump there was little discomfort and after the pump was removed I had dilaudid shots and pain pills. Was walking 1 day after surgery with a cane and was home after 3 days. I am mostly pain free from the surgical area - some discomfort in the incision area in front but MUCH better than sciatica pain!! I am walking for about an hour a day now - something I couldn't have dreamed of prior to surgery. If you find a surgeon you feel comfortable with and have faith in then don't put it off. My life was on hold for way too long and now I'm looking forward to being able to enjoy it again!!