Newbie here. Can say I have learnt more here about the practical realities of back surgery than anywhere else.
So, here's my story:
Isthmic spondy with breathtaking bouts of sciatica. Neurontin and diclofenac helped but left me stupid. After 6 months of worsening pain, two opinions later had a PLIF.
Horrid pain postop, still highly troublesome at 6 weeks postop. NS1 treated me as if it were all in the head. So, gritted my teeth, worked, and took up swimming. A lot of swimming.
At 10 months out, decided to ask my GP for a new referral, to a patient-friendly doctor. Success! Someone that actually listened! And imaged me!
The upshot is I have 4 loose screws, cages that have sunk into the bone and at last an explanation for my ongoing pain.
I am scheduled for an ALIF next week.