I hope to provide at least one success story here. I am 10 wks post op L4-5 microdiscectomy of a massive disc bulge. I am painfree with the exception of a little stiffness in the area of the incision site. I am back to lifting weights at about 30-40% of my usual weight, although I feel I can do more, I am staying conservative and progressing each week. I have been able to perform my job duties without restrictions for about a month now. I am a physical therapist so I am on my feet all day. I avoid things that I think are not in keeping with good body mechanics. I can sit through 2 hour movie and even a long car drive of 6 hours. I'll get out of the car several times to allow my back a rest, but for the most part no pain. I am pain free for the first time in almost 8 years. My symptoms before surgery were severe nerve tension and electric, shooting type pain down my left leg when getting out of bed or after sitting, even for several minutes, as well as with bending. I continue to be conscientious of my posture and body mechanics. I do core strengthening several times per week as well as pool exercises, since I work 2 days per week at an aquatic rehab facility. I think having a top notch surgeon and being a good candidate for this surgery helped me have success. I waited 7 years to do this only because I thought I could overcome the symptoms with exercise and treatments I had such as PT and 3 epidurals. The bulge was just too big to have any long term affect. My outlook is to return to cycling up to 30-40 miles and cross train to minimize repetitive stress on my spine. I will contine weight lifting but I will modify exercises from now on that could be harmful to my disc. I know my spine has been altered with this surgery and with that in mind I will always be aware that I need to protect my back and hope I can live a long, healthy , active life without pain or at least minimal discomfort.