I am six months post-L5 extraforaminal decompression. The only thing that was done was to remove disc fragments (not bone) that had broken off, compressing the nerve, and causing SEVERE sciatica. The only other procedure was to repair a small tear in the L5 nerve sheath. About two months ago, I started developing chronic pain in my lower back, which radiates to my hips and front of my thighs. Walking up stairs is very painful, as is getting up from a sitting position and turning over in bed at night. I had another MRI, but everything looks "fine". I've tried a dosepak with no results, as well as physical therapy. I can barely walk, much less exercise like I used to. Any suggestions? An anesthesiologist affiliated with my surgeon is going to do and ESI next week. These didn't work prior to surgery, but knowing the surgical results, they wouldn't have worked then anyway. Trying to stay optimistic, but still feeling cynical.