Hello, I have been on this blog for about 5-6 years. I've have a L2-S1 fusion with the hardware and screws 7 1/2 hrs of surgery and a year not doing anything. (2010) I was so dependent on pain medications all day. Vicodin 7.5 maybe 4 or so a day and muscle relaxers. I used the Lidocaine patches also which helped some. Then I have another herniation in 2013 and had another surgery L2 -L3 fused and removal of the old hardware. Now I have a 5 level fusion. I had alot of pain in my hip region which they took the bone out for grafting - I think . My Ortho doctor gave me Neurontin. It's for nerve pain. I've been on it a year now and my back pain has lessened so much. I will have some pain with house cleaning but it's no where near what I used to get. I take 100 mg a day. I think it's worth a look see for some of those out there who are looking for help. You can get generic . That's what I get. I've been weaned off my pain medications pretty good with only taking one when I absolutely have to. It was hard but I knew I could not go on for years taking them. I had already taken them since my surgery.