I herniated a disc in Jan '05 and was dealing with severe pain off and on until November last year when I was off work for 9 weeks. I responded very well to conservative treatments and was pain free in the spring of this year. Slowly through the summer the pain returned and in late August I had to stop working again. I had a microdiscectomy on Sept 24 and it was the best decision I could have made. Last year when surgery was discussed I was totally against it for fear of making things worse. I made the decision for surgery because I was sick and tired of being in tremendous pain and conversative treatments had no effect any longer. Recovery has been up and down and quite strange at times. But now, 5 weeks post-op I'm doing fantastic. 99% of the pain is gone and the numbness in my foot is starting to fade. I'm going to start physical therapy next week and plan to return to work on modified duties (I'm an electrician). I say that for some cases surgery is an excellent choice. Don't let people scare you away from it.