My experience was a bit different.

Mine turned me into a pretzel, couldn't stand up or sit down and could only lie down in some strange positions. The doctors gave me what the nurse described as "the biggest dose of Demerol I've ever given"-- two shots in each arm. Then sent me to tests which even with the Demerol were horrible. They had me in surgery first thing next morning.

I had , I think, three days of recovery in hospital with very little discomfort. I started walking the hallway (with my iv) the second day, and continued walking right through about three weeks of recovery at home.

The surgeon said the operation would be good for about 20 years if I followed the physio therapist's instructions. That was in 1981, and I haven't felt so much as a twinge since (there is a very small amount of permanent nerve damage around the big toe of my left foot). The surgeon did tell me (when I asked him) to sell my parachute (and I haven't jumped since). But I have thru-hiked the AT twice, plus a whole lot of other trail miles, and p0ortaged canoes often (though I have dropped down to a 14 ft. Kevlar).

There is also another proceedure that involves injecting something akin to Oscar's Meat Tenderizer that is supposed to have about the same success rate as the surgery. My surgeon estimated that he gets fully effective long term results from the surgery about 85 percent of the time.

Not too surprisingly, I recommend the surgery.

Best, jcp