Like you, most of us were scared to death at the prospect of surgery. You would be surprised at how many people have actually gone through this surgery. It is a lot more common than you would think. If you do need surgery use your research to find a doctor with a good reputation. I have needed more than 1 surgery because I had a number of disks with problems. After each surgery my symptoms gradually went away. I had to learn what my limitations were as far as activities are concerned, but I feel so much better than pre surgery. I'm not saying that I don't get aches and pains, but most of the time it is from pushing my body to hard. Just like with any other surgery there are no guarentees. It will take some time for the symptoms to improve...just like a broken leg would take time to heal. Whatever path you need to take, have faith and keep us informed.