I don't have "back to work" input because I'm between jobs at the moment. I had the bone harvested from my hip though so wanted to comment on my experience with that. I had a TLIF on 2/25/04.
I'd read that could be painful so that worried me the most pre-surgery. It turned out I didn't have any pain from the harvest region for about 7 weeks after surgery. It began around week 8 and continued for about 2 months. It's now about 98% gone. It never got unbearable, but it did hurt. I was allowed to take Aleve because I was 2 months out of surgery and that helped a lot. Took a leftover pain pill (prescription) for a 'bad' day.
Work-wise -- I'm a computer tech, jobless at the moment. But I do jobs 'on my own' and got back to that in June. For me, I think I would've felt ok going back to work f/t after about 10 weeks -- not so much before then.
Also btw, my surgery ended my sciatica. Per my x-ray at last visit, the doc could see the beginning of bone growth.
In general, I feel terrific.