Re: [B]How many fusions are a SUCCESS??[/B]
To Bob... be patient. That nerve pain will most likely come around. Might take a couple years but I had nerve pain from a previous back surgery that eventually came around. Of course, it might not, and you don't know until it does or doesnt, but keep hopeful. The nerve heals sooooo slowly.
To others who feel they may not have had a succussful fusion - while this is possible, don't mistake tightened unworked muscles for a failed fusion. (Yes even years later). Not accusing anyone of doing this, but if a person has surgery and then comes home, does a couple of their PT exercises and then forgets them after a couple months, they are most likely going to experience continued pain. Muscles are lazy and will go soft and it takes more than twice as long to build them back up with continued effort.
Something else to consider is that perhaps the pain you're experiencing isn't coming off the same disks that were fused. There may be additional or new problem disks. I know with my surgery, they didn't do all of the disks that needed attention at once. I may, or may not, need additional surgery down the road.
You mentioned your doctor seems to feel it was successful. He probably feels the success in that the bone matter actually fused. Ask him what his plan is for your pain.