I knew my microfracture didn't work 6 months out because I did have the same stabbing pains I had before they drilled. I too had the cortisone shot which he also put lidocaine in so if I had pain relief for a few hours it was a sign that the drilling failed.
I can say though being 1 year out from OATS now, those stabbing pains are gone .. never had them in the OCD area since the surgery (although now experiencing them on opposite side of my ankle where no work was done
There are a lot of folks on here that had success with fusion that are very active and painfree and I don't get the impression they feel limited in anyway, so you may not want to discount it completely ... but wouldn't OATS come before fusion in your case? Or are they saying OATS wouldn't work for you and fusion is your only option?