Hi Lynne, I know for me, I had to have the surgery. It the vertabra slipped a tiny bit more it would have been bad and emergency surgery. So I guess I am the same. Before surgery it hurt every day. Now it hurts everyday but worse. I still hold hope that one day I will wake up and be pain free or at least able to function. The Neurosurgeon seems to be using the 9 month as a guage for when the pain will be better. I'm 7 months now. Before the surgery I was using a TENS machine every waking moment. Not I'm using it with Oxycodone, Skelaxin and Lyrica. Somewhere down the line it has to get better. Gotta hope. I think you are right about the CT results. Unless the hardware has a problem, what can the dr. really do? I don't know. My surgeon said he will do tests in June if still in pain. I didn't ask what kind of tests. Sometimes I rather not know because I will obsess about it. I hope your boyfriend feels better.