I'm not exactly sure I'm replying where and how I'm supposed to be but, oh well......To answer some questions: I never really had any back pain. I did have a massive muscle spasm after going for a wide forehand without warming up but the truth of the matter is that I had had episodes of mild pain and tightness in my low back for a few years. Its noteworthy that this pain never was bad enough to make me go see a doctor. Rather, I noticed weakness in my legs, then numbness and tingling, then more weakness. This was when I went to my doctor and said "I think something is wrong". The weakness was pretty pronounced. I found myself taking the elevator and dreading the stairs. The problem has always been with the nerve. The surgery made the nerve even angrier but it was nerve pain--that burning, searing stabbing, crying "ouch" outloud nerve pain that is my nemesis. The surgery didn't "fix" my back pain. The spondy --or brokern vertebra was pressing on the nerve and caused nerve damage (hence the pain in the legs and butt---funny (ha ha) my butt muscles were not receiving any messsages at all from my brain due to the nerve damage. Other, smaller muscles were kicking in to help me walk. These muscles, in turn, got angry with their workload and began to hurt themselves. Now, since the laminectormy took the pressure off of my L5 nerve, I have sensation in mu butt, specifically MY BUTT HURTS. It feels like knives being stabbed into my gluts. Thanks, Dr. Surgeon Man! I've tried EVERY NERVE DRUG in the PDR and have had serious side effects with all of them The Lyrica really really helps the pain but my feet are the size of hams and I gained 5# in one week. (I gained 30# in one year with Neurontin). The Cynbalta made my stomach sick. the Effexor made me anxious/panicky (as do most OPIOIDS, by the way-- i KNOW eFFEXOR IS NOT AN OPIOID). I saw my surgeon today almost a year and a half past my surgery date. He, too, thinks I can get better its just as the more time that passes, the less likely my chances and the higher the pain level I will have to tolerate. Maybe the nerve was too severely damaged and it can't come back. Today, he gave me a DVD and some info about a neurostimulator. The thought of seeing another doctor or having another procedure makes me want to barf but............Through this all I'm working full time but have dropped all my fun activities, except, apparently, eating sweets. I'VE GAINED 50 POUNDS. Yuk Ich. Yeach. Thanks goodness I wan't heavy when I started. I am depressed. (Not taking anything).