the pain is alittle different than before. Now it's just intense. I'm taking Kadian twice a day and vicodin. I believe without the kadian, that the pain level would be around 7 or 8. i wake up atleast 3 times a night and have to lay on a heatring pad. That helps me to go back to sleep. As far as going into the front. I think they did that so they could remove the damaged disks.