kara, thanks for the update. remember that surgery is a LAST resort, not a first reaction to a problem. have you tried chiropractic? i have had great success with chiropractic even though some here have had some less than steller experiences. PT is also ofthe helpful and epifural steriod inkections help some people (the pain after an epidural steroid injection alm ost drove me to suicide). there are plusses and minuses with every modality. Be open and careful.
i know that having the films and the "proof" of your misery is helping to vindicate you for all of the agony you have been through.
hope this helps.