Well, maybe what I had is not exactly “minor surgery”… even though the actual procedure only takes about 15 minutes. They opened me up in the lumbar region and removed some of the excess protruding disk material, which had been pressing onto the nerves and caused most of the pain. So, yeah, a bit “scary”, but worth it in the end.
Still, talk to as many MDs and people with similar experiences as possible to get a good idea of what is involved and what the chances for improvements are.
I had a block earlier on (local targeted injection of pain killers, anti-inflammatory agents and steroid hormones), which is essential in that it allows some of the muscles involved to stop cramping and allows the built up inflammation to be healed. That is often sufficient to get you back on the right track; however, if nerve pain is involved, a block is probably (unfortunately) not enough IMO.