Sorry I was late to respond.
Here is the quickest way I can sum it up. After the surgery, I was still able to make progress in things like power lifting. However, I never got back the complete explosiveness, mobility and stability in quick movements for athletic things like basketball.
Also, I have had periodic bouts with extreme back pain. For the first few years, the pain would be in the injured area and this is bearable. Last summer I began to have some of the leg pain and numbness I had prior to the surgery. This is why I went with the epidural. It gets tough to live this way.
Good luck healing.