Sorry about the slow answer, as you've always been quick to answer everyone's questions on this thread.
You asked why I was so reluctant to have surgery. Three reasons:
1. I may not be much better off. From the posts on this thread over many years, most people seem to have had a much slower ecovery than you did. However, as I've posted before, that may be because those without problems don't have a need to visit this thread anymore. Right now, my recovery without surgery seems to be progressing at about the same pace as many who have had it. I just went off the anti inflammatory meds three days ago. I'm adding mileage VERY slowly, but yesterday I went back to my old very hilly trail for the first time in six moinths. Did just 4 1/2, but only feel minor irritation today. I'll try another four or so on a one hill route today. Still no way to know, however if one bad movement could tear what's left of my frayed connection.
2. A big issue for me is that I feel a bit guilty using so many medical resources covered by insurance to indulge my hobbies. Between my work as a contractor and my soccer and running passions I've been seeing ER docs, PT's, chiros, surgeons etc. quite a bit the last few years. I've decided that I'll have surgery if I need it to work, or to maintain normal recreational activities (for me that includes runs up to six miles) but not to play soccer or allow longer runs.
3. Finally, work-wise it would be hard for me to go backwards to beginning recovery again after surgery. Right now I can lift fairly heavy items (very carefully) and with a small crew (I have just three employees right now) that's important.
Bottom line-If I improve at all in the next three weeks I will cancel my return visit to Meyers and wait and see how I do for a few more months.
By the way, thanks for all your great posts and info
That's a very reasonable way to think about it. I think shoeless joe had a great post on this injury that just about says it all. Some folks can recover without surgery if they are really patient. But it may take a long while.
As far as your point #2, I don't think you should feel guilty for one minute about using health care to remain active. Your healthy, active lifestyle over the years has probably saved your employer plenty of money in your not having missed much work. Also, your healthy lifestyle has also prevented you from developing outrageously expensive chronic diseases. The people who should feel guilty are people who are lazy, fat slobs. They're the ones who develop type II diabetes and other obesity-related chronic diseases at relatively young ages. They spend the rest of their years on expensive medications. They miss far more work because of health issues. And they will require many more expensive surgeries and treatments than the amateur athlete ever will.
Meyers cost my insurance company about $30K. That is peanuts compared to what the average obese man my age has probably cost the same insurer. Not to mention that I have the prospect of being a far less expensive client in the next 20-30 years than any obese person my age.