Well, my husband has had three very successful surgeries. Two lumbar and one neck over a period of about 12 years. It has given him his life back. He was barely able to walk, and is now skiing again.
Surgeon would only do after extensive PT, injections, etc. for years... But once done, miraculous. My cousin's wife suffered for a year with sciatic pain. She is in her 80s so they didn't want to operate. She had PT, injections (useless) and pain clinic sessions. finally they did orthoscopic surgery, found she had a cyst on the nerve. removed it. She's pain free. Niece had drop foot and severe burning pain. had lumbar surgery about two months ago. At first, she thought it was a disaster. lots of pain. but over time it got better and she too is now pain free. Her mother had multiple surgeries, none worked. (family genetics = bad backs) So both husband and niece understandably reluctant to resort to surgery. Both wish they'd done it sooner.
That's a small sampling of 4 with 3 of 4 benefitting from surgery. They range in age from 30s to 80s in all sorts of general physical condition. You are a doctor. You know that anecdotal evidence (yours or mine) is not how to base an opinion.
REPEAT.... Find a great doctor you trust and have your specific situation analyzed to see what is best for you.