Surgery? I hope to hell not. Pain down the leg? Yup. It'll go shooting down my left leg like fire. Really does suck. I've just recently started seeing the back-cracker, and so I hope that helps.
Oooh yeah, been there, done that.
About 10 years ago I threw my back out. Didn't really realize it for about another year, just dealing with that "shooting pain down the leg". Finally one day I got up out of bed, stood up.... didn't make it all the way up, and hit the floor screaming.
I called my mom for advice (she having been an R.N. for quite a long time) as to whether I need to see a doctor or a chiropracter. She said try the chiropracter first, then see how it goes.
I passed out in the reception area.
A month of twice-weekly visits got me on my feet (and back to work) again, but little twinges of pain lingered for the next ten years.
About two months ago it made me go back for one last time......now I'm good as new, and sincerely happy about the results. Should've went back years ago.
Best of luck with this, I hope everything turns out good.