Joan had a fall several weeks ago, resulting in a compression fracture in her lower spine. Around the same time she started having the sciatic pain that has troubled her for several years. An epidural injection of cortisone did not help with the pain, and in late October she met with a neurosurgeon. He recommended a two-part back surgery: 1, inject cement (that's the word he used) into the fracture to stabilize it. 2. Scrape away some of the bone spur impinging on her sciatic nerve. Joan is scheduled for surgery this Wednesday, November 14, at Kaiser Sunnyside Medical Center. The procedure will take a couple hours, after which she'll stay a night or two in the hospital. After that we'll learn whether she's ready to go home or have a stay at a rehab center.