So unfortunately, I officially morphed into the L5S1 herniation community as a fighter pilot. It's been one of those things that's been going on for....well years, but I finally gave in and got an MRI. So I'm now DNIF, in the Reserves with 17 years TIS(only 12 active tho). It seems like the option is easily available to get treated, get a waiver, and return to flying fighters. I feel tho that the risk is high to reanger the disc and be right back in the hurt locker if I continue flying. Other pilots with this issue, or something similar and expected outcome? Or how did you handle the situation? Options I see are to 1) get a waiver and continue flying to a reserve retirement with risk that I'll hurt my back more, 2) see if I can just keep goin at my reserve unit doing things other than flying for 3 years to get a reserve retirement(but I want to be in the AF to fly fighter jets, not to dream up OPRs for people), 3)Medical separation/retirement options as a reservist?
Seems to be several options out there. I imagine other fighter pilots have gone through this, so looking for opinions/best ways forward. TIA