I'm revisiting spinal forums with continuing degenerative disc back issues. I had a microdiscectomy for rupture L-5 S-1 in Feb '08 with good relief of sciatica until July '09 and re-herniated.This time I avoided surgery cuz I never lost any leg function like last time. The disc sat on my nerve for 8 weeks in July and Aug. I now have minimal leg pain but now have developed low back pain. I tried a epidural steroid injection but great relief for only one week. My current mri shows a large herniated disc impinging on my l-5 s-1 nerve root and the vertebral endplates now showing progressive bone marrow edema changes from my July mri. My neuro says I will most likely need a fusion at l-5 s-1. I guess it's just a quality of life issue, but I'm only 49 and can basically only work and do my daily activities.I only currently take advil for pain. We can't seem to increase my pt because of my very irritated nerve root. Just looking for any experience from anyone who has been through this. I am from upstate ny and I am seeing the head of spinal surgery at The Hospital for Special Surgery on Dec 7th for a second opinion.