I was hoping some of you out there could give me your opinion on my situation. I will try to be brief. To my knowledge I did not suffer an injury, I just woke up about 3 years ago with severe lower back pain. I was referred to a NS who did a discogram and told me I had DDD, and a bulging L5 S1 disc with a grade 5 annular tear. He said I was an excellent candidate for an artificial disc replacement, or a fusion. He was a very reputable surgeon. I was freaked out by surgery because I was 38 at the time and had not tried any conservative therapy. I told him I wanted to try more conservative methods first, and he warned me that he didn't believe I would get any relief. I got into a pain management clinic and tried epidural steroid injections, facet injections, and a nerve block, all with no relief. My pain doctor put me on oxycodone and told me she felt I had exhausted all conservative methods and that I need to have surgery. So, I just tried to manage the pain with oxycodone, as I found out my husband was being transferred and we were going to be in the middle of a move and it was no time for back surgery. We moved to Houston in January of this year, and I finally decided it was time to try to deal with my back again. I found the name of a good NS and called to try to get an appointment, but rather than making an appointment for me, they just scheduled me an appointment for an MRI. Then they called me, without me ever seeing this doctor or knowing my history at all, and told me "I'm not surgical" so they can't see me. I told them I was told three years ago that I was surgical due to the annular tear, and they said the mri didn't show any annular tear, only some disc disruption or bulging, and I should get in with a pain clinic. So, I am confused, and feel extremely frustrated. I am tired of constantly living in pain and don't know where to turn. I feel like I did the pain clinic thing and got nowhere. Is it possible that the annular tear wouldn't show up on the MRI? It isn't that I want surgery, I would rather not have surgery, but my back is dictating every moment of my life right now and I need to get help. I appreciate anyone's thoughts.