New here and terrified. 36 years old and an otherwise very healthy male, I had a microdiscectomy performed in late February '12 after herniating my L5-S1. Surgery was deemed a success and my sciatica was a thing of the past, however it's now less than 6 months later and after the pain returned a new MRI confirmed the disc is degenerating. Like the disc I was crushed. At first I thought I may be able to deal with occasional bouts of pain and allow the bones to fuse on their own, but it's now a daily fight and I don't think I have any other option. My fear now is I'm destined to a life of repeated back surgeries, continual reduction of mobility and never again regaining 100% of my former self. Are my fears unfounded?
For what reasons are particular methods of fusion (posterior vs. anterior, etc.) chosen? Is one method more successful than others? I have so many questions yet don't even know how to ask them.