This is my first post! I am 22 and have been dealing with back pain for over 3 years now. I had a large herniated disk at L5-S1 and after trying conservative treatment for over a year I had a discectomy. About a year after surgery the pain came back and over the last 8 months has gotten progressively worse. I had an MRI recently and it is pretty clear that the disk space has shrunk a lot and the disc is herniated again (but not nearly as big as last time). My Dr. thinks the pain is due to the disc space, not the small herniation.
When I was seeing surgeons prior to my discectomy most of them said that I was too young for a fusion. Now I am a year older and talking to surgeons again (different ones than I talked to before the discectomy) who are suggesting that I have a fusion. Also, my PT said that she thinks I am too young to be having a fusion. So Im confused if I am too young or not. I cant imagine that one year makes that big of a difference.
Has anyone around my age had experience with having a fusion? Do you think having a fusion now will cause me problems in the future?
I'm kind of freaked out by the idea of a fusion and really dont want to do it. Does any one have any suggestions of other options?