So in December 2012, I injured my back playing basketball (I think some improper working out might have helped mess up my back). Turns out it was a herniated disc in l4-l5 and l5-s1 (this one is causing the problems). I started off with physical therapy for about 2 months, then got an epidural injection and continued physical therapy the rest of summer. The epidural injection alleviated the leg pain (mainly in my left calf), but did nothing for my back pain. Physical therapy did not seem to help me at all, as I saw no improvement after 3 months of twice a week physical therapy. In the latter part of the year I continued to try and strengthen and stretch my back, with no avail. I recently started acupuncture, which seems to relieve my back pain a bit, but I have no improvement in mobility. I am completely unable to bend over, sit in a chair without pain for more than 30 minutes, and feel as if I have a slight limp in my walk.
After over 1 year of trying to heal my back with conservative measures, I feel I am forced to consider surgery.
I am 20 years old, turning 21 in a month. I never wanted surgery as I know the consequences, but I'm not sure if I have any other options at this point? Also, what are the approximate costs of surgery?
Just looking for some general advice on where I should go from here.
Thank you everyone