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fusion only option for L4/L5 bulge??

I have suffered for 3 years with what they thought was SI joint issues and have taken the shots and physical therapy, all to no avail. Had MRI done again yesterday and Dr says the small bulge at L4/L5that was present initially has grown some and since all other treatments have failed then I am a candidate for surgery and the only option is removing the offending disc and fusion. Why?? Why not the micro discectomy or something else? I know that most people who say that they have herniated disc are not having to do this and this is what is confusing me. I am always in pain with my back and down my right leg and my life is limited as to doing normal things and if I do them, I pay for it greatly later. If this wasn't such a big surgery I wouldn't be questioning it at all since it would mean being pain free and living normal but I'm scared and scared of it not working and all that will be for nothing. I haven't had PT since the beginning and think I am going to ask Dr to prescribe PT focusing on this issue more and if that doesn't work then I will have to be resigned to doing the deed. I know that after 3 years, it is obviously not going to heal but I am just not overly anxious to go under the knife and at the same time, sick of pain and limping and needing to be on a heating pad or the floor and no, family I can't go shopping, walking, standing or living because my back and leg hurt. Sigh...can you tell I'm overwhelmed??

So back to the original question, is this normal to be doing a fusion rather than micro discectomy and "trim" the bulge off the nerve that its hitting to cause pain?


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