Okay, I know that this has been beaten to death, but I figured I'd bring it up again for another topic devoted solely to it. I'm looking at an ACDF for C5-C7, but I don't really know if it's time yet. I'm pretty miserable, but I'm just not convinced that the surgery is really going to be the answer given the chance of recurrence, and frankly I have a large head, as well as a slight bulge at c4,c5 already which I can see giving me problems at adjacent levels quickly given my luck. I've also got slight bulges at t7-t10 (although I'm pretty sure I herniated T10 more dramatically after that MRI), and DDD @ L4-S1, but they're not terrible all things considered compared to other people. Honestly, before last week, I really wouldn't have even considered the surgery, but I'm just falling apart all of a sudden. I've gone through ESIs, chiro, PM, PT, and while it did work, it's clearly wearing off, and I certainly have been overdoing it a bit lately. At what point is it bad enough for surgery though? I'm 29, 30 in 2 months, and rather than that being detrimental as it seems to be in some threads I've read, the doctor seems to think it's a positive as far as recovery goes. I just hate the fact that I walk in the door and it's automatically time for a fusion. What about all of the other surgeries that aren't fusions? Why do people get to have those and not a fusion? I can't find the criteria on why you can get a laminectomy or a microdisectomy or a laminaplasty, etc as opposed to fusion. Fusions are just so permanent and damaging to everything around them (preaching to the choir I know). My doctor is one of the best in the area for sure, so I respect his opinion, but short of getting a discography to make sure we don't need to do a 3 level fusion, it didn't sound like he wanted to do many other tests. Sorry this is so long and rambling, and I've waited almost a year now without rushing into surgery, but I just don't know if I can continue to live like this, even if my pain just hovers around a 3-4 if there's a chance I can live at a 1-2 for the next 4-5 years just because I'm young, or is that complete BS?