Last year my MRI showed a degenerative disc (L4/L5), which I guess is commmon at my age (68), and I've done a lot of very heavy lifting. The neurosurgeon wants to do the surgery with the screws, etc. A second opinion-and another recent MRI-showed a synovial cyst. This neurosurgeon said that the degenerative disc was not bad enough for the surgery that the former doctor spoke of, but the synovial cyst would have to be removed and would include fusion. I don't want either surgery, and I am a runner. What other choices do I have? I've had five injections.
I am glad you got a second opinion but looks like you need a third one.
Obviously, the surgery needs to be the last resort ever!!! if you can't live your life because of pain and disability then yeah...consider fusion but short of that, you can explore other options to some degree of help.
Of course, it is hard for me to tell you exactly what to do because I don't have enough details and no images to look at. However, Synovial cysts may be aspirated through minimally invasive procedures using xray machine and a needle. find a good pain medicine doctor in your area who may be an anesthesiologist, radiologist. Of course some orthopedic surgeons can do it to, depending on their training. I think this together with injections and physical therapy are pretty much the choices that you have. Also, there are different injections - facet, epidural, nerve blocks...all of them are potentially helpful. Find a good specialist who does these miminally invasive procedures.
Thanks for the consult.
I hope this helps.