Re: What next when pain is bad, doctor says disc not that bad
Did your husband see a orthopedic spine surgeon? This specialty or a neurosurgeon is your best bet for getting an accurate diagnosis. A neurologist treats diseases of the nerves and is helpful when someone needs some tests run to see if a nerve has been damaged due to a spinal problem, but is not the best-trained for diagnosing a problem in the spine.
A spine surgeon will almost always recommend conservative treatment first. Only if it fails or there is major nerve compression will he/she recommend surgery. This is required by insurance carriers as well, so if you want a procedure paid for, the doctor has to have proof that the problem can only be treated surgically.
In any case, it is always a good idea to get more than one opinion as doctors can differ in their diagnoses.
The pain travelling down into the leg is an indication that there is some spinal nerve irritation or compression. It may be caused by the bulging disc or your husband may have some stenosis...which may be caused by the bulging disc.
Who did the nerve burning, and steroid injections?