Mine was L4 and was discovered during discogram. Fusion was the only prognosis for that disc. I am not sure if there is anything thay can do as far as repairing a tear in a disc, but for mine, it was the only way to go (according to the 1st and second opinion). Good luck and I hope that there is an alternative to fusion (maybe ADR?) If that is indeed your problem.
I had two tears grade 4 L4/5 L-5 S-1, they had a surgery I tried called Selective Endoscopic Discetomy. Look it up on google, there is a doctor who invented it. Arizona institute for miniamly invasive surgery. I am in week 4 from surgery doing well. I am going to have L5-S1 done in the summer. I tried several doctors and they all wanted fusion. I will not fuse unless it is the last resort. This gave me an option. I am only 35 and fusion scares me. Good luck and check it out.
I have an annular tear at L3 and L4. A tear can be partial or total. If partial iit can be helped with a procedure that introduces electric water to the tear to patch itself. I forgot what this is called by many places do not do it or have not even heard of it. I believe it was LSK but not sure will see if I can find it.
I had an annular tear that 8 months after Pt, trigger point injections, and esi's, healed on it's own. Unfortunately, the disc reherniated 4 months later. I had a laminectomy after that. Unfortunately for me, 8 months later I had to have a fusion.
I'm definately not saying that this is what you will go through!! Just what I went through. Some tears can heal with time and treatment. However, with me, my work was very physically demanding and that put the undo stress right back.
I read up on it but just couldn't understand what it meant.
I have had a fusion at the c-5/6 level but had to end up having it repaired again with titanium metal. I now have problems at the lumbar area and hope I don't have to have any fusions.
Thank you all so much for the information. Picnica, I hope you continue to do well and thank you for the info.
2Plus, I do hope that procedure works; sounds like it's better than a fusion.
Sorry it took so long, ADR is Artificial Disc Replacement. But after reading some of the replies, it sounds like some tears can be healed without surgery. That would be the way to go for sure. Good Luck to you.