Thanks for your advice and I too have decided to have surgery. It is scheduled for April 15th. I am 5'7" and only 136 pounds so weight is not the issue. I do not have leg symptoms which I guess I should be grateful for, but the doc says I clearly have one disk L4-5 that is clearly degenerated and herniated pretty badly. My back feels swollen most of the time and I personally want my active life back. I am only 39 and have never had a major operation in my life but I think I have one of the best neurosurgeons around (downtown Chicago). He says he will perform a TLIF on me, and he does 3 to 4 a week. I pray that I can be me again and finally put some stability in my low back.