I can’t fix heartaches but I can fix backaches!
Your pain apparently caused an antalgic scoliosis. This is an unconscious maneuver to relieve the pressure on the nerve root by leaning to one side or the other. Interesting enough, this scoliosis can last quite a long time even if the disc herniation is surgically removed. Many patients will align back to normal after the surgery but a small percentage maintain the curve for 3-6 months.
You report no neurological signs but I think that the physical examination was not complete. With the significant pain you demonstrated, I have no doubts that there were signs of root compromise that were not documented.
A microdiscectomy will not cause significant increased degenerative changes if the surgery is performed for significant leg pain. The disc has already torn through and through and some of the nucleus has extruded out. The surgery only removes the protruding portion of the disc and any loose fragments within the disc space through the present hole in the disc.
If you have leg pain that interferes with your life and have failed conservative care, a microdiscectomy needs to be considered. You have a 90-95% chance of being happy with your choice.
Donald Corenman, MD, DC is a highly-regarded spine surgeon, considered an expert in the area of neck and back pain. Trained as both a Medical Doctor and Doctor of Chiropractic, Dr. Corenman earned academic appointments as Clinical Assistant Professor and Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and his research on spine surgery and rehabilitation has resulted in the publication of multiple peer-reviewed articles and two books.