First, maybe your surgeon would consider giving you an oral steroid. Sometimes, this can short circuit an inflammatory reaction and get you onto a healing course again.
If the pain continues, a new MRI might be considered. If you do have a recurrent herniation, this can still be treated conservatively. Epidural injections can be very helpful. Continuation of a physical therapy rehab program can also be effective.
You might have a hematoma (pooling collection of blood) in the canal that mimics a recurrent herniation. This can be aspirated or if the symptoms are not too bad, will eventually resorb away.
Finally, if you do have a recurrent herniation and do undergo repeat surgery, this does not mean you will eventually need a fusion. That only is necessary about 10% of the time in a case of a second herniation (where a third herniation could occur and require a fusion).
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.