Re: Mystery diagnosis help
50% of normal, asymptomatic people will have some evidence of disc "bulge" or herniation on a spine MRI. The point is that imaging doesn't always find the cause of the problem (as it sounds like you experienced with finding the kidney stone on CT). So while the disc herniation you saw on MRI could feasibly be causing your symptoms, it also could just be coincidental. Which means after spending a lot of cash and taking a lot of risk by having surgery to repair it, you may find the symptoms haven't changed. Or even that you have some new ones post-surgically.
Just be aware that the road to surgery isn't a guaranteed fix. I'd try everything you could before exploring that option... exercise, weight loss, control with NSAIDS / muscle relaxants, etc. A PM&R doc as mentioned earlier seems like a good idea. Hope you get to feeling better.