I'm not a doctor, so can only speak from my experience as a patient. I have learned different MRI machines may yield different results; some may be more powerful, etc. I don't understand the details! Also, different radiologists - the ones who interpret the MRI's - may interpret differently. What has your doctor said about the reports? Hopefully, you're seeing a specialist who can look at the MRI images him/herself and help with interpretation. If you're not seeing a specialist, that's certainly wherer I'd start. And surgery in most instances should be a last resort. If one doctor is recommending physical therapy, why wouldn't you try that first? Unless there's some medical reason to proceed right to surgery, I'd certainly try everything else first. Also get some second opinions - again, from specialists. This way you can make an informed decision.