I am a 50-year-old man with ongoing disc problems.  My doc wants to do some injections and I am hesitant to let him put steroids in my back. What are the benefits of this?

An injection into the disc can help to alleviate symptoms.  There is controversy over whether lidocaine alone or lidocaine with a steroid is more beneficial, with the latest overview of the literature showing a lidocaine injection alone is just as effective as when combined with a steroid.  This is something that you can discuss further with your surgeon, knowing that you have options as far as what they are actually injecting, possibly with the same result.