I am a 40 year old man and I have had neck/spine problems for many years (various herniations, disk and bone degeneration, arthritis, small fractures)due to sports and work.
I have typically seen a chiropractor for my pain and along with massage therpy it has worked well(or at least has kept me relatively pain free).
About 6 months ago I was in a minor traffic accident where I was rear ended. Since that time I have had excruciating pain in my left arm, severe pain in my right arm, headaches, neck pain, and my left eyelid has a slight twitch.
I went to a physiatrist and and Orthopedic surgeon both of whom diagnosed me with myelopathy due to a severe herniation. Both (along with the insurance company doc) have said I need surgery/fusion or this will get much worse.
I have thus far been adamant in my refusal to have the operation done and am looking for alternatives. There seem to not be any coming from these surgeons and I believe it is simply a "when all you have is a hammer everything is a nail" syndrome. Are there any less radical approaches to this or less invasive surgeries? I have no confidence in spinal surgery as out of the 15 or so people I know who have had spinal surgery not one was happy wth it.
Also no one can seem to concretely tell me how long recovery from this type of surgery is. I would rather risk complications than be out of work for 4 or 5 or 9 months (estimates I have been given). My office is 2 hours from my house and I typically drive 200-300 miles per day but is a management job.