For years my goal has been to "fix the root cause" of my neck pain and cervical issues. I've gone through all of the hoops of conservative treatment, and nothing has provided lasting relief.
After my latest MRI and ortho consult, he is suggesting ACDF at c5/6 as the next step...I didn't get the sense that this was an urgent necessity or that I'm at risk of imminent spinal cord damage, but his gist was that my condition will likely not improve without surgery, and could get worse.
So my dilemma is that after wanting for so long to have a partner in attacking the root cause, now that I've been presented that option I'm waffling a bit on what to do. Biggest concern is that I understand there are no guarantees with surgical outcomes, and I do not want to end up much worse than I am today from side effects, complications or future impacts from the initial surgery. Part of this is that I've "adjusted" to my issues and have learned to compensate and deal with the pain, reduced ROM, weakness, tingling, etc. It's my "new normal", so I don't really remember what it's like not to have all the problems, and part of my internal conversation is "hey, if you've dealt with it this long you can continue to deal"...However, I really want to try to solve my issues, feel better and prevent any further deterioration. This part of my internal conversation says "go for it".
Anyone else struggle like this?