Hi everyone, I have made a few posts to this website and thought that I would introduce myself. My name is Patrice and I am a 38 y/o health professional. I am currently 1 week post c5/c6 acdf surgery. I have had neck "pain" for years but thought it was just muscular tension. It was not until June of this year that my symptoms worsened. I changed hospitals and would come home EVERYDAY after orientation sick at my stomach, my neck stiff and painful. I thought it was stress of a new job. I would take ibuprofen or tylenol arthritis everyday. I would have a few massages during this time. I almost broke down to see a chiropractor. Something told me to make an appt with a neurosurgeon. Finally, when my pinky finger and the palm of my hand started to tingle, my shoulder blade and collarbone was painful, I made an appt. I could not get in to see him for about 2 weeks. Had my mri in the meantime to be able to take it to my ns for the the first appt. I went to see him only to find out that my disc was herniated. Considering the length of time my symptoms were present, he felt that no conservative treatment (PT, steriods,etc) would help me. I could have chosen this route only to prolong what would be the only outcome. I was a working mother and needed to function. So, I scheduled the surgery for 2 weeks later. Oddly enough, my neck symptoms improved slightly and I began to doubt my decision. But, my lumber spine began to hurt. It felt like I was walking on pins everyday. My legs began to fall asleep when i would drive or sit for a period of time. I began to get frustrated at this point. No matter what, I felt surgery was the best option. So on 8/13, I had the procedure. I woke up from surgery with my husband telling me that my disc had actually ruptured and had to be removed in pieces. Besides the surgery pain, the pain in my back/legs/feet.....GONE! I could not believe the difference. I also could not believe that I had tolerated this pain for so long and just thought it was stress. I also trusted my doctor 100%. He was very well respected in my community and I knew he made the best decision for me. If anyone needs more info on my situation, symptoms, etc. please email me. This forum gave me so much info and encouragement prior to surgery. Thanks to all of you for your posts.