Greetings! I was glad to find this website.
After years of putting surgery off, I was told last week that I need to have surgery soon: a two level anterior diskectomy (c5-6 and c6-7).
I suppose my symptoms are mostly typical: intermittent pain and constant and extreme tightness in my lower legs and forearms, intermittent radiating pain down both arms, lots of pain, stiffness, and stiff cracking in and around the neck and back. These have gradually worsened since I last saw my neurosurgeon 5 years ago. At that time he told me I'd eventually need surgery but encouraged me to hold off as long as I can.
When he and I met last week, he advised me to have the surgery, and soon. It seems that one thing that generated a greater sense of urgency this time around is my recent coughing problem: a handful of times during the last 6
months I've had shooting pain radiate out from the upper back and chest from coughing--a combination of funny-bone type pain and pins and needles going all the way through my torso, and onto my arms and legs.
The doc didn't say I need to go in for surgery ASAP. But he advised me of the heightened risk I'm at for serious and permanent damage if I fall or get into an accident, etc.
I was hoping to delay long enough for the eventual FDA approval of two-level cervical ADRs. But I failed all of the reflex test during my office visit. My pain and stiffness are so persistent now. Getting sleep is a crapshoot. Being able to work effectively (I have a desk job) is also getting that way. Historically when things got bad, I'd get a series of three epidural steroids and they would help enough that I could maintain with drugs and exercises. But that's no longer the case.
Without naming names I feel that my neurosurgeon is the top guy in the Daytona Beach area where I live. He has all of the credentials, is frequently published (albeit not necessarily for stenosis or this procedure), uses all of the latest toys, does ADRs (for single level, when appropriate) and does lots of these cervical diskectomies.
Still, I'm wondering whether on principle I should get a second opinion. On the other hand I'm now afraid to delay surgery. I don't think I have time to go out of state or too far out of the area. I'm in central Florida, and wouldn't mind seeing if I can squeeze in an appointment. If anyone knows of a top notch spine doc in central Florida area, please send me the name.