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Sould I or shouldn't I have surgery?

duckiedduckie Posts: 14
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:58 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Learning about what's wrong with me and reading posts on the web I'm thinking, is it worth going thru when sooo many people have problems afterwords?

Will my pain be less or more?

Will I need more surgeries?

Boy am I scard!


  • HI Duckie,

    Surgery is a very personal decision and unfortunately no one can make that choice for you. You have to take the information your doctors have given you, and the research you have learned from and make the most informed decision for you. Each person is different, and while many have issues post surgery and will for the rest of their life, you have to realize surgery is no magic pill. You have to work hard post surgery, the surgeons can only take you so far. Even with some of the best surgeons and most informed decisions members will still have issues. For example if you have myelopathy, surgery is done to stop the progression but won't undo the damage that is done. Further if you have nerve damage, surgery can't fix damaged nerves. Once a nerve is damaged, it is damaged.

    Many members in the cervical spine area, do surgery, as they don't want to risk permanent paralysis. So yes you might still have pain and issues post surgery, but if your talking about someone being in a wheel chair or better yet bed ridden the rest of their life the trade off might be well worth it. Most members go to surgery when the pain is unbearable, so if your still in pain post surgery, but the pain is not as great, then you have gained something, well in my opinion. If the surgeon fixes a instability issue, and keeps you walking, well you have gained something also.

    Hopefully you have gotten multiple opinions and then done your homework, as to the procedure they are doing and making the most informed choice. It is natural to be scared or nervous about a surgery. But as most will say the anticipation was worse than the surgery itself. Will you still have pain post surgery? Who knows depends on the amount of damage that has been done. I believe you are having the same levels fused I am fused at? Also be sure you understand what they are fusing with, and search out if that is the best thing for multiple level fusions? I can tell you that yes you will loose ROM(range of motion), that is a given when they take any joint and make it so it won't move again. Do you have a long road of recovery ahead? Yes, but it is waiting for the fusion the surgical pain will get better as time moves forward. Your spine will need to adapt to the new way it moves, as it won't function the way it has. When you do fusion on the spine, it forever changes the way the spine moves. In some cases the pain and issues are so great that it doesn't matter the motion loss as they are not moving to begin with.

    I guess what I am saying is you have to do your homework. Research your surgeon. Most will spend longer researching a car than they will a surgeon, who is in control of your health. Ask questions learn about your spine, the procedure you having done. Then be prepared to have surgery and recover and to work on your recovery. Walking will be so important, post surgery. Also be sure you understand your surgeons post surgery plan, whom to contact, what is expected and so forth. If you don't know all of that now, make a appointment to go back and talk to him/her.

  • To keep my answer short and simple:

    Have you tried all conservative treatments?

    Does your pain effect all areas of your life?

    Are you depressed from your pain?

    Do you feel like surgery is your last hope?

    If you answered yes... Then yes you should get surgery. Make sure you get a second opinion.
    ACDF C4-5 June 23rd, 2011

    Another surgery in the near future. I am 26 years old.

    Current Meds- Norco 7.5/325, Cymbalta 60mg, Gabapentin, Adderall 20mg
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