Figured this would be an interesting discussion topic.
My surgery is coming up quickly. I was a bit caught off guard when getting my pre-op clearance from my GP last week. He indicated that most of his patients wait until they NEED surgery and it is a 'last resort.'
My story? I have been dealing with cervical pain consistently for the past 2 years - prior to that it was intermittent. I have had stinger episodes, the worst being about 4 years ago when I (voluntarily) snapped my head back to catch a piece of food in my mouth (I did catch it!) -- but ended up blacking out and having my upper extremities go numb for a few days. Had an MRI back then but just showed some mild stenosis and disc bulging.
Fast forward to the constant pain. New MRI last May showed SEVERE stenosis and discs bulging -- causing CORD COMPRESSION at C5-C6 and C6-C7. Saw 3 surgeons -- all 3 recommended surgery. I have also been through 2 or 3 rounds of PT.
SO here's the deal -- I can live with my pain. Of course, given enough pain killers and muscle relaxers, I can 'survive' with my pain. But I am not active any more. I walk, do some yoga and that's about it. At one point I was a triathlete, and was really getting into cycling when the diagnosis of late came along. So, haven't been on my bike since mid summer b/c frankly I am a bit frightened that a fall could cause permanent damage.
So my surgery is almost a 'preventative strike.' I am doing it so I can recover at a fairly young age (48) and have the ability to get back to things I want to do. I am afraid that if I wait, it will only get worse and not better.
Just curious on folks' thoughts on when surgical intervention is warranted? (I know it's a personal thing, just would love to know peoples' perspectives)...