Hello all. I stumbled across this forum while searching out info on what I have going on. I am active duty US Navy. I have had severe shoulder pain for around 4 years on the right side and up my neck. When it was looked at around 3.5 years ago I was informed it was a muscle issue and would likely be permanent but that doing upper back workouts such as the lat pull down would help it to subside some. I was also told that I should look into getting a tens machine (this did help out some). Recently, say in the last 3-4 months I started having tingling and numbness in my left hand on the outer two fingers. The Navy doctor I saw diagnosed me with carpal tunnel. The tingling/numbness/and pained progressed up my arm to the elbow and now is also shooting down both legs as well as severe shoulder pain in both shoulder now (more pronounced on the left side where I never had pain before). I had an MRI on Monday and was told later that day by my military Primary Care manager that I have multiple herniated discs and severe spinal compression in my upper back/neck region(did not tell me specific discs). They are putting me in for an immediate consult with a neurosurgeon.
What should I expect from this appointment? Does this mean I will have surgery or do neurosurgeons not always go the surgery route (IE: physical therapy, steroid injections, stretches, etc). I am hoping to avoid surgery, I do not think the Navy will let me stay in if they have to do surgery on a disc. No I do not want to continue to be in pain so if it is the route I have to take then I will. Anyway, just wondered if anyone had any insight while I sit around waiting to hear back from tricare on my consult.