For the past couple weeks, I have been seriously thinking and contemplating getting a 1-level ACDF to my C5-6 due to a 6mm disc herniation causing severe spinal stenosis. My symptoms about a couple months ago were severe shooting pain through my neck and right shoulder blade area, but no numbness or tingling.
Lately, the pain has pretty much completely subsided with recent development of minor weakness in my hands/arms and feet/legs but still no numbness or tingling. The recommendation for surgery comes from 2 different neurosurgeons who stated that my spinal cord is being compressed leaving no space in my spinal canal (according to MRI, midline AP diameter approximately 4mm) at the level of the disc herniation. Although I expressed that my pain was minimal, the doctors said that if I put it off, I will have further problems later and there would also be risk of nerve damage which may not be restored back to 100%.
Is surgery a good enough reason to mitigate "potential risk" of nerve damage even though pain is not an issue? From all my research on neck pain, I am lead to believe that surgery will only create a problem by fixing a problem. What are your thoughts on this? Thanks in advance.