Hello. I this is my first time posting to this board. Have read many posts over the past few months on here. It have been very helpful with the issue I am dealing with.
I am 39 and started experiencing shooting arm pain, thumb/finger numbness on the right side, and shoulder pain about 3 months ago. After going to urgent care and a shoulder doc, I was referred to an orthopedic spine surgeon who ordered an MRI which showed:
C5/6 - 1 to 1.5 mm traction bulge and AP canal diameter of 9mm.
C6/7 - spurs and 2.5 to 3.0mm disc protrusion into neural foramina. Moderate to severe neural foramina narrowing bilaterally. AP canal diameter of 8mm. Minimal cord contouring.
I have completed 8 weeks of PT and the arm pain/numbness has gone away. However, I now experience muscle spasms on my right arm, finger, shoulder, calf and foot. The spasms/twitching do not hurt and are merely just annoying. Also, I can tell that I have slight tricep weakness but doesn't hinder my work or daily activities. Not on any medications.
Over the past 2 months, I have visited 5 doctors (1 - ortho, 3 - neurosurgeon, 1 - neurologist). They have said:
Ortho: ACDF at C6/7 before end of year to preserve quality of life.
Neurosurgeon 1: ACDF or artificial disc at C6/7 before end of year due to spinal cord compression (which is causing muscle spasms).
Neurosurgeon 2: ACDF at C6/7 before end of year due to spinal cord compression and tricep weakness.
Neurosurgeon 3: NO Surgery. Spinal cord compression is noted, but cord is not bruised or damaged. It is possible I could hold off on surgery for up to 10 years or until I start having numbness again. Tricep weakness is noted but not severe to call for surgery. If surgery, only do ACDF and not artificial disc due to existing bone spurs and complications with artificial discs.
Neurologist: Why am I waiting to have ACDF surgery? Get it done.
My question to y'all is, am I stupid for having second thoughts about getting surgery? I feel great (other than the muscle spasms). All three neurosurgeons have been highly recommended and are known in the community (and I am comfortable with them doing the surgery). I just am afraid (after reading some of the posts on here) that my symptoms will be worse after having an ACDF than what I am feeling now.
Thanks for your help!!