that is the question! lol
About a month ago I was told by a neurosurgeon and an orthopedic surgeon that I needed an ACDF to fix the instability in my spine (specifically between C5/C6....My C6/C7 are fused because of a birth defect) I had been in an accident, and due to that accident there was a ligamentous injury...an interspinal ligament. There was no compression on my spinal cord at all...in the MRI I had done, my spinal cord was totally fine. There was extra space on the posterior side between C5/C6, but no subluxation (sliding backward or forward).
I had a LOT of pain for about three weeks post-injury, but then that sharp pain went away. Occasionally I get tingly feelings down to my shoulder blades and my right arm, but no real weakness or anything. Anyway, those two surgeons said surgery was my ONLY option or I could get paralyzed or die thanks to one wrong move. The first surgeon I saw put me in a Miami J neckbrace and said to wear it 24/7 and put me on tons of restrictions.
I asked my primary care doctor to refer me for yet another opinion, at a large university-affiliated research hospital, and got an appointment just yesterday with the Co-Chief of Neurosurgery there. He's an expert in cervical instability and spinal trauma. He looked carefully through my scans from the day of the accident and a month after. He took new xrays yesterday (2 months post-accident) and did a neurological exam on me as well. He quickly concluded that I DO NOT need surgery, that because C5/C6 aren't shifting forward or backward in my flexion/extension xrays, that I have no cervical instability. He actually chuckled a little when I told him I had been wearing a neckbrace 24/7 for a month. He said I probably needed it for a couple weeks post-accident, but I was fine to go without it now.
Sooo....2 surgeons say YES SURGERY NO OTHER OPTION....1 surgeon says NO WAY SURGERY WOULD BE IRRESPONSIBLE (his words).
Who do I go with??? My husband wants me to go to yet another large university-affiliated research hospital (we're in NC near the Triangle) and get a 4th opinion from another expert. I'm just ready for this all to be over!