I have cervical severe stenosis (on C5-C6) and moderate on (C4-5, C6-7). I see neurologists for other issues and get their feedback on the issue as well.
1) Neurologist says I should only get surgery if I am crawling or my hands stop working (not for numbness or pain). To them its too risky to go for a fusion.
2) I saw a neurosurgeon who sent me to see a peripheral nerve -neurosurgeon. Peripheral surgeon says the surgery is needed to stop the damage to the root nerve, its already scary to him.
3) My PCP is a sports med doctor, he says 20-30% cases it can detoriate suddenly. But he thinks I should be ok.
4) I saw an othropedic spine surgeon. He says I should wait as long as I can, because fusions going to the next layer and resurgery is too common. He is worried about neck move-ment. I hardly care about that. He also thinks I have to get a surgery some day.
5) I have sent my MRI to one or two other surgeons who thinks I should get surgery.
I have asked the PA of a neurosurgen about the risks. She was going through
1. leak/tear to CSF (spinal fuild) sac & possible complexity.
2. lordosis or instability of spine.
5. allergy to instruments
6. surgical risks of heart-attack, death, anesthesia-risks
7. C5 palsy or similar issues
8. damage to the spinal cord during surgery.
9. broken crews, instrument failure
10. reoperation for nonfusion, DDD to another level
My layman's estimate for nonfusion with cadavar is more than 7-8% for multi-level fusion, C5-palsy can also be similarly high. Each of other risks are 1% or higher (more like 2% or higher). Also reoperations risks are 10%. If I add them up, it looks like there is more than 30% chance of something going wrong. Is that correct?
In medicare propublica data it shows only 3-5% have immediate problem (in 30 days). So it should not be that bad. Only non-fusion and reoperation are not seen in first 30 days. Most of the other problems should be seen in first 30 days? Am I right?
MRI shows C4-C7 severe steonosis. Pain in hand.