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Trouble Deciding On Surgery?

I reluctantly cancelled my C5 – C7 ACDF plus bone spur removal surgery yesterday. I sure hope that was the right move. Although I know I can get the ball rolling again if needed, I already had the surgery scheduled, my insurance approval, FMLA paperwork, work coverage, home situation and pre-op testing ready to go. In other words there will be several hoops to re-jump through in the future should I need to reschedule.

My whole point with sharing is I know there has to be more people struggling with this decision. It took me a couple weeks to decide, and I would change my mind several times every day. When all of this started last Sept I felt like I had a piece of hot glass in my upper back/neck area and sever left arm & hand pain. For about a month I wanted the surgery so bad I could barely stand it. As the weeks wore on I felt better. I still have some left arm/hand numbness and a new pain in my neck (feels very stiff, like arthritis I guess), but I feel 97% better than before. It’s hard to justify going under the knife if I’m not currently experiencing horrible symptoms. That being said last Sept was my second “flare up” and I imagine more will come. If surgery was a guarantee that my issues would be resolved I’m sure I would have moved forward with it. One other deciding factor for me: I’ve lived with two moderately herniated discs in my lower back for about nine years now. It hurts often but no one ever suggested I needed surgery for it.

Has anyone else gone through this? If so did it drive you mad? What and how did you finally decide? I haven’t seen too much on the boards about this subject so I thought I’d start the discussion, or at least a newer one. I’m looking for any insight, coping or sanity suggestions. This ordeal has been very stressful to say the least.

Thanks everyone!
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Comments

  • I'm 40 years old and had a 3 level cervical fusion 8 months ago. BEST DECISION I EVER MADE!!! Will I ever be out of pain 100%? Probably not. My spinal cord was being so compressed that I was losing use of my hands. So many people told me I was way too young for this surgery. People told me my body would never be the same. i have young children and couldn't imagine spending my life in the pain I was in. The surgery was easy. the recovery is The hard part but I would do it again in a heartbeat. Also, I'm fully fused in 8 months. If you have any questions please feel free to ask. Good luck.
  • My Dr told me when you have had enough you will know its time and call me. That's what finally did it for me plus my quality of life was very low at that time. I just had to make that decision again this week for my back after 6 years. This is number 6 for me and they have gotten a little easier to throw in the towel but I know it will help. I pray this will be the final one at 53. Good luck!
    TLIF L4-S1 2007                                         TLIF L3-L4 2008                                          TLIF L2-L3 2016
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