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Surgery for degenerative disc disease, bone spurs and spinal stenosis without arm pain?


I have been having neck pain since 2007 which began with a nerve root impingement at C5-6. It was very painful but went away with rest and physical therapy and traction.  Since then, I have had neck pain nearly every day of my life, just not the excruciating pain of the nerve root impingement.  I have been seeing chiropractors, both regular and one specializing in upper cervical care. I got acupuncture treatments, massage therapy, physical therapy, etc. and have spent thousands of dollars on care. 

The last couple of years the burning and stinging in my neck and down between my shoulder blades has worsened.  Over the counter pain killers do nothing. I have tried the epidural steroid injection which worked for maybe a week.  I treat the pain with heat several nights a week and muscle relaxers to help sleep.  Walking exacerbates the pain as does driving or sitting for long periods of time.  Two surgeons have recommended surgery as my disc is almost gone between C6 and C7, and the bone spurs and disc hermiation are causing a flattening of the spinal cord.  But I don't have any arm pain or numbness in my limbs or fingers and it seems that when I read about neck surgery online that most people who have surgery have some numbness, tingling and arm pain along with the neck pain. I want to know if anyone out there had ACDF surgery for neck pain WITHOUT arm pain.  I also have been suffering from migraine headaches for the last 17 years which have always had a neck component associated with them as well.  I am scared to death of the surgery and really don't know if it's the right thing to do for my symptoms.  I want to trust the orthopedic surgeons that I've met with but I'd like to hear from others who have had the surgery when they didn't have arm pain and weakness.

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