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Should I wait until it gets really bad?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:22 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I had made up my mind to have the surgery , but then I read about how bad it is with some people and I don't have excruciating pain. On the MRI my neck looks very bad NS said have he neck of a 90 year old and am only 42. But I wonder if I should wait until the pain gets very bad and when i can't use my arm at all.

I mean can it get worse? I dunno, I mean I do have pain and I do have that charlie horse crap down my arm, I wonder if i have gotten used to the pain. I mean I tolerate pain very well. I have pain but not excruciating pain like I read about some people.

I'm having a tuff time making a decision. I want to know if anyone else out there have experienced this.

My surgery is scheduled for October 7th but I dunno ~X( . My NS is confusing the crap out of me, I mean he tells me that he has a bad neck 2 but does not let any one touch him until it gets really bad, but DUHH he makes his living by doing surgeries so I guess that would be a good reason not to go ahead with it.
And then at the same time he says but your neck looks pretty bad so maybe you should just come in and let me fix it. :/ I am sooo at wits end I don't know what to do. Should I just wait until it gets reallly bad? :( :<

Please help


  • a decision to get surgery is one only you can make. If you are confused then maybe you can write down all of your questions and concerns so that you can go over all of that with your doctor. Another thing to keep in mind is that there are success stories but most of the time the members that have successful surgeries move on with their lives and they stop posting. They needed help , they came here , they got better and left. The stories that you read here are not the only ones out there. You may also be dealing with a good ole case of the nerves , I know that I did before my surgery and thought about backing out a time or two myself. I wish you the best of luck in whatever you decide to do. Please keep us posted as to how you are doing and what you decide to do. If there is anything that I can help you with then please just let me know....take care....Miki
  • :) hi! you were just given some really good points. i would just like to ask if this is your one and only surgical opinion? :-C it can never hurt to have a surgery confirmed by another SURGEON. read the "Good News" section of the forum for some positive surgery results. good luck whatever you decide. Jenny :)
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  • The others pretty much said it all.

    With my neck I also did not have sever pain. But could not turn my head all the way, tinglig/numbness etc. My disk was all the way out. So I chose to go ahead as I did not want perm nerve damage.

    The decision is only yours in the end. As for the Dr well if he said he would never let anyone touch him??? That would have me concerned. I'v never had my surgeon say that.
    I know he probably was just trying to make conversation etc.

    What is the neck pain from?? DDD, hernation etc??
    What levels did they want to do??

    If your always unsure whether it should be done. Please like the other mentioned always get a second opinon from another Dr if able. So you have 2 things to weigh instead of 1.

    ON a postive note my neck surgery went very well. I have full movement etc. On occasion I get some numbness from sleepng the wrong way. But overall happy with it.

    Remember stories you read everyone is not the same. Recover ddifferent and have different outcomes.

    Good luck on your decison!! >:D<

  • I guess it's kinda a "quality of life" issue. In my case, some pain, loss of some range of motion, etc. is worth not having the surgery yet. The thing that gets me is the worry about knowing I have cervical problems! But, I realize that I can change my decision at any time. Personally, I feel that surgery is done too frequently. BTW, a doc also told me my neck looked like it belonged to a 90-year old! I was told it was "very ugly!!" And, there are lotsa good outcomes from the surgery; there are many good outcomes on SH! Of course, all this is just my opinion--I can relate to what a hard time you are having! Good luck!--Mazy
  • I'd talk to your doc and ask him the risks of waiting. Do you have nerve compression? Spinal cord involvement? There are many reasons that a surgeon would want to go ahead and get it done rather than waiting until it "hurts" more. Pain is relative, we all know that, and it can't be the only factor in making your decision.

    Everyone makes good points. We were all scared to death of surgery! I tried to back out that day and my husband had to talk me down LOL. Just try to use your head and not your heart and remember that you need to do what's best for YOU, not anyone else.

    All the best of luck to you,


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  • Here's one thing that many of us forget to consider when weighing the question of surgery now or surgery later.

    What kind of physical condition will I be in by then vs the condition I am in now?

    One of the biggest battles we have with spine surgery, is the battle that begins after the surgery is over. If we go into the surgery already at a huge deficit, then the hole we have to climb out of is even deeper.

    I'm a proponent of waiting until all other options have been explored, however, when it is known that surgery is a must, then timing becomes the key factor.


  • You know Miki you are so right. I had an Hysterectomy in September of 05 and before I had the surgery I went to a site called "hystersisters" and read all kinds of horror stories, but that decision was easier to make, I had the surgery and it was a succes an you are so right I moved on and stopped posting after a while.

    Yes I am nervous :SS . I did ask him questions but I still don't know :(
  • This is my second opinion and he is actually very good and honest maybe a bit tooo honest because I reaaly could do without knowing about his neck.

    Cool I will go and read the good news section.

  • Had a second opinion. I have Severe Neural foraminal stenosis c4-5,c5-6,c6-7 DDD or Spondylosis and a very straight neck no curve at all, moderate cord compression and oteophytes(bone spurs) at level 5-6. My 5 and 6 levels look very bad on the MRI there is no space at all at the spinal nerve endings. Also have the same in my back L4 to S1. :S

    I have had back pain ever since I was 12 so and I guess stuff starts to act up now since im older :)

  • Mazy you hit it right on the nail "The thing that gets me is the worry about knowing I have cervical problems" and for me that is one of my biggest issues, you see I want to know if I wait how bad can it get? Can I wait a few year or so? all these doubts.

    My NS said waiting will not paralize me but it won't help me either and he said it could get worse or remain the same but he does not know he said , he can't tell me if I can wait another month, year or decade. He said I can wait and take a change or go a head and fix it.

    And that is what is hard for me. I hate a none straight answer, I am one of those definite YES or No people I know you can't always get a straight answer in life , but in these cases I just want one. ( i know that's is bad huh) :<
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