I would like to start off by saying how appreciative I am for everyone that has posted to the numerous threads here. I have found a wealth of information here over the past weeks after realizing my own "possible" need for surgery.
With that being said I am a 26 yro male, non-smoker, in very good health. I am currently employed in the Army National Guard and have deployed as a infantryman with the 10th Mountain Div. Currently I am in NC attending the John F Kennedy Special Warfare School at Ft. Bragg. An MRI indicated that I have a herniated disc in C5-C6 (shocker, I know) that is large enough to impinge the spinal cord a great deal. I also am showing signs of kyphosis in my cervical spine as a result. I have talked to 3 different surgeons, 1 being military here at Womack Army medical center, and all have been very surprised at my ease of mobility considering the size of the disc herniation.
Here's my conundrum: After approx 2 1/2 months I have almost no pain or pain/tingling radiating down my right arm and into my thumb like I did about 1.5 months ago. My pain at the beginning was debilitating, no sleep, no comfort, many on here can relate I am sure. However, that pain is gone. I do still feel it when I run and do pull ups so I avoid those activities, which are necessary here. I have currently been put on Medical hold to avoid future training and all the surgeons I have talked to are freaking out by how much of my spinal cord is compressed and recommending ACDF / ACDR. I am leaning away from cervical replacement mostly because it is still a new technology and there isn't an artificial joint in existence that lasts a human lifespan...I think.
I guess my concern is if there is a possibility that my disc will return to normal on its own, for obvious reasons I want to avoid surgery but want to return to my high activity level even more. My almost complete lack of pain, unless running etc, is causing me to think I should run from the knife. Will this get worse if untreated?
Sorry for the long post as usual any advice/recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Thank you all in advance.