I’m 37. Within the last year my neck pain has gotten progressively worse. Not doing anything too active and avoiding certain movements, along with massage and scapular exercises manages the pain pretty well. But I’m getting more and more limited as time goes on. I can’t exercise anymore without aggravating the nerve. Any tensing at all of my neck is bothersome, so I avoid all exercise aside from walking. I really want to be able to exercise again. I want to be able to spar with my son and go bike riding. Basically I’m getting sick of avoiding so many things and the occasional flare ups drive me crazy. I consulted with a surgeon a friend of mine recommended. My friend had the same issue and swears by his fusion surgery. The surgeon said most people in my position who aren’t in constant pain try to manage without surgery. He said I am a candidate for fusion or potentially artificial disc.
I’m looking for advice, pointers, anecdotes that can help me in my decision to get or avoid surgery. Have you have a good outcome? A bad outcome? Would you recommend surgery? Is the risk of the surrounding discs getting worse down the road bc of loss of flexion a real risk? If I get surgery, do we have any data that it won’t completely blow up in my old age and leave me worse off than if I hadn’t gotten surgery? What is worst case scenario of a bad outcome? I have a lot of concerns. I really want my life back but don’t want to make this all worse in the long run.
Please as many people as possible weigh in on this. Thanks!