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Cervical herniations, surgery and aftermath.

Good Morning! My name is Annie. And let me just say that for months I have enjoyed this very informative website! So much so that I have now become a member, YAY.
A little about me. Healthy active 41 yr old female. ahh maybe too active. In 2008 I noticed every morning upon waking up my arms were numb. Didn't think to much about it, it always went away with getting out of bed and moving around. Years later this was accompanied my major morning stiffness in cervical and thoracic regions. Last October my left shoulder started burning, right on the top. Then it started to radiate to my should blade, tricep, elbow and left side of neck. Awesome headaches that caused light and sound sensitivity and nausea. After numerous visits to GP, orthopedic , neurologist, physical therapy, chiropractor ( who told me I had carpel tunnel syndrome), and finally a neurosurgeon. I am scheduled for surgery. Next Wednesday the 23rd. after a lot of other testing because I swore I had torn a shoulder muscle(lol). a cervical Mri confirmed c3-4, c4-5, c5-6 herniations. With c5-6 being the worst. Also diagnosed with mild spinal arthritis. My surgeon will replace c 5-6 and he said possibly c 3-4. He stated that if he didn't do it now I would probably be back in a year to get that done. I have some questions for fellow neck surgery patients:
My lifestyle. I've always been very active, In my personal and occupational life. I was just beginning to take up horse riding when the major issues started. I love the outdoors, boating/fishing, hiking, photography, in the last two years I've helped plant over 200 trees, and built my own tiny house! Stacking hay bales and grain bags for our horse, My work history is very physical. Heavy repetitive lifting, twisting, bending. If anyone happens to drive a Chevy Sonic, there is a good chance I assembled your dashboard! My question is with having this surgery will I be able to return to my normal activity level? Or would returning to heavy lifting jeopardize my spine health even further? I realize that no one can tell me for sure of course. I guess what I'm looking for is stories from others who have had this surgery ACDF, and how their life after surgery changed, or unchanged! Thank you for reading my introduction!
Annie
C 3-4, C 5-6 protrusions
C 5-6 extrusion
Congenitally shortened pedicles
Arthritis
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