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Deciding to Have Surgery

Hello all -

I am looking for some advice regarding a decision as to whether or not I should have surgery. I am 29 and was told that I have to give up the majority of the activities I enjoy due to what my MRI showed. My neurologist is also hesitant for me to have surgery because of my age and the fact that this may lead to more surgeries. I found out that my neck pain was due to:

-Reversal of cervical lordosis with grade 1 anterolisthesis C3 over C4, slight grade 1 anterolisthesis C4 over C5

-At C5-C6, a mild to moderate left eccentric posterior disc bulge, causing slight impression upon the left cord, without spinal canal stenosis.

Additionally, my flex/extension X-ray showed movement:

-Anterolisthesis of C4 on C5 (2 mm in flexion and neutral positions), which resolves in extension position. Findings are concerning for instability.

Has anyone had similar test results? If so, what did you choose to do? I am quite nervous and sad that I can no longer participate in the activities I enjoy. Any advice or guidance would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!


  • LizLiz Posts: 9,699
    hello tm

    there are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
    this includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

    please click on the link for useful information


    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Bruce EitmanBruce Eitman Akron, OH, USAPosts: 1,509

    Welcome to the Spine-Health forums.

    I understand that doctors are hesitant to do surgery on young people - frankly I don't know that I understand that.

    But, the time to have surgery is after you have tried everything else and are comfortable with the risks and rewards of surgery.  Only you can answer that.

    Have you tried traction?  This is something that your surgeon can prescribe for you, if he thinks it is appropriate.  For me, it helped, but not enough to avoid surgery.  But, it might be different for you, especially at your young age.

    Please read my story, the link is below in my signature.


    Read my story at Bruce - My Story
    ACDF C4-C5-C6-C7, and getting better every day
    It has been a process of healing, learning, exercising, and resting - and figuring out when to do which.

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