Alot of insurance companies won't even ok surgery unless other procedures are tried first.
I had cervical fusion in 2006 C-5/7. It took care of the finger numbness, arm tingling but I have had severe muscle spasms in my neck since the surgery and now take Neurontin 1200mg per day for this. It helps but never takes away all the pain. I also had Lumbar fusion the same year. 3 yrs later and I already have a bulging disc above my lumbar fusion and the area above the cervical fusion is starting to give out. I do have degenerative disc disease so my disc are going to give out easier.
I would suggest that your friend see either a pain management doctor or orthopedic doctor first to see if she can get some relief using procedures or meds to find some relief. Surgery should always be a last resort. Cervical fusion limits how far you can move your head and can cause alot of problems if your job requires this.
DDD, osteoarthritis, fusion surgeries C-5/7 & L-4/5 both in 2006, torn meniscus left knee 2000 & 2002, buldging disc L-2/3