Welcome to the boards...White Beard and I have a lot in common with our cervical surgeries...I have had 3...the last one being a 360 where they went in from the front and the back to really fill me with nuts and bolts:)
I won't repeat a lot of the same questions that others have asked and wait for your reply on some of them...
I do agree that surgery is truly necessary at times when nerves are being compromised and causing damage and loss of feeling in arms/hands....And as WB has said..after each surgery..the specific nerve pain and numbness from that disc pressure was immediately gone...
After my first surgery..which also was just Anterior...and used my bone from my hip..as well as no hardware...did last for a good 3 and half years before I started having pain again...but in my case..the bone actually reabsorbed into my body (that is fairly rare), so my spine collapsed in those levels again..
I only stayed in the hospital two nights..and after about
a month..I was on no medication whatsoever and besides roller coasters and bungee jumping...I was pretty much good as new:)
My second surgery with donor bone and plates/screws...was done by an awful surgeon and I stayed one night in the hospital...and he sent me along my way but I was still in excruciating pain..worse than before the surgery...
It took a good year for me to find another Neurosurgeon whom I will never leave!!! LOL...he went in a took everything out and started over..He was very honest saying at this point I would always have some pain and this surgery was to fix the last surgeon's job but not to take away the pain..
I still don't regret having the two, as I have full use of my arms and hands...and I can manage the pain I have now with medicine along with other modalities...
Most surgeries should be done if the risk of not doing them is greater...and for most of us with chronic pain...we don't rely solely on medication to help...there are dozens and dozens of things you can do to help with the pain and in combination with everything, it can lower it to a tolerable level..
So..if you feel like posting again with some more information on the tests you have had done...other treatments like injections, therapy, etc.
Welcome to HW...it's a wonderful place full of caring and supportive people:)
SB and "the pup who snores loudly"
ACDF C5-C7, (no hardware), with autograft bone Nov. 2001
(reabsorption of bone 2 years later...still lost in body..expect to burp it out at anytime..haha"))
ACDF with hardware, allograft bone Nov. 2005
Anterior and Posterior CDF, allograft bone with BMP, removal of old hardware, use of titanium plates, rods, screws, & kitchen sink (lol) Dec 2006