kitndust welcome to Healingwell Chronic Pain forum, You have a big decision to make, and a very serious one at that. You are correct in saying that it is possible to have the surgery and come out in worse shape than what you are now, and to a certain extent it is some what of a gamble. But it is a gamble not to do anything at all too, by not having surgery you could get worse (possibly allot worse) and of course, I am not just talking about pain, it is possible to have permanent nerve damage too, which could cost you some mobility. I have had three surgeries on my neck two diskectomy's and fusions, By th e way when I had my fisrt diskectomy and fusion at C6/7 in 85 I was on 34 years old! Then in 2009 I had to have another one at C5/6, and then they done a posterior fusion of the articular joints at C3/4 in 2010, with that one I had rods and pins put in to stabilize the whole thing.) I now need to have more surgery, a diskectomy at L3 and L4. I have been putting this surgery off for a long time but am now going to go ahead with getting it done! I will start a new thread about it when I get the final surery date and everything, it might be a month or two yet.
Anyway I can appreciate your apprehension and concern, and I think it is great that you are doing your home work and checking everything out. One thing you ought to check on is the epidural steroid injections, I think it is fantastic that you are getting such good relief from them, ( I have had allot of them and normally only get three weeks of relief at max!) but you can only get so many of them in a certain period of time, as they to can have some nasty side affects if you get to many of them. And of course they are not a fix but only a temporary way of getting relief. For my self I have never regretted getting my fusions, but make no mistake about it,...... the healing process can be painful and difficult and it is not uncommon to feel that maybe you did not do the right thing by having surgery! During recovery these feeling are not uncommon, but once you get through the recovery period and get back to normal, ( by the way, just to be clear, you will never be the same as you were before your disks went bad!) but you most likely will be allot ( and I mean a whole lot) better than what you were before the surgery!
I am glad you have come here, and I do hope you will continue to be apart of our family here at Healing Well! Please keep us posted on how you are doing and what you finally decide! I think you will find you will have allot of support here, and allot of really compassionate and caring folks that really do care understand and can empathize with you. You are not alone when you are here, and even if you do not have allot of pain, I am sure you do sometimes get frustrated and might need a friendly ear to listen to you. You have that here, and I am sure you can also contribute in helping others too!
I wish you well!
Moderator Chronic Pain
After spending nearly 22 1/2 years in the USAF, I retired in Sept, 1991. I then went back to school and became a licensed RN in 1994, and I worked on Oncology and then a Med Surg Unit, I became disabled in late 1999 and was approved SSD in early 2002!-- DDD, With herniated Disk at T-12 and L4-5. C5-C6 ACDF in Sep 2009, C6-C7 ACDF in Mar 1985, Osteoarthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia, Complex Sleep Apnea, and host of other things to spice up my life!(NOT!) Medications:Oxycontin, Percocet, Baclofen, Sulfasalazine, Metoprolol, Folic Acid, Supplemental O2 at 3lpm with VPAP Adapt SV I am White Beard with a White Beard!