I'm glad to have seen your post! Yep, I had a two level anterior cervical discectomy with fusion (ACDF) in Jan 07. My symptoms included numbness in both arms and hands that increased over time. It was about 6 months from the first symptoms until I saw a neurosurgeon. The neurologist first thought I had ulnar nerve damage and gave me elbow pads to wear 24/7. It didn't get better, and when I got to the point where I could extend or flex my neck and bring on the numbness, then I was referred to a neurosurgeon. I saw him on Dec 22, 2006. I had severe cord compression! This could have been from a fall I took almost 10 years prior: it takes that long some time for the ostephytes to grow and cause a problem. He wanted to do surgery the next day if he could have, but it was close to the holidays and neither he nor we were prepared for that. I was his first procedure on Mon, Jan 2nd.
He went in through the front (it's easier that way than working around the spinal cord) and removed two discs and put in spacers as well as metal plates and screws for stability. This was at levels C5-6 & C6-7. It was done on an outpatient basis, if you can believe it! I wore a soft collar for a few weeks, but it took me almost three months before I could go back to work full time due to the amount of computer work I do. I did okay for a couple months, then I started having parathesia in my lower extremeties. Huh?! I never had a problem with my legs and feet before the surgery! I ended up at Mayo, due to some other numbness and tingling around my chin and behind my right eye. I had atypical migraines causing those symptoms. But, the parathesia was described as an ideopathic (unknown cause) neuropathy, and I started my trials of various drugs to try to get it under control, including Lyrica and Cymbalta - ick!
I did okay through the fall of 2007. In January of 2008, just about a year after my surgery, I slipped and fell on the ice. I felt the pain go right up my spine. Now, I had been through MRIs of my entire spine and I do have some DDD throughout, along with some mild thoracic scoliosis, etc. Anyway, after a month or so of continual pain, I went back to my neurosurgeon, who gave me some pain pills and suggested that I needed to see a rheumatologist, as my pain level should have been decreasing by then from the fall. I finally got in to see the rheumy in April and he immediately diagnosed me with fibromyalgia.
And, as I have indicated in my signature, my life has never been the same.
I'm not sure if that is the kind of info you were looking for or not, but I don't think I had ever told "my story" here on this forum! Let me know if you have any other questions. My only other comment for you is, I would make surgery a last resort, unless of course you have severe cord compression. If I had not had the surgery, any fall or car accident at the time could have paralyzed me! I have also done alot of reading that indicates that cervical trauma often results in fibro. One study done out west went so far as to suggest that the position they put you in for this type of neck surgery can CAUSE fibro!
Still learning how to manage my Fibromylagia, and all the lovely gifts it brings.
I had severe spinal stenosis, had fusion done on C5-7, and my life has changed.