C6-C7 bulge, symptoms are mild, doctor wants to do ACDF. Seems hasty.
I'm 48 and started having pain about 3 months ago in May. I can pinpoint a certain neck position that makes the pain more acute. If I aggravate it, I get left arm pain and muscle spasms in my back. Normally pain is a 1-2 but it can get up to a 7-8 if I overdo it.
So I talked to my doctor and he sent me for x-rays then an MRI.
"Broad base disc protrusion 5 mm causing compression of thecal sac and both traversing nerve roots."
He referred me to a spine specialist. It was a month's wait to get an appointment. Doc sent me to a pain management place in the interim. They wanted to do an epidural steroid injection. The spine specialist said the epidural wouldn't help. He said I need to do the surgery.
I guess this is why we have the saying "When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail."
I'm scheduled for surgery in a couple of weeks. I've never had major surgery before. I have no shortage of anxiety and uncertainty about it. My head is full of questions all being shouted at once. Is the doctor being too hasty? Should I give it more time? Should I try the epidural? Rehab? Will surgery get rid of the pain? Will it make the pain worse? Is my pain minor enough that it isn't worth the risk? How can I go about getting a second opinion? Will insurance cover it?
Spiraling a bit, I guess.
Talk me down?