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Started by Carriem on 12/03/2018 10:18am

I am 45 year old housewife. I have degenerative disc disease, 5 bulging discs(3 in neck, 2 in lower back) and severe stenosis. I have dealt with pain most of my adult life and have finally decided to try surgery. I'm having 3 levels fused in my neck this week. My shoulder pain, tingling numb hands and my always numb and cold feet drive me crazy. I have more symptoms but don't want to write a book. Question is, am I doing the right thing? I've been told it's an easy surgery but I'm terrified! Any words of advice?

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Hi, Carriem--Undergoing spine surgery is a big deal, so it's natural to be apprehensive before your surgery. Our best advice is to ask your doctor as many questions about your procedure as possible, so you and your surgeon have the same expectations about the desired outcome of your procedure. This is a great resource if you need some good examples of questions to ask: ( Spine Surgery: Questions to Ask Your Doctor )

Another piece of advice is to follow your doctor's recovery instructions exactly. Don't jump into activities too quickly, for example. Your recovery instructions are designed to give your surgery the best chance for success--the guidelines may seem very conservative, but it's best to follow them.

Also, understand that pain after surgery is normal, but make sure to ask your doctor about symptoms that warrant emergency attention. Knowing what level of pain is normal and what's not will help you more confidently navigate the sometimes challenging recovery period.

Finally, trust that your surgery will help improve your quality of life in the long run. Spine surgery isn't a quick fix, but staying positive through the process may help improve your surgery outcomes.

We hope this information helps you as you embark on your procedure. We wish you a smooth and successful recovery!