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Cervical Spinal Stenosis

I am a 60yr female with a long history of degenerative osteoarthritis.  In 2003, I had a CMC arthroplasty on my rt thumb with excellent results.  I was told to have the same procedure on my left thumb, but elected not to do so. My pain has been manageable with splinting and NSAIDs.  I have been under the care of an orthopedic surgeon for my bilateral knees and he has suggested total knee replacements, which I am reluctant to have done.  I am still ambulatory with a cane and the pain is controlled with corticosteroid injections and NSAIDs.  I was recently started on Celebrex -- no major change in symptoms at this time.
Two months ago I developed neck pain with right shoulder blade pain (constant) and tingling and numbness to my rt arm.  A cervical spine X-ray showed degenerative changes with a bone spur at the C4-5 level. I had an MRI done and the results confirmed moderate degenerative changes:
C4-5 disc dessication and slight narrowing. 2mm central protrusion. Mild facet hypertrophy without obvious foraminal
C5-6 irregularity and degenerative dessication of the disc. 1-2mm central bulge. Facet hypertrophy with relative stenosis of the central canal, as well as foraminal encroachment bilaterally.
C6-7 similar findings with a mild to moderate spinal stenosis and foraminal encroachment.
There is slight alteration of the cord at the C5-6 and C5-7 levels.
I was referred to a neurosurgeon who is recommending anterior cervical diskectomies with fusion and anterior plating to be done C4-C7.
Does this surgery seem appropriate based on clinical symptoms and MRI results?  I hesitate to have more extensive surgery than is needed.  The neurosurgeon has informed me of the associated risks pro and con re: surgery and I am seeking additional information in order to make a definite decision.
Any information will be gratefully appreciated.  Thank you.

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st. louis, MO
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