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c6-7 disc protrusion

i have a protruding c6-7 disc in my neck with c7 nerve root compression. i have radiating pain down my left arm, my left forefinger is numb, and have radiating pain just below my left collar bone as well. doing physical therapy twice a week. this includes stim, exercises, ultrasound and neck traction, which is great. because when i am on the neck traction machine all radiating pain is gone. in therapy 2 months now... seeing neurosurgeon to get opinion on steroid injections, as surgery is always a last resort for me. in your opinion when do u give up and  go for the surgery if u were me?
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I would do surgery when all modalities (physical therapy, massage, stretching, mild excercise, spinal cord stimulator, etc.) and medications fail to alleviate the pain or reduce the pain to a tolerable level.  

Surgery should be the last resort in my opinion because the succss rate is about 60% and so many patients have complained that the pain came back either the same or worse than before the surgery.  

I have been presented with the option of surgery and I declined as the medications and modalities have reduced my pain to a tolerable such that I can still work and provide for my family.  However, I am aware that degenerative disc disease is proggresive, and hence, the pain will get worse over time.  When the pain overcomes all of the non-invasive techniques is when I will consider surgery.

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Avatar universal
For a problem at c6-c7, I'd stay away from surgery as long as a possibly could. I have some similar symptoms, and some MRIs that might explain them, and am in PT. I just saw a neurosurgeon, and he told me to stay away from surgery. He didn't want to do it in my case, in part because my symptoms don't quite match the MRI findings, and in part because of the relatively low success rate of such procedures, along with the many complications that ensue.

I'd also be leery of injection therapy, particularly ESIs (epidural steroid injections). Recent research suggests they are not worth the time, cost, and risk. Elsehwere on MedHelp there've been good discussions about ESIs. And PubMed on the Nat'l LIbrary of Medicine will bring up hundreds of research articles on the subject, if you're interested.
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