Saw the neuro surgeon today about my neck/shoulder/arm issues. He recommended immediate surgery. Given the last several years of this kind of pain, physical therapy, chiropractic care, medications, he is convinced that in order to recover the strength in my right arm, immediate surgery next week is the best option. Another option is steroid injections and physical therapy. His concern with that is the time–he doesn’t want the arm weakness to become permanent which can happen with the C5 nerve. Says its not a forgiving nerve. The surgery is not uncommon at all.
Now, for the worst part. Aside from the typical surgical risks, this procedure enters through the front of the neck and will most likely damage the vocal nerve. My voice would be irreparably damaged and I would probably not be able to sing again–well, at least as far as performing or worship teams go. They can attempt surgery through the back of the neck which may give some relief but it is not a procedure commonly done anymore since its not as effective.
Doug & I will meet with the doctor again on Monday morning 10:45. We are investigating a second opinion and are leaning towards the injections and therapy first. This is not a life threatening issue but a quality of life issue. So I’m grateful that nothing worse was found.