Hi everyone. I would love to hear from others who have decided not to have decompression surgery and how you are doing. Has anyone had the symptom of difficulty swallowing and painful feet when walking, numbness and tingling in hand and arms off and on and didn't have the surgery? I don't get the headaches that often and when I do they are very manageable with over the counter meds. I do have weakness in my legs and balance issues. I don't have a syrinx. I'm trying decide whether to do the wait and see approach or have the decompression surgery. My neurosurgeon said it is ok for me to wait and see and have a mri again in 6 months. He said it is my decision. and it is a matter of quality of life I want to have. I appreciate all the responses on my previous posts and would love to hear from your again. Take care and thanks.

I have had surgery but wanted to bump this up so others won't miss your Discussion.


Hope your weekend was a good one!

Sounds like your NS is on top of things...I say this b/c he is not pushing you to have surgery and is also not dismissing you.

The wait and see , along with MRI to re-check every 6 mths seems to be a good plan...just my 2 long as your symptoms are not causing you too much trouble in your daily life.,

So happy that you do not have a syrinx!

I did have I really can not help you with your original question..for those who did not have the operation and are doing the wait and see approach...Hopefully , other members will chime in and share their stories with you,.

Please keep us updated on how things are going.

I too have decided to not have the surgery. For the last 10 years I have had chronic back,neck,shoulder and hip pain. Also numbness and tingling in hands and feet, and headaches.and manage my pain with prescription pain medication. I have a 10mm with no syrinx. Three years ago I saw a Neurosurgeon and he said because of the chronic pain I was experiencing, and all the symptoms I had ,and the size of it, he wanted to do surgery ASAP. That really scared me that he was so quick to say I needed surgery.I told him I wanted to think about it.

I decided to get a 2nd opinion so I went to see a Neurologist that told me yes, because of the size of my CM there would definately be doctors that would want to do surgery on me. He told me that I already have enough ailments I am dealing with and that I should not open a bigger can of worms by having surgery. Also he said, there is no guarantee that the surgery will even allieviate my pain and there is definately a chance of making things worse.

That right there is where I made up my mind that I would not have the surgery. I do not want to take a chance of making myself or my pain worse. I think it is great that so many people have had the surgery and have done great, but on the other hand there is also a alot that have had problems from the start or years after the surgery.

My herneation is 18mm with a small syrinx. And I also choose to get two surgery opinions. They where complete night and day opposites! The doctor who wants to open my head, says it is important to get the flow moving correctly again, and prevent any further symptoms. My second opinion said that my symptoms did not warrant immediate surgery, but more observation. He told me to watch for any numbing in my arms/feet/legs and come back if I had any questions or concerns.

My symptoms are mainly headaches, and given that they are not getting any worse, I'm not inclined to have my head opened up anytime soon. I prefer to be aware of what serious symptoms to watch for, and I am more careful in my daily life.