Diagnosed with Stenosis

I have a broken neck from a car wreck 30 years ago. Broke C4, C5, C6. Have had years of pain, neurologists, scans, MRIs etc. I am on long term pain management because I have tried everything to avoid surgery. The latest MRI reads; (I will only post the important part):

1. Moderately severe acquired central spinal canal stenosis at C5-6 and C6-7 with midsagittal central spinal canal measuring 8mm. This is secondary to disc osteophyte complex.

2. Neural foraminal encroachment bilaterally at C5-6 and C6-7 that is moderate to severe in degree. More prominent on left at C5-6 and on right at C6-7.

3. C4-5 grade 1 spondylolisthesis of C4 on C5. Uncovering of the disc and resultant osteophyte complex.

C5-6 is retrolisthesis of C5 on C6 along with uncovering of the disc and a central disc protrusion. This does abut and flatten the anterior aspect of the spinal cord.

The mid sagittal central spinal canal measures 8mm for moderately to severe acquired central spinal canal stenosis. There is moderate to severe neural foraminal encroachment left greater than right. And on and on it goes about some other mild to moderate disc problems.

Can anyone please tell me what they think? I have had one surgeon tell me surgery is a necessity now. Another surgeon tells me the benefits do not outweigh the risks. There is no spinal fluid around my spinal cord at C6-C7. I get around good, most people cannot tell the amount of pain I have and try hard not to let it show. I take very little pain meds. But am worried that if I do not get surgery, I could become paralyzed. I am 45 years old. I just do not know what to do and am desperate for advice!

By the way my mom has a bad back and neck and has had numerous surgeries and still does not seem all that better. It seems that surgery begets surgery, which is why I am so scared to do it. I am really driving myself crazy and have been under a monumental amount of stress, just worrying about what in the world to do. Please, please respond. – Kym

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