My ultra-cool neurosurgeon - top of his game, only the best staff, son of the founder of the practice - said the most upsetting thing to me of all, and it was the delivery as much as the content that sent me into a panic. I had such bad neck pain and nerve pain into my hands that I was ready for surgery NOW when I went to see my neurosurgeon. After the insurance-required three injections (mild relief for +/- 30 days), I was on the brink of tears all the time. I gave in and began using Vicoden, and to everyone's amazement, I continued to function just fine at work. To me, that was evidence that my pain was real. I could load up on narcs and still complete every assignment at the same rate, with the same accuracy, so this wasn't "in my head," which is what I was always afraid people would say. On the final pre-op check, my hands were on fire and my arms were electric. I was a mess, a total mess. I couldn't understand why this guy was so blase about my pain. He told me the C5-6-7 fusion would likely do little for my hand pain, and then casually mentioned something about my arthritis. I said, "No one's ever told me I have arthritis." I'm sure it was more of a screech than a statement. But that was it. Nope, this fusion isn't going to help half (or more) of your issues. You're f^cked. And that, ladies and gents - EPIPHANY - is why, after the fusion, my neck pain greatly subsided BUT MY HAND AND ARM PAIN DIDN'T. Cripes! I never put 2 and 2 together until just now. Awwwww, man. In that heightened state, so freaked out over every little thing, his suggestion that I'd be living eternity with hand and arm pain became reality in my mind, which then reinforced the pain I'd been having, which reinforced the "knowledge" in my mind that I have residual nerve damage. Sheesh. Now that I wrote all this, it's like it would have been better to be a journal entry than an answer to a simple question. But it's here now, and it's staying. EPIPHANY!