If you have cervical stenosis, one of the factors is how severe the stenosis really is? Do you have any “white” fluid around the spinal cord which is CSF (cerebrospinal fluid) and a “cushion” around the cord. If there is no CSF surrounding the cord and especially if there is a white signal in the cord itself which indicates a prior injury to the cord, you should consider surgery. Now if there is no abnormal signal in the cord and your examination shows no long tract signs (hyperreflexia, Hoffman’s sign, incoordination), you have no symptoms of myelopathy (see the hyperlink below) and you don’t do activities that can place your neck as risk (motorcycling, mountain biking, skiing, fighting. etc…), then you can wait. There is a chance that if you have tight stenosis and you fall and hit your head, forcing it backwards that you could develop a cord injury.
Donald Corenman, MD, DC is a highly-regarded spine surgeon, considered an expert in the area of neck and back pain. Trained as both a Medical Doctor and Doctor of Chiropractic, Dr. Corenman earned academic appointments as Clinical Assistant Professor and Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, and his research on spine surgery and rehabilitation has resulted in the publication of multiple peer-reviewed articles and two books.