The surgeon was probably correct in abandoning the surgery if he or she thought that removing the fragment was more dangerous to the spinal cord or nerve root. He or she is also correct that the fragment might shrink down over time but that is not guaranteed and in fact, if the symptoms continue-especially weakness, the ACDF surgery needs to be given hard consideration.
It is true that it might take some time to recover from the surgery but with no real change in symptoms after this surgery, it is not uncommon to repeat the MRI to see what the condition of the nerve root is and what residual compression remains.
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.