I had the same surgery on two disks (C5/6 and 6/7) on July 18, 2001. I read lots of material on this also, and success seems to come with the luck of the draw. Some people say it's the best thing they ever did - and some say the surgery has left them disabled. Very scary. Mine was continually getting worse. Recovery isn't much fun. My neck and shoulder muscles go in and out of spasm. I wrenched it the other night by sitting up the wrong way. Very painful. Be very careful after surgery. For exercise - walk only. Don't let people hug you - it puts pressure on your neck. Wear the collar. My surgeon told me to drop the collar after one week. The next day, i hurt myself because I forgot to be careful. The collar reminds you to be careful. He also thought I should not be in any pain and was pretty much blowing off what I said. I went to a physician's assistant at primary doc's office. She had this same surgery 6 years ago and is doing fine. She gave me all of the advice that I've given you (above). She REMEMBERED the pain and tried to get me morphine. We opted that out though since I live alone. Makes you forgetful and too easy to OD. Percocet helps but not completely. She swears it will get better by the third week. Hope she is right. Good luck and don't do too much too soon just because you are feeling OK. I did too much and am paying for it. I feel it will be OK though - I've just extended the recovery time a little.