Michael Duberry will have neck surgery next week after two injections failed to cure a prolapsed disc.
The Oxford United defender admits going under the knife in such a delicate part of the body is a frightening prospect.
But the advice from doctors is that surgery is needed to ensure a quality of life after the 36-year-old stops playing, which made up his mind.
“The injections haven’t been very successful, which is a shame,” the centre back said.
“The only next stage is an operation, which I’m not too keen on.
“It scares me, someone opening up my neck, especially with the spine there and all the talk of (the risks of) paralysis from the operation.
“But after speaking to different specialists, it’s something that – and I’m not saying I’ve changed my opinion on it – I’m not totally dismissing it because it’s a necessity not just for Michael the player, but for Michael the person.”