I've had spinal fusion much higher than where you are talking about (C-4,5,& 6) about 18 years ago. It has limited my range of motion, but allowed me to do most things (I even went back to playing hockey until I reached my early 40s).
Eight years ago, I stepped in a snow covered stump hole while walking fairly quickly and carrying some gear for work. It wrenched my back to the point where I had to crawl back to the truck and pull myself back in (lucky I left the door open) to get home. I couldn't get out of bed on my own for a week. I couldn't get dressed or tie shoes for a few weeks. I went to a back specialist who shot some X-rays. As we were waiting for them to develop, we were talking about how the builders of the pyramids in Egypt all had messed up backs from the heavy lifting they did for a long time. Archaeologists had unearthed the bones from many of those workers and found that an extremely high number of them were likely in pain much of their lives. When my X-rays came back, the doctor looked at them and said "Wow, you're a pyramid builder". Each of my vertebrae were worn and not lined up properly with the one above/below the next. He said that I would likely have to face back surgery in the future. The doctor suggested I start an exercise program to strengthen my core muscles to help support the spine as much as possible. I started swimming at the health club each morning before work, then went to jogging and doing some reps of push-ups. Eventually, I was running 3-5 miles and doing 250 to 300 push-ups before work each day.
I didn't have much trouble after that until April of '07 when I was T-boned on my side of the car by a drunk driver who ran a red light @ 70 mph. It messed up my left hip and shoulder permanently (even after a couple of surgeries) and I still have some double vision and get severe headaches from the brain injury I sustained. I'm really lucky to be on this side of the dirt. Everybody who saw my vehicle after the wreck was surprised that anybody lived throught it. As soon as I could hold myself up on the walker, I started another (vastly different) exercise program. I mainly walk, do some stretching, and do some resistance work with thera-bands (like giant rubber bands). Needless to say, hockey is out, as I can't stand another brain injury, nor can I skate from the hip injury. Can't do push-ups either. Remembering what the spine specialist said about keeping my core muscles strong or risk having spine issues, I continue to do the best I can to stay as strong as I can.
It takes longer for me to do most things and many things are more challenging than they ever were before. I don't like to say impossible, but some things really are for me now. I haven't been able to draw any of my bows since the day of the wreck. I saw plenty of people while I was in physical therapy & rehab who were worse off than I was and they were busting @$$ to try to get back to as good as they could be. That right there motivates me to regain as much as I possibly can.
So all I can offer are the same suggestions the spine specialist gave me. Build your strength to help hold that back in place and do it daily. Hold out on surgery as long as you can. If it comes to that, remember that we are lucky to be living in the time we are because even 20-30 years ago that type of surgery was not possible. It would have just been too bad and you might not have been able to be surgically repaired.
I offer my support and wish you the best so you can get back to doing the things you want & love to do.
Luck Counts, good or bad