Neck surgery usually is considered a treatment for neck pain only when all other approaches have failed. Most doctors would rather encourage a patient first try treating their neck pain using medicine, rest, and physical therapy.
If cervical degeneration causes myelopathy (spinal cord dysfunction), radiculopathy (dysfunction of nerves to the neck or arms), or abnormal neck motion, surgery may be necessary. The surgical goal is to reduce pain and restore spinal stability. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/neck-pain-and-stiff-neck/