Hello and I'm new to this forum and looking to get some answers or feedback. I'm 35 years old and work for the City as a fire fighter. I herniated my C5, C6 in March of this year while lifting weights. This is when all my frustrations began in my life! I injured it on a Friday and on Saturday, I felt like my arm was going to fall off. Saturday night I decided to go to the ER and the ER doc came in my room and told me to move my arm up down and side to side. This took about 1 minute, the doc said I pulled a muscle. Sunday rolled around and I told my wife I can't handle it! Monday came and I decided to go to an ortho doctor because I thought I had torn my rotator. He took X rays and made me do some movements and came to the conclusion that I might have herniated a disc but take celebrex and to call him in a week and half to let him know how I was doing. Well, Tuesday rolled around and I said enough was enough. My wife sells spine equipment and told me to go to a doctor that she works with. So I did and after an MRI, they found the problem. The doctor says a huge herniation in C5 & 6. Finally some answers!
He said due to my age and me being young he wanted to hold off on surgery to see if maybe it would get better, so he sent me to a doctor that specializes in injections. I had one done with no relief. Almost a month after the injury, I had an ACDF done. I had no post op problems and felt great! About 2 months after, I noticed pain & numbness starting in my right arm (same place were it was prior to surgery) and pain in my neck. The surgeon sent me to PT and was placed in traction for about 15 minutes every visit. I went to PT for about 3 weeks. I had no relief. So now were almost into January and I still have the pain, numbness and tingling in the right arm along with pain in the neck. The neck pain feels like I have a ton of weight on my head and it's compressing my neck. If I try to touch my left shoulder with my ear, I have a stabbing pain that is on the right side of my neck. I try to touch my chin to my chest and I have the same pain. If I move my head in any direction I can hear a grinding noise. Last Thursday I went in to have injections done. One on each side next to the jugular vein. HOLY crap did that hurt.
So I'm looking for some advice or if anyone has had this same issue. I'm getting tired of dealing with my arm & neck pain and wondered what is next for me? Sorry for writing a book, its just that I'm looking for answers or past experience. The other question I have is the last 9 months, I've been on Percocet for about 2/3 of the time. Is this bad? What really sucks is me being a fireman, I can't take pain pills at work so I'm miserable while working and when I get home in the morning, I take pain pills and all day you get that funny feeling. The last thing is, do the people with pain like mine feel guilt? I hate calling my doctor to refill my pain meds because of all the bad press with addiction. I don't want my doctor thinking this.