Greetings from Wisconsin. I've been referencing these forums for years. There is a lot of valuable information for newcomers, and I'm hoping a place where I can meet other people who understand what I'm going through.
I'm 43, and started having sholder pain when I was about 28. I worked on an assembly line at the time, and reported it, but was shuffled around from doc to doc by my employer, and was told it was anything from bursitis to tendinitis. I consulted my own doctor who gave me anti-inflammatiries and sent me on my way. I sought chiropractic care as well. As I said, my pain was in my right shoulder (rhomboid/trap). I would do something that didnt take much effort, like brush my teeth, feel a click, and all of a sudden I would have difficulty turning my head without significant pain. These flare-ups went on for years, and like birthing contractions, got more severe and closer together as time went on. It got to the point where my pain was constant, and I demanded something new be done. I had had X-rays, CT, MRI (of my shoulder) multiple times over the years. Thank God I was sent to an anesthesiologist for a pain consult, and he immediately ordered an MRI of my cervical and thoracic spine, and on my way home, he called to inform me I had a herniated disc at C6/C7. I immediately consulted a spine surgeon, and had ACDF surgery about 3 months later, after 12 years of being in pain! I had almost given up hope.
Although my shoulder pain definitely went away, my neck pain began, and the muscular pain in my upper back moved to a new area. I have since had ACDF at C5/C6 as well (spinal stenosis, bone spurs, bulging disc). Last month I underwent a revision of the C5/C6 surgery, as I did not fully fuse. Everything looked great at my 6 month, but by 1 year, my bone graft had disintegrated.
I have been through 3 surgeries, and can definitely relate to someone going through it for the first time. I would also love to meet others who are living with the same issues. As we all know, it can get frustrating and depressing.
I'm looking forward to meeting you all, and sharing my experiences along the way!
ACDF C6/C7 - 8/2010
ACDF C5/C6 - 5/2012
ACDF Revision C5/C6 - 8/2013
Posterior revision w instrumentation C5/C6 - 6/2014
Epidural steroid injections (cervical spine) 11/2014 - 12/2014
Cervical nerve block 3/2015