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Another Neck/Shoulder Pain Topic

aleduk99aaleduk99 Posts: 2
edited 03/06/2015 - 6:07 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
I am a 33 year old very active male. I play hockey during the winter (non-contact) and golf all summer. I dont have kids yet, but hopefully sooner than later. I played contact sports throughout high school, but not anymore. I am having a tough time making a decision about my neck and shoulder issues..


I was involved in a vehicle accident July 2012. I immediately complained of pain to my neck and upper back. It got worse and headaches began. I went to see my family doctor who referred me to a Neuro specialist in September 2012. Neuro doctor suggested chiropractic care and physical therapy. Chiropractic helps for temporary relief. I have continued going to chiro since Sept 2012 at least three days per week.PT offered no help.

Neuro Surgeon suggests injections to relieve the headaches. I opted against these.

I have trouble sleeping every single night and I constantly have to find new positions to sleep in. I am always "digging" at my neck and rubbing it and trying to "crack" it to get some relief from the nuisance symptoms.

My symptoms are burning and dull pain in my lower right neck and upper right trapezius, dull and burning pain in my right scapula, and headaches. I have no numbness or tingling. I have loss of range of motion turning my head right. I am right handed.

Two MRI's show a herniated disc at C5/6 with Retrolisthesis. A bony ridge is present at C5/6 as well. Rest of the MRI showed nothing major or even close to an issue.

The Neuro Surgeon beliefs that my best chance for relief is an Artificial Disc Replacement using a Secure-C device. He has done a number of these operations and he feels that I am a very good candidate due to my age (33), health (very active in numerous sports/fitness) and that my neck only has a single level issue (C5/6 herniation).

Just had a second opinion. The separate surgeon stated that he didnt not disagree with my current surgeon, he just asked if I wouldn't mind having one more MRI on a Tesla-3 machine for some better pictures as well as trying trigger point injections, which I scheduled for next week. This visit led me to believe that if I do not have the surgery next month and stall longer, my conditions could end up getting worse over time..


MRI Arthrogram last month with the following impressions:

1) Grade II-III SLAP tear at the bicipital anchor insertion as well as intrasubstance tear of the long head of the biceps within the intraarticular course without complete tear or retaction or dislocation. Labral tear extends along the upper margin of the posterior labrum

2) Subcortical cystic changes/impaction injury likely from internal derangement of the lateral articular surface of the humerus head.

3) Prominent contrast extension deep to the origin of the upper aspect of the subscapularius tendon.

4) Tendinitis of the supraspinatus tendon and small fine linear undersurface partial-thickness tear of the distal supraspinatus and infraspinatus tendon without evidence for full-thickness or communicating rotator cuff tear.

5) Minimal AC joint arthrosis.



  • LizLiz Posts: 9,745
    edited 03/06/2015 - 6:07 AM
    welcome to spine-health

    use that above hyperlink to help you get started with spine-health and navigate through the system.

    if there are any questions, you can always post them here, send liz or myself a private message or contact ron rdilauro@veritashealth.com


    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • BlessedMom74BBlessedMom74 Posts: 322
    edited 03/06/2015 - 2:20 PM
    I also have herniations at C 5/6 as well as C4/5. I also get horrible burning pain in my right shoulder blade and right trapezius. I also get debilitating headaches. I had a facet injection done at C4/5 which only offered me three days of relief. I opted not to do the cervical epidural for fear that the risks didn't out weight the probable benefits.
    Please keep me posted as to how you do with your injections and what type of injections you are getting. I have seen three doctors (1 Orthopiedic and 2 neurosurgeons) and none belive surgery would help me. I have 2 major herniations and according to my MRI no nerve compression. However, I do believe I have some major nerve irritation going on because from time to time, when the pain in my neck gets really bad, I do get tingly sensation going down my right arm and my right hand falls asleep. I have been dealing with these issues for 18 months now. Keep me posted on what you do and what gives you relief. Thanks for sharing. I have been looking for people with similar symptoms as mine and you're the first! Btw.....I too was in a MVA and had no neck issues prior to that.
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  • Hey blessedmom

    We talked in another post on herniation symptoms. I have c4-c6 herniations like you. I have the burning pain in shoulder and trap like you. I did not have facet joint injection but had esi's x2 which helped some. First injection caused numbness down left arm more extreme than usual. Dr said foramen space was so narrowed that fluid compressed nerve causing pressure pain. Second injection was offset to right more in spinal disc space which reduced pressure. I did benefit from shots but they did not last long. I am not worried about risks if administered by Dr under guided scope.

    We do differ in that my three consults all recomended two level acdf with instrumentation. I keep putting it off because I am major provider of money and benefits. Lucky me I guess. I had no accident just wear and tear but we share same symptoms. I hate the headaches and nerve pain. Dr said nerve pain is the burning feeling. I take neurontin which helps, you should try that. It makes me a little tired but less pain. I take narcotics which help the neck pain in general. Nothing helps the tired arms feeling. I just rest as often as possible. I wake up alot with arm pain which makes me have a bad next day.

    Take care blessedmom
  • Motor1MMotor1 Pittsburgh, PaPosts: 606
    edited 03/07/2015 - 2:53 AM
    I was injured at work in March 2013. I had 2 fusion surgeries on c4/5 in one year. My symptoms were severe pain in my neck, loss of range of motion & awful pain in my left shoulder. I had X-rays & mri done on shoulder. All the doctors told me my shoulder pain was coming from my neck. Well, here I am 2 years after initial injury & I'm in more pain than before surgery! My shoulder pain has progressed down into my arm. If I try to raise my arm. Not only is it painful, but it goes numb too. I am on 1800mg of gabapentin, plus other pain meds. I am seeing a pain doctor. He's done a couple injections but none of them have given me any relief. My surgeon has scheduled me for an EMG on March 16. I'm pretty nervous about this test because I don't really want any more needles stuck into my neck!
  • Neck pain relief must start with the routine exercise, maintenance of posture. It won’t come automatically but ought to be consciously done through our practices. Some of the prevalent neck pain relief measures are as follows. The higher temperature of hot and ice packs naturally soothes the neck region. So regular applying of hot and ice packs is a medically advised technique to stay away from neck problems.
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  • I play hockey 3 days per week, non contact of course. I lift weights 4 days per week. I foam roll and use a lacrosse ball to practice myofascial release daily. In the summer I play golf where I walk the course 4 days per week. I eat good and drink plenty of water.

    I don't think my problem is lack of maintenance on myself. Can I live with the pain and lack of range of motion in my neck for the rest of my life? If I must, yes. But I dont want to have to if a disc replacement is a viable option.
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