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I'm new to this site.  As I been leafing though all the post I realize I am not alone. And I am thankful for that. Here's my story, followed by some questions.

a little background... I am (was) a fit female age 41.  The arm numbness, from the shoulders down started in 2008. No matter which way i slept I would wake with my arms completely "asleep". LOL  How can I say that? The "numbness" so bad it ached.  For years I would shake it off, every morning. flexing my hands and arms to get the pins and needles to go away. Soon after that came the stiffness. Total stiffness of my neck and  upper spine was now added to my morning ritual. My jobs have always been physical. My hobbies physical too. I love planting trees and plants, mowing, just being outside. As I lifted a 50lb feed bag in 2011 I felt a pull that started at my spine and shot though my left scapula. Figuring I had a pulled a muscle I made a trip to my wonderful chiro. The usual treatment of ultrasound send me though the roof. So i resorted for months to take it easy.....but not that easy. The scapular pain has never went away. My job is repetative lots lifting, twisting. Next came the burning on top of my shoulder. I swore again that I had pulled/torn a muscle. Off to my GP who said I didn't suffer from any lack of ROM, so it was not muscular. So off I went with a prescription for Cymbalta. Suppose to calm nerves down I guess. The only thing it gave me was massive headaches at the base of my skull. Fast forward to ortho office visit. He also agreed that my problem was not muscular. Scheduled shoulder xrays and mri. After results came back clear, I let them give me two steriod shots. Big mistake. Everyone told me how wonderful I'd feel. Argggggg I wanted to die for days after those shots. Massive headaches, unable to lift my arm, hot flashes. :(  I hurt worse after the shots. So off the the neurologist. By now I am working with constant pain. Even though I am wearing a tens unit everyday, all day.  I was given Tramadol for sleeping. I kept taking it and taking it, until I realized it was not helping me sleep, it actually wired me... keeping me awake for a week. My back muscles by this point are so weak that my shoulder blades are now sticking off my back.  Neuro ordered MRI of cervical spine along with this statement " I really dont think we'll find anything".  So off to Therapy I go. Heat feels good, massage feels good, traction feels good. I leave feeling better. Later the same day I turn so stiff any movement of my neck is unbearable. Mri results find c3-4 protrusion, c4-5 protrusion and c5-6 extrusion. Scheduled for pain management. Little guy set me up for cervical epidurals of Kenolog. Another steriod!  Really? after my reaction to the shots in my shoulder, I am not keen on the idea of having an even worse reaction. So i research..... and find that in 2011 the FDA made Bristol-Myers change the labeling on the Kenolog package insert to read "Not intended for epidural use". WOW! This due to loads of adverse reactions. So I promtply cancel my appointments. I talked to friends and family, finding serveral Neurosurgeons with great reviews. Of course surgery is suggested. ACDF of C5-6 and C3-4. So here I sit, waiting for my surgery date. Everyday is filled with questions. Should I do this? Will I ever be the same  as before? My biggest question that lingers in my mind is.. Will this surgery be worth it? My left shoulder blade feels like something alien attached to my back. When I sit or lay down I have to pinch my shoulders back to make them lay flat so their not poking out into the chair, or bed. My left arm feels like it weighs 50 lbs. Doing dishes, folding laundry, light dusting is an pain stimulator. Who am I kidding??? Just living and breathing is painful.

I'm sorry for the long post. I want to thank anyone in advance who takes the timeto read and respond.


I have a lot of the exact problems... did the surgery work? Did you get it? I have a singing scapula, was told I have a protrusion of my cervical spine as well. Also have pain in my neck and shoulder a lot and get headaches.. I wanna do surgery but not sure if it’s worth it sometimes.