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New Here and Need Help!!

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:31 AM in Lower Back Pain
Hello to my fellow sufferers!! I have finally been diagnosed with a degenerative disc disease, stenosis and a nerve that is almost completely impinged on my left side. My left leg is numb from the knee down to the foot, but I have excruciating pain from L-5 to the hip and to the back of my knee. I find it difficult to adjust now to find a comfortable position. Sleep has become increasingly futile and my personality, normally easy going, is turning to crap. My poor children and wife think that the man of the house is turning into a monster. I am getting about 45 minutes of sleep before waking up, moving around the room, settling back down, falling back to sleep just to do it all over again. Anyways, this is not new to any of you in this forum so I won't bore you with my problems. My question is that I have been taking oxycodone 20mg every 6 hours with no real pain relief. I have an appointment with the doctor in a few days, and would like to go into the appointment a bit educated from people who have been there. Hence....I ask you folks. What would be a good next step? Fentanyl patch? Morphine? Any other pain killers that I am not aware of? I have no idea. Please let me know so I can go into the appointment without being railroaded into something I know nothing about. Thank you in advance for your help.


  • From your description, it sounds to me like none of the meds you mention with do anything. It sounds like your pain is being generated from a problem with the nerve or nerve root. The meds you are taking and that you mention are pain medications. They will not take the edge off nerve pain.

    I imagine the doctor will want to try something to take the pressure off the nerve. This may be medication, but most likely will be an epidural steroid injection. This is the fastest way to get a steroid directly to the area of impingement rather than taking it orally.

    Generally before surgery is recommended for this type of situation (stenosis, "pinched" nerve) steroid injections will be tried in an attempt to get the patient strong enough to attempt some physical therapy. All of these activities are designed to get the supporting soft tissue and muscles strong enough to support the spine (PT) and the tissue moved off the nerve (ESIs) so that the symptoms (numbness, pain, etc.) will go away or lessen.

    When these modalities fail, then the patient may be looking at surgery such as a decompression such as a laminectomy, foraminotomy, etc.depending on what is compressing the nerve. You do not mention disk problems, so I am assuming the nerve is being compressed mainly due to the stenosis.

    You do not mention what type of doctor you are seeing. If you are seeing your family doctor, I suggest you get a referral to a spinal specialist, preferably a fellowship-trained orthopedic spinal surgeon or a neurosurgeon that devotes his practice to issue of the spine and back.

    Good luck. Hopefully your pain will resolve on its own and you won't need to go through any of this.

    Feel free to post with any of your comments or questions.
  • It sounds like nerve pain and at the very least you may need a nerve pain medication. Good luck.
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