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Back surgery, upcoming

johnpatjjohnpat Posts: 1
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:32 AM in New Member Introductions
I just happened on to this forum and would like to introduce myself. I'm a 54 year old grandfather thats been suffering from back pain for over 20 years. I have already had 4 back surgeries and both hips fully replace in the past 10 years. The last 2 back surgeries were fusions, L5-L4 and then L4-L3 addon. These were done in 2002 and 2006 as well as a hip each year of the fusion surgeries.(The first 2 surgeries were disceptomys, I think.) I had never really gotten rid of the pain so for 4 years I've been taking morphine sulfate for the pain. It started out with 15mg 3 times day and now its up to 60mg 4 times plus hydrcodone 10/325mg 3 times a day. Last week I went back to the neurosurgeon that did the 2 fusions and took the film from a MRI I had in Fuburary, thru my Nurologist, and now I have to have more fusion done. Hes going to go from L3 or L4 to T11 or T10 which he will decide after he gets in and started. I'm SCARED TO DEATH this time! I'm wondering if anyone else has had this done before? And also anyone who has had to take this kind of narcotics and has suffered with constipation any help with relief would really be appreciated! I do all of the recommended thiks but its still a problem and its worring me with the surgery set for 2 weeks from today. I'm trying to wean off the narcs but when you are in pain its almost as hard as quitting smoking after 30+ years but I did. I have been smoke free for 3 years now and if anyone wants to know how I did it just let me know. (I was at 4 packs a day at the time I quit!)


  • Hi,

    Welcome. There are a lot of supportive people here, both in the forums and chat room. I had 2 fusions last year. I'm on MS Contin twice a day.

    What I do for constipation is drink plenty of fluids, raisin bran in the a.m., prunes and every other week I use Colace for several days. Occasionally I have to take a dose of milk of magnesia. Not good to take stool softeners and laxatives every day. In extreme cases, I have used a Fleet's Enema.

    I wish you the best with further surgery. I have had other surgeries besides the fusions and each time gets scarier for me as well.

  • hi i'm pete and i've been on this site for about 3 weeks. i love it. like yourself i've had lots of pain for many years. we are similar too in that i've had 2 fusions and 2 hip replacements. we're both a bit old and therefore wise...my advice to you is be very cautious. you didn't get relief from the fusions.... what are the chances that further surgery would help? id get a few more opinions. also you might want to check into the spinal stimulator which is less invasive than the fusion and may do a better job on the pain. By the way if he goes up that high with fusion i believe they would be unable to insert spinal stimulator if you still have pain after the surgery. GIVE IT CAREFUL THOUGHT! PM me if you want to talk further...
    best of luck
  • I am sorry to hear about all of your surgeries and not getting any relief from the pain. I would have to agree with Pete81241 get more opinions before any more invasive procedures...especially if you have not had any relief from the previous surgeries.

    My husband had a diskectomy on L4-5 and if it were up to the medical community he'd still be on pain meds and more...

    If you are open to alternative modalities I'd look into an osteopathic doctor who can recommend nutritional foods to assist with the constipation. One of the problems with the large amounts of narcotics is that you run the risk of getting rebound headaches + killing your kidneys. Always have your kidney's check-the last thing you want is to end up on dialysis as a complication to years of pain meds..don't mean to scare you..just the facts and the MD's don't really explain that to you.

    Nutrition and exercise has been the best thing for my husband. What we eat has plenty to do with the amount of inflammation the nervous system has..that is why anti-inflammatory pills alone don't work..they can't fix or kill the pain your nerves are under. I can't tell you it was easy to ease out of the pain meds (percocet, dilaudid, neurontin etc) after 10 yrs of taking them but the 1 month of withdrawls and pains have been worth it to be pain med free and almost 100% nerve pain free..

    Acupuncture, physical therapy etc..don't work alone it needs to be a whole treatment series with nutrition and exercise..and it takes weeks to see improvement..but you'd be surprised how resilient our bodies are and how it has the power to heal itself..

    The MD's never discuss nutrition as part of your recovery and if you ask they won't give you very much useful information.. good luck on your quest for good back health..
  • hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. i have found that "psyllium" works really for bathroom problems. :? a little in a shake each morning will have things moving right along.. :D good luck and i hope you find relief soon. =D> Jenny :)
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