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Surgery and how soon to be on the go.

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:34 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I had my mri on thursday and it was confirmed that I have no choice but to go for surgery on my back. I will be having another EMG. A referral has been sent to an orthopaedic surgeon and a neurosurgeon. This could take up to 18 months. We are doing the emg to see how much more damage has been done as I can no longer walk due to the pain.

My doctor thinks that because it is this severe I may not have to wait 18 months.

My questions.

1)I will be in Mexico for 3 weeks in Jan. How close to the surgery could I go on vacation?

2) I am on lyrica. It is too expensive and I do not have a drug plan. It's costing me $500/month and I am on maternity leave. Any other drugs to take?

3) If you have your back fused can you have an epidural for pregnancy again (if pregnant again i will have to have a c0section)



  • You don't say how much or what kind of surgery you are contemplating, but before surgery you should be able to do whatever you can tolerate. So go and try and enjoy your vacation.

    Lyrica is expensive. You could talk to your doctor about Neurontin(gabapentin). Lyrica is kind of the hot new kid on the block. Neurontin has been around a long time, and it can be just as effective. The patent has expired so it is much cheaper.

    Having an epidural for a C-section should be possible, if they don't fuse the whole spine. If they fuse the entire spine an epidural may not be possible.

    As for waiting 18 months...........if your pain gets so severe that you cannot function. Talk to your doctor about his schedule and when he would agree to do your surgery. Then on whatever day he agrees to see you, and do your surgery. You go to the emergency room, and tell them that you can no longer function, then ask them to call your surgeon. He can come in and do your surgery as an emergency, and the insurance will see it as an emergency.

    Hope this helps
    Good Luck

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  • I am not sure what kind or surgery it will be yet. Either a laminectomy or microdiscectomy. The doctor I see now is just a specialist and not a surgeon so I still have to wait for a referral and then talk to the surgeon about what and when will be done.

    This sounds selfish but we leave January 14 and my fear is that I'll have my surgery say January 4 and not be able to go to Mexico. My sister is getting married and it is not something I can miss. I'd rather be in pain then miss it.

    As for the Lyrica she thought that if we were to go on Neurontin then it would not be as effective but I only take 100 mg of Lyryica a day and haven't had to move the dose up yet.

    Thankyou so much for your insight.
  • If you do want to reduce costs for medicines, gabapentin is athe generic for neurontin and is pennies compared to dollars for Lyrica. Lyrica has fewer side effects and you need less to work than the older gabapentin.

    Back surgery is almost always considered an "elective" surgery. Only in rare instances is it considered life-saving surgery. Usually it is up to the patient to decide when he or she has had enough and is ready to try surgery in hopes that it will bring pain relief. Assuming you do not develop bladder or bowel problems, you should be able to take your trip.

    Good luck with the timing of everything!!
  • It looks by the title of your thread that you were wondering how soon you would be back on your feet after surgery. Since you ask about fusion and having an epidural if you get pregnant, I am assuming you're looking at fusion....if that's what you were asking...do realize that recovery from fusion is a long process. You won't be travelling to a wedding a couple weeks after having fusion. You won't be allowed to drive for two weeks minimum. I didn't drive until after the eight week mark.
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