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grade 2 spondy meds not working need surgery

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:39 AM in Pain Medications
Ok so i have been lurking around the site for a while but this is my first post so go easy on the virgin! I am 33 and have been diagnosed with DDD , osteoarthritis, DFD, stenosis and grade 2 almost 3 spondy with pars defect from old compression fracture. Neoro says i neeed L3-S1 fusion . I am trying to put it off as long as possible. I am currently taking Percocet 10mg 3X daily and Arthrotec(NSAID) . My problem is the pain never stops. It dulls a little for about 2 hours after taking percocet then nothing. I tried Vicodin first and it did NOTHING. I would like something that would last longer but not knock me out or render me useless and I am afraid to ask my PM doctor as i have read so many horror stories and dont want to seem like a crack head. Does anyone know what type of pain med is typical for my problem. I feel like i am whinning if i complain but i really have lost all ability to function normally. Thanks so much & sorry for the lengthy post.


  • There are other modalities and medications for your pain that may be helpful. There is Ms Contin (morphine) that you take twice a day or oxycontin. They usually prescribe something for breakthrough pain in between those times. Have you had any injections, such as epidural steroid injections to see if those would help? With the instability caused by spondylolisthesis, fusion of the spine is the treatment of choice. I don't regret having mine done, but only had one level. Have you gone for other opinions?

    Best to you,

  • pain management doctors follow a pretty standard protocal, trying anti- inflammatories and non opiates first, then medications like vicoden and percocet, both of which contain tylenol as part of their makeup, and if those don't work, medications without the tylenol in them. Finally moving up to long acting medications if necessary. If the medications that you are currently taking aren't working well to relieve some of the pain, then you will need to discuss that with your PM doctor.
    He knows your medical history and what meds he has tried so far. He will make recommendations and prescribe a different medication.
    There is no way to be painfree with the conditions that most of us have, so we have to learn to accept moderate pain relief that allows us to function in our lives without making us dopey or unable to function.
    One word of caution, if you have nerve damage, the longer you wait or postpone surgery, the less likely that the nerves will recover fully.
    Many of us have learned the hard way that putting surgery off when it is called for has it's own cost.
    Good luck,
  • Thank You for the reply. No second opinion yet as i am waiting to be switched over to cobra as i can no longer work. They will not do injections and im not sure why. I do have a perfect hole through L4 where i had epidural with my son that didnt take. They said it was because the vertabrae was prob "spongy" and out of place then and i didnt know it. Maybe that's why ? My back has hurt for years but it just became intolerable this year. MRI says i have moderate canal & formanal stenosis so if i have read correctly that is what is causing the nerve damage..? I havent been back to the neoro since MRI but I go Thurs. I really want to clean my house and decorate for Christmas. I just wish Percocets were longer lasting because they did work fair when i started them three months ago but has since began to last less and less. I am afraid to take anything between times because i dont want to overdose or anything. again sorry for the length and I will try to make it shorter!
  • I was also told after 15 months and on a few different drugs.That nothing will touch the pain and instability but getting a fusion...

    I am in my 5th week and first day i can really say it was totally worth it...Good luck with your decision.Hope they can give you something stronger
    if the meds are not working until you decide..
  • Sorry you're in so much pain and I know how you feel. I think that you may have grown tolerant to the Percocets after taking them for a while, and that's why they are not working as well anymore. How many do you usually take in one day? The maximum is 6 because of the Tylenol content- too much Tylenol can damage the liver.

    You should bring this issue up at your doctor's appt and let him know you're not getting relief with your current dose. He could give you something for nerve pain such as Lyrica, Neurontin, or Cymbalta. Muscle relaxers like Flexeril, Zanaflex, or Baclofen come in really handy when trying to manage this type of pain. And don't forget to keep taking your NSAIDS for pain and inflammation. Most of us require a combination of these types of medicines to control our pain because you can't rely on just one type.

    I had a 2 level fusion on L4-S1 for recurrent L4-5 herniation, nerve impingement, and retrolisthesis (inward slippage-opposite of spondy). Believe me I understand your pain LOL. Well, I hope things work out and please keep us posted. Take care :H
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