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AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
I just found this board. I am a 75 yers old woman with cronic sciatica pain. Having my second epadural tomorrow. 25 years ago, I had a lamanectomy at the L4L5.It was a great success.
Recently have had problems with leg pain and numbness in the left leg. The first epadural in July, helped some, but after PT I felt somewhat normal. Until I went on a 165 mile car ride over Thanksgiving. Have been pain ever since. Doc put me on nurontin, turned me into a zombie. Now I'm finishing up a week on prednisone. Also taking oxicodone.
The ortho doc is reluctant to do any surgery as I have ddd on all levels. Pain mgmt doc is suggesting surgery just at the S1 and L5.
Anyone having that surgery, can you give me some advice about recovery...I live alone, so I am concerned.


  • hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. i have to ask you if you have tried any of the nerve pain medications like Lyrica? :? it worked wonders for the sciatica in my leg and hip!!! i know neurton is of the same class but Lyrica is newer and may work differently for you. i have tried both and it did wonders for me.. anyway, good luck as you venture into new areas of pain relief. :D check out the "Back and Neck surgery" forum for some input on what you might need for surgery. :? you will need assistance i am sure of that.. good luck!! ask all of your questions and make sure you get your answers!!! :D Jenny :)
  • No I have not tried Lyrica. Only know of it from commercials on TV. Will ask the doc. I do have to be careful. A few years back, I was taking Vioxx for my arthritis, and it caused kidney damage. So I am limited on medications that are anti inflammatory, can't take any. Tylenol/w codine, now graduated past vicodin to oxicodone. Don't like the idea of being in a drugged state. Have always been an active person, traveling etc. Now even a short car ride does me in.
    I know I am probably a good deal older than any of you. I am so surprised that so many younger folks have back issues. I thought all of that was reserved for the old folks.
    Anyway, thank you for the welcome. Any info I can gleen for you all, I will greatly appreciate.
  • If you can take neurontin, you should be able to take Lyrica. It is the newer big brother to neurontin and has fewer side effects in most people.

    Do you know what type of surgery the doctor was suggesting for the L5-S1 area? It would probably be a discectomy or a fusion. Recovery would depend on the type of surgery. Fusion is a bigger surgery and would require a longer, harder recovery.

    There are some people on the board who are your age, but as you can see, the majority are younger.

    Are you happy with your pain management doctor? It may be that you can manage your situation without the need for surgery.

    Please keep reading. You will find lots of informative articles on this site and you can also pick up lots of information from reading through the forums.

  • I am wondering if you might have Medicare. If so they will pay for so many days of a home health care nurse for you.

    You may be just fine after surgery but it would be better to be prepared if you do ned help.

    I am also wondering if your doc has checked out your facet joints? Arthritis in your facet joints can cause pain especially from sitting too long.

    If the injections and PT did give you some relief that is another indication that you may have issues in the facet joints.

    I have arthritis in my facet joints and have found that having a rhizotomy (nerve burn) about once a year is helpful with this pain.

    My Pain Management doc is the one that gives my rhiztomys. I also had the epidurals in the beginning which provided short term relief. That is what indicated that the rhizotomys may work and they do.

    Good luck and please keep us posted.
  • Yes I do have Medicare, plus I have a long term health care policy, that has been effect for 7 years.Fortunately never having to use it....so far.

    I am very satisfied with my pain mgt doc. As a matter of fact I had an epadural this morning, and am already feeling some relief. He is looking to keep with the epadurals as long as posible. Any other proceedure would be a S1-L5 fusion.
    I have no idea what a rhiztomy is, will check that out in the morning.

    Again, thank all for your help.

  • I'm Kendra and I've had back problems since I was 15 years old, after a car accident. I am having Artificial Disc Replacement surgery in Germany in Feb. I'm in the US and they won't pay for it or do the procedure here. I had a discetomy 18 years ago and now have sever DDD at L3-S1, the option for me was also the fusion. I believe they recovery would be 3 months of bad recovery-pain and a year til you feel normal. As you are old I would think the fusion would be fine. You do need help, though as you won't be able to lift, twist, bend, etc. I am on Cymbalta(for nerve pain) and on Oxymorphone for pain and get on a good muscle relaxor(Baclofen) is what I use. Good luck and welcome.
  • I believe you can only do 2-3 steroid injections in a year as they are worried about deterioration of the bone and or joints. (maybe it's different at your age.)That is what my docs have told me. I have done oral steroids quite a bit, it is hard on the body also. I used milk thistle to cleanse my liver afterwards.
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