Had fusion surgery about 15 months ago. Started seeing a pain management specialist just 4 months after surgery because the pain was at the level of climbing into bed, grabbing my knees and just weeping. Have had 4 esi's and rfa, 3 levels both sides under fusion (L4-L5) area. Use a tens unit and sometimes lidoderm patches help a little.
I'm on Lortab 15 to 20 mgs a day. I go from 8 pm until 12 or 1 the next day without any. Today I just had a caudal esi. Hoping for a little relief.
My first question is - I'd prefer taking an oxycodone without tylenol. Is that available? What do I ask my pm doc to prescribe without tylenol. I take ibuprofen most days so my liver doesn't need the tylenol.
Also, I've been taking Lortab at this level for more than 15 months. How long can one continue on this drug? Sometimes it doesn't help my pain and I have to take 25 mgs. Sometimes just 15 mgs. But never, less than that. I know it is physically addicting. Is there another drug that can be substituted for awhile to minimize the addiction risk?
Finally, what does one do? I know many here have dealt with chronic pain for years. The pain isn't "invented." I hate it and I hate taking drugs for it. But without them I can't make it through a day without staying in bed so my back doesn't have to have any stress on it. Anybody have any suggestions for different options? At this point I'd almost welcome a 2nd surgery if I thought it would help.
Is it normal for docs not to be able to pinpoint the exact source of the pain, ie, hardware vs nerve damage? Thanks in advance for your advice. Kathy