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edited 06/11/2012 - 8:41 AM in Chronic Pain
I have had severe pain in my lower back and neck due to a broken C7 a couple years ago and I guess just age taking it's toll on my lower back. Had an MRI and I have DDD with a couple disk herniations and some spurs.

Anyhow, I had been seeing a neurologist that just pushed Roxicodone and did nothing else to get to the problem. After months of this I got a PCP and he referred me to a pain clinic. The doc acted as if I shouldn't be in any pain and said Roxicodone was for cancer. I asked for Lortab until my injections were completed in about 3-4 weeks and he said "No. You will go into withdrawal" and he demanded that I take Opana ER. After 3 days on that stuff I was a zombie that was still very much in pain. He would not return my phone calls and after a couple weeks I told my PCP what happened and he is referring me to a neurosurgeon.

My problem is that where at first it was nothing but drugs from my neurologist, now it's no medication at all while I get to the root of the problem. Is there no middle ground? I have talked my PCP into a months worth of Lortab but if the neurosurgeon doesn't feel he can help me where do I go? I live in a rural area and the pain clinic I went to is almost the only one in town. Can I not be on medication while I go through these procedures? I almost wish I had stayed with my Roxicodone doc and stopped looking for the truth. It's ridiculous.

Do I keep going until I find a doctor who understands that I must be able to function while these procedures are being scheduled and are taking place? I am so frustrated. I've taken so much time off work because of this and here I sit in pain.


  • If I was you I would keep looking to fine the right Dr. Don't let a dr. tell you about your pain.After all its your body and you know where it hurt and how much you hurt. I went threw a few Dr to find a pain Dr that would listen to me.

    hoping you the best

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,875
    It always makes it much easier for members here to try to provide some help when we have more information.

    1- Broken C7. What are you referring to when you stated that? Was that findings after a MRI? What did the doctor tell you it was?

    2- MRI findings DDD, couple of herniated discs and bone spurs. What discs are you talking about? Where are you bone spurs? DDD (Degenerative Disc Disease) is the most mis understood spinal aliment. Almost every will show some signs of DDD by the time they reach 28. DDD is basically the natural aging of our spines. Some people may get it earlier or more severe due to:
    - Trauma
    - Prior Spinal Surgeries
    - Genetic conditions
    But almost every case of DDD can be managed using NSAIDS and an approved exercise program

    3- To me the biggest problem, if I read your post correctly is that you are seeing a Neursurgeon, then changed your medications , went from Roxicodone, to Opana ER. But that didnt help or made you too drowsy. So, you then talked your PCP into giving you prescription for Loritab. That can be a very dangerous thing for you, not to you.
    Obtaining pain medications from different doctors can easily be tracked and that is the way many people get the 'drug seeker' label.

    To me, the best course of action would be to deal with the Neurosurgeon,Neurologist who can best understand your situation and come up with an action plan. From what you wrote, it seemed that the doctors did not feel your condition required surgery. Ok, then what are the conservative plans that are being set up for you? There are so many treatments that you can take to help manage the pain and discomfort.

    Its not about going from doctor to doctor to get the results you want, but instead its sitting down with your doctor and have a detailed discussion of your situation. Any doctor worth their license will always talk with their patients when there is a problem that needs to be addressed.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • When I broke the C7 (2007) it was the facet joint but from a recent MRI there is no mention of that as a problem. There are spurs on the end plate (trying to recall as I don't have a copy of MRI with me) at C5-C6 and DDD there as well as a disk protrusion.

    L4-S1 is DDD and herniated disks at L4-L5 and L5-S1.

    I am trying to avoid coming across as a "seeker" because I am not and I thought the pain mgmt. doc would be my last stop but his refusal to use anything except Opana and his refusal to return my calls left me with no choice but to go back to my PCP to go another direction.

    I don't care what kind of doc I need to see but I need them to believe that I am miserable and have been for some time. Maybe my MRI doesn't read as "bad" as it feels and keeps me from doing everyday activities. My PCP listens and talks to me but the specialists I have seen in my state do not. My condition may not look horrible on an MRI but I am in agony a lot of the day and activities with my family are few and far between. It has caused me to get so depressed and I've had panic attacks just dealing with the medical part of this problem. I am a shadow of who I was just 3 years ago.

    The neurosurgeon that treated me when I broke my C7 was great but she was in Georgia and I am now in West Virginia and the attitude here seems to be very different. It's strange that she thought I could use surgery but wanted me to wait until I couldn't stand the pain any longer but the doctors here act as if surgery is not an option. I tried everything from acupuncture to PT to Tens to epidurals.....and have gotten no relief.

    I don't subscribe to the idea that you just do whatever the doc says, even if isn't in your best interest. Just like being given Opana and after making me ill and "out of it" the doc would not return my calls. But he sure did send a letter with the schedule for my 3 rounds of epidural shots. That, to me, is not what I pay for. I went from all meds and no therapy to all therapy/procedures and no meds from these "specialists".

    I have to function in between these therapies that they propose.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,875
    about patients that have pain yet all the diagnostic testing does substantiate it.

    Is that saying that the pain is in your head? NO

    There are times when specialist may look at the tests and since they do not see anything horrible, just come away that you are not in that much pain.

    I was seeing my Neurosurgeon for almost 25 years, since he was the one who did 5 of my spinal surgeries.

    But in 2006, it became apparent that additional surgery was not in order, so he told me it was best that I see a Pain specialist. That was the best thing that could have happened to me. I have been seeing my physiatrist (Doctor of Physical Medicine Specializing in Acute and Chronic Pain )now for almost 4 years and she has been the one who has orchestrated everything on my behalf. She scheduled my ESIs, MRIs, X-Rays, Physical and Aqua Therapy, Osteopathic therapy, Deep Tissue massage and Meditation therapy. In addition she is in total control of all of my medications.

    She doesnt perform surgery, but she looks at the total picture. Sometimes that is exactly what is needed.

    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • I am trying to get the best advice I can from as many I can that have been there.
  • painkiller said:
    If I was you I would keep looking to fine the right Dr. Don't let a dr. tell you about your pain.After all its your body and you know where it hurt and how much you hurt. I went threw a few Dr to find a pain Dr that would listen to me.

    hoping you the best

    Yes, I am totally agree with you, as it is important to find some other doctor who will treat you well.

    You can also get some good referrals through your family members, don't just stick with the one who is not suggesting you the right way to go.

    You can also go for pain management system or physiotherapy that will also be very effective for you.
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