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Who to see about chronic pain after herniated disc surgery?

CarpTCCarpT Posts: 7
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:48 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Who to see about chronic pain after herniated disc surgery?
It will be a year Jan.21, 2011, I had surgery for c6/c7 herniated disc. After surgery, I still have pain in my neck, right shoulder, right arm and numbness in my right index finger. The spine surgeon said the pain would go away with time, and that I won't have to see him in the office any longer and to just call for my medicine refills. I take 900 MG Gabapentin three times a day, 1 to 2 500MG Hydroco
every four hours and 1 800 MG Metaxalone three times a day.

I continued to have varying degrees of discomfort. I do have a TENS unit that I use that sometimes helps with the pain. There are days that I hurt so much that my husband and kids try to stay away from me.

I am so afraid that I will become addicted to the pain medication that I will go a day or two without taking it. (those are the days everyone hides)

My husband wants to try to find another doctor to see if someone can help and I am agreeing with him but we don't know who and where to go.

Does anyone have any ideas and what / who we should see.

I am thinking I should see a nerve doctor but I just don't know anymore. Just tired of always hurting.



  • I was about 10 days ahead of you in surgery. Post op they found that the ostyophyte that they had removed either grew back or is still there so I have the same pain as I did before surgery. I also had several complications from the surgery which cause additional pain.

    I've been seeing my neurologist (not the surgeon) for treatment. Since we know that 95% of my pain is neuro in origin it made sense to me to see him instead of an orthopedist. We have been working to find a medication that will control the pain without the side effects. I would be concerned about taking the hydros so consistently this far out from surgery. I take one or two a week when the pain is unbearable.

    Hope this helps.
  • You won't become addicted to pain medication just from taking it every day as directed for pain. Addiction is a disease in which a person uses a prescription medication improperly and develops a need for the medication unrelated to the medical use- "cravings."

    The percentage of people who become addicted to prescription opiates while using them legitimately for pain is actually quite small. You might become dependent on them- meaning when you decide to go off of them, you will have some negative effects if you don't taper slowly- but that is not addiction. You will see many people here being treated for chronic pain with daily opiates without any addictive behaviors.

    So with that out of the way, have you tried calling the surgeon and setting up an appointment to discuss your pain situation? Or can you ask your PCP for a referral to another orthopedic surgeon?

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