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JaswanyJJaswany Posts: 3
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:48 AM in Lower Back Pain
Hello everyone -

In 2008 I had a laminectomy & disc excision on my S1/L5. After surgery I had back pan until about 7 weeks ago. 7 weeks ago I started getting sharp shooting pains down my leg when I was kickboxing. I remembered the pain from the last time injured my back, and started icing it. The pain continued to worsen, so I visited my PCP and she ordered and MRI. I had the MRI done, and my PCP ordered me to see a Neurosurgeon. The findings of the MRI was that I have a superimposed moderate sized central disc herniation at the interspace level, and there is an 8 x 6 x 5 mm oval extruded component. The combination of these findings causes high-grade central spinal canal stenosis and frank impingement on the right S1 nerve root in the right lateral recess behind the upper S1 vertebral body. Mild facet degenerative changes. Mild narrowing of both caudal neural foramina.

I talked to the surgeon about what my possible options are with this type if injury. In his opinion someone with this condition as about a 50% chance of not need surgery. Thinking that was great new I ask him what conservative approaches we could do to help with the pain. I was referred to the hospitals pain management center. I saw the pain management doctor within 2 days. She gave me a nerve block and hydrocodone for the pain. The pain went away for about 4 days, then it was back worse then ever. I called back the pain management clinic and told them I needed to in and see the doctor because the pain was becoming unmanageable. They got me in to see her this past Thursday. She gave me another nerve block & increased my dosage of the pain meds.

Yesterday, the pain increased to a 10, and I could only lay in bed and cry it hurt so bac. (My leg & back). I took an extra pain pill which lowered the pain just enough so that she could take me to urgent care. The doctor at urgent care told me that he could not help me. If the pain was that bad I would need to be admitted to the hospital for pain management. He gave me a shot or Torodol and some sleeping pills for me to get some rest.

I do have an appt. to talk to my neurosurgeon on the 17th to talk about my options again, but that is a long time away. What should I do in the meantime? Call back the pain management clinic on Monday? I can barely walk to go to the bathroom. The only relief I get is laying in bed. The pain mills help about 20%, just enough so I can get up to pp!

I would appreciate any advice. Oh..I should also metion, I ice every 5 hours, and I have been doing PT, but stopped last week when the pain was unmanageable.


  • Welcome to SH. May I ask why they didn't admit you for pain management? I was admitted for 2 days for IV pain medication after a severe flare up I had after surgery.

    If you're not admitted into the hospital, the only thing I can think of that you can do is what you have been doing. Acute pain such as yours sometimes is treated with absolute bed rest and out of bed to the bathroom only. Did they prescribe any muscle relaxants or antispasmodic meds for you?

    But, if you lose control of your bladder or bowels, a trip to the ER is more than likely what your surgeon's office would advise.

    Keep us posted. Hope you improve soon.

    Best wishes,


  • Sorry to hear you're in so much pain. You might try calling the neurosurgeon's office again to tell them you're in so much pain you can't wait until the 17th. Admission to the hospital with a request for NS consultation might even be a better bet. That speeded things up for me in 1983, when I had a severely herniated C5-6 and would otherwise have had to wait 2 months to see the NS (surgery has kept my neck pain-free ever since). Best wishes, and I'll keep you in my prayers.
  • Have you considered switching to a physical therapist who will see you for pain mitigation in the meantime? Things like ultrasound and electrical stimulation often can really help, and most PTs will switch focus when pain gets too severe.

    Also, have you tried heat rather than ice? I never use ice unless it's under doctor's orders, always heat for pain management.

    Also, call the PM and let them know that you're getting only 20% reduction from your medications. There are other medications, this one could just not be the right one for you. Nerve pain medications can be very effective for some people (Lyrica, Neurontin). And with opiates, everyone is different, and hydrocodone doesn't work well for everyone.

    Sometimes getting them to be proactive with pain management is difficult, good luck!
  • laying down is your friend in this acute stage, as you say you are better when doing this.
    unfortunatly , these things take time

    yes, ring dr on monday, let him/her know whats happening with you

    if you get bowel/bladder symptoms or saddle numbness, it is recommended by drs to be checked out

  • I have gone to the ER before for pain management, and felt like I was wasting their time. This time, I decided on urgent care, and they asked me why I didn't go to the ER! It's a no win situation with back pain.

    They also have me on Flexeril as well. I only take it at night because it makes me super tired.

    I called my neurosurgeon today and they had a cancelation for this Friday. So I got moved up a whole week, which is good!
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