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New, need guidance

mzfasty77mmzfasty77 Posts: 3
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:54 AM in New Member Introductions
Hi all. I have joined this site in hopes I can help my husband. He is 34 yrs old and has severe chronic back pain since a bad car accident in 2001. He is not currently on medication but here is his history.

After the accident (nothing was broken), went through variety of chiropractics, acupuncture, medication, etc. until case was closed not long after. They basically told him he would have to "marry the pain".

Pain has gotten much worse over the years, started taking Vicoden, Percocet and the like, helps for a little while but does not last long.

In 2005, we were able to get him into a pain mngmt program, but they put him on Methadone (due to financial reasons - no ins at the time) but stopped in 2009. We would not like to return to that option for a variety of reasons.

2 MRI's, one in 2005 - Dr said nothing was there. One this year, May 2011 - diagnosis is L5 facet joint arthritis with fused S1. We now have insurance and he has seen a primary but after the recent MRI, the neurosurgeon he was referred to said there is no reason for him to see my husband.

I've called other participating orthopedic surgeons, clinics, etc.. trying to get someone to see my husband. He works all day so he is unable to make the calls. He has gone back to taking pain meds, hydrocodone to be exact, but the pain always comes back. He is usually miserable, aching, and a little depressed because the pain limits him and he cannot enjoy his life the way he would like.

I can't think if I've missed anything but feel free to ask questions, if you think it would help. I'm really just looking for direction, maybe we've missed something? We're trying to find the means to an end, so to speak. It's been too long already.
Thanks in advance :)


  • MetalneckMetalneck Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,364
    I would think that whomever is RX'ing him the pain medication - would be able to refer your husband to an appropriate specialist for further diagnostic's - theraputic's - and evaluation's with a plan of action.

    As far as working and not being able to "take the call" I assume you mean that your husband is putting his job before his health. If so - there is little you, or I, or all the doctors in the world can do to help. He needs to be willing to work through the system, and get the help he may need.

    Spine problems are often progrssive, and getting appropriate treatment sooner can help avoid additional pain and/or disability later.

    As one of our sages on the site here likes to say .... Git er done !!

    So get a plan, and put the plan into action,


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    Welcome to Spine-Health  Please read the linked guidelines!!

  • hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. your husband is very fortunate to have you by his side! you two have been through alot together.. there really isn't much that can be done if your husband cannot make it to a doctor's call.. that is a problem.. please just stay close and be there for him.. many of us use several different modalities as well as pain medication in order to deal with our pain.. perhaps your husband needs to see a good pain specialist. good luck and stop by the forum anytime! and remember to take care of yourself!!! Jenny :)
  • Hi D, and Jenny. Thank you for responding to my post. I should probably clarify though, I didn't mean he couldn't take a Dr's call. I just meant that I was the one at home, making calls,trying to get him in to see a Dr, because he has to work. He can always take off work to go to the appt or take time to answer the phone if a Dr should call him, that's not a problem. We are just on a very limited income so he works and I'm home with our two children so it's easier for me to make the outgoing calls.

    As for his Rx, he doesn't get them from the Dr unfortunately. He's been forced to seek other means, because our primary does not prescribe the meds that work, even if they only work temporarily. So you see our need to find an alternative treatment or route to take. He doesn't want to be on medication, he hates taking the pills, but for now, in order to get through the day, it's what he has to do. He doesn't abuse them, and only takes when needed (i.e. work days).

    His pain has been going on for so long and he is just about fed up. I'm hitting wall after wall with doctors so I just thought maybe someone here would be able to tell us something we might be missing. :)

  • S, i do wish we could of been of more help to you and your husband.. sometimes the answers are long and not what we expected..patience is so key to getting care with back pain!! i can certainly understand your husband's need for medication if he is in chronic pain!! getting if through a doctor would be the more desirible means.. once again i wish you alot of luck.. look through the forum and you never know what you will come across.. Jenny :)
  • Fasty,

    Welcome to Spine Health! Sorry to hear your husband is hurting. What you might want to try and do? Try getting with a spine specialist (not necessarily a surgeon) - Neurologist or Orthopedist that is fellowship trained and certified. They tend to look at our spine issues differently than does surgeons.

    If he has facet arthritis, and the S1 is fused, that might be why they aren't interested - not sure if there is anything at this time they could do, but I of course don't know that for sure. With a spine specialist, they can zero in on what and were the pain is coming from and go from there. If it looks like surgery could be an option, then he/she would refer your husband, and the surgeon might take your husbands situation more seriously.

    I hope your search is successful and soon. Please let us know how it goes. Again, Welcome aboard!!

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Thank you Brenda & Jenny. It's been hard but we have no choice but to keep looking for help. My husband spoke to a counselor, and after telling him his story, he suggested we take the "arthritis and run with it", meaning to get our foot in the door, and see a Rheumetologist. We're in the process now of getting the referral so hopefully this doctor will see my husband since it seems as though the orthos and neuros don't want to see him. If that doesn't work out, I will def retry the spine specialist route. I did call one in our area prior but they couldn't see him. I'd have to look in a different county for others.

    As for getting his medication from a doctor, our primary doesn't prescribe the ones that seem to work, they don't do cortizone injections (an option my hubby wants to try) and we are locked into our primary due to how our ins works :( Ugh, it's one hoop after another. Hopefully we will have good news soon. Thanks for your responses. Fingers crossed for us!

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