I was hoping someone might be able To enlighten me. I’ve had facet joint syndrome (L4) for over 6 years. i have never had an MRI scan though. As time passes it is getting worse and I am really scared I will end up in a wheelchair because the pain is so constant and never relents night and day.
Things are deteriorating like I say, before I used to be unable to ever lie on my front, now I cannot lie on either of my sides either. If I try to lie on my front or sides within seconds I will be pain. I have had one course of cortisone injections that worked brilliantly for about 8 weeks and the killer pain on one spot thankfully went and is to this day much better. However, my condition is so chronic that the pain/stiffness is still there around the area and if I bend or twist I will be crippled for a couple of days after. Every morning I wake up in pain because I cannot lie in bed too long.
My pain is constant - I am never free of it. When the cortisone injections worked I felt 20 years younger. Yet I am not old now (38) and I am really worried what my long term prognosis is. I have had radiofrequency denervation of spinal root nerve which did not work - I just suffered nerve problems in my legs for sometime after ( I was falling over a fair bit). The consultant is a pain consultant not a back specialist (the back specialist referred me to him). He is reluctant to give me cortisone injections again yet they worked a treat even if only for a few weeks. I was extremely disappointed that the radiofrequency did not work.
I have also been a sporty guy and refuse to give in to physical pain and just keep going, however I need to know what my long term prognosis is likely to be like? Is there anyone here with a similar long term chronic facet problem that can shed some light? I have been given tramadol for pain relief and it usually takes 200mg to get rid of the pain, yet I do not think it is wise to be on these long term (I have already been on them for over 7 months). I have had to register at a new doctor and every time I see a new Doctor they seem to sort of dismiss my pain and want to give paracetamol lol possibly because they don’t like handing out strong pain killers long term I don’t know. So what are my long term pain management options? I asked the pain consultant what could be done, I had said ‘nothing, we can’t get you a new spine’.
Many thanks for taking the time to read this.
Head up guys ;-)