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Nerve Pain Medication Advice

Tracy_LynnTTracy_Lynn Posts: 10
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:57 AM in Pain Medications
I hope someone can help me because I really have no idea what to do next.
I am currently taking Oxycontin 40mg twice a day along with 2 percocet every 6 hours and Advil and I am still suffering nerve pain - I have tried Lyrica, Nortriptyline & Tramadol and nothing seems to help.
I am seeing my Pain Dcotor on Tuesday and I was hoping to get some advice on medication for nerve pain - is there anything anyone has tried that works for them?

I have been suffering sciatic pain since June 2007 - I had a L5/S1 Micro-Disectomy in January 2008 and did not get any relief, after 6 months and a new MRI that showed that the disc had re-herniated and was still pushing on the nerve I was schaeduled for a spinal fusion which I had done in January 2009 - after this surgery the Doctor told me that it would take some time for the nerve to heal because it had been pinched for so long and it was badly damaged. Fast forward one year later still suffering sciatic pain along with more numbness the surgeon orders another MRI and tells me that I have a build up of scar tissue and there is nothing "surgically" he can do for me. I was devastated and decided to seek another opinion. Being from Canada where it takes up to 2 years to see a surgeon I decided to go to a surgeon in Buffalo who after reviewing my MRI and CT Scans said that he felt the hardware in my back was too large and that along with scar tissue was pressuring the nerve. I considered surgery to have the hardware removed but his price went from what would cost me appox. $15,000.00 to $50,000.00 for a procedure that may or may not work. I did not proceed with that doctor.
After that I was sent to a pain clinic where I have been having nerve block injections weekly and I also have tried some epidural injections around the hardware - nothing works.


L5-S1 Micro Disectomy 2008, Spinal Fusion 2009, On-going chronic sciatic pain



  • I take Cymbalta for the nerve pain and it works better than Lyrica worked for me although I didn't have surgery and don't have scar tissue from that.

    That's awful you had to wait so long for a Surgeon, you must live out in the sticks in Canada. Maybe see a Physiatrist(Sport med Dr.) to see if they can help and keep looking for a Surgeon to help you here in Canada. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • There are numerous meds for battling nerve pain. I have used


    So there are many for your doctor to choose from. I found it best to just let the doc recommend which one to try and go from there.

    Hope you are able to get some relief soon.

  • Thanks for the info - did you take different drugs at one time or a combination of meds?
    I wouldn't say I live in the sticks of Canada - I am an hour & a half north of Toronto - there are very few back surgeons in Toronto.
  • I take Cymbalta 60mg but was on a higher dose but it brought my B/P up too high but the 60mg helps and a small dose of Lyrica for neck pain.

    Sorry you had to wait so long for a Surgeon. I will send you a PM. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • i also live in canada, and i am currently taking lyrica, cymbalta, and lamotrogine. a couple of these three i am also taking for another neurological condition i have.
  • Hi,

    I suffer from Adhesive Arachnoiditis, a chronic pain condition related to severe nerve damage in my lower back. Sometimes referred to as A, the constant pain can be incredible.

    Unfortunately, A can not surgically be repaired, and dealing with the pain is a full time job. Perhaps fortunately for you, surgery in Mexico is 1/4 or less the cost of surgery in the US and the Dr.s here seem to be just as capable. I live in an area where there are over 300 Americans living about 90 miles South of San Diego. If surgery is necessary and you can afford 1/8 to 1/4 the cost of the procedure in the US, Mexico may be your answer.

    For me, Fentynal is the only drug that controls my pain. I use a Transdermal patch which provides Fentynal at a constant rate for up to 72 hrs. For breakthrough pain, I use a sublingual solution of Fentaynal at 3000mcg/ml Sol and take about a drop (.1ml) under the tongue as needed for breakthrough pain though the allowed dose is .1 to .3 ml as needed.

    These drugs are extremely potent and should only be used if you are opiate tolerant, i.e. have used Hydrochodone or Oxycodone or some other opiate previously for a period of time for the chronic pain.

    I receive my drugs from the Veterans Administration and my pain Dr. in the US. The Fentynal patch is mainstream and prescribed by the VA, the sublingual solution is primarily for cancer patients and is made up by the pharmacy for my pain Dr. I've been using this combination for a couple of years now and it is the only solution shy of injections of Hydromorphone or Fentynal for the pain.

    I also, have recently tried Cymbalta at 60mg. It tends to make me so tired and sleepy that I have tried using just 1/4 of the prescribed amount for depression and pain. Some help with the depression, but no apparent help with the pain-

    Good luck with your pain, I pray that you can find some peace through either the surgery or a combination of drugs-

  • Thanks for all of the info - ater seeing my pain dr. yesterday the only thing we are changing is I am going to go back on the anti-depressant Nortriptyline - I did all this research on different medications and she took one look at it and told me there is no one magic pill and that if there was a better drug for me she would have given it to me - I think she is mad that I no longer want the nerve block injections.
    I will look into Mexico for surgery - do you happen to know the name of the clinic?
  • Thanks for sharing this advice. This is really very informative post and will help the people who are suffering from Nerve Pain. My grandma is also suffering from Nerve Pain. Hope, this information will help her to get little relief.
  • Did the other dr. you saw think weekly nerve block injections are OK? I just wondered because if you also have arachnoiditis, I've been told that frequent injections can make it worse. I don't understand what weekly nerve blocks would do for you. The anesthetic used for a block wears off within 30 minutes to a few hours. How long did your relief last? I've been told steroids injected along a nerve root really only irritate the nerve and make pain worse???

    I hope you can find a dr. and the funds for the hardware removal. I was also told that scar tissue has to stay because removing it would just make it come back worse. Seems like getting the offending hardware would be first then deal with damage left with meds or spinal cord stimulator. I was lucky to have insurance pay to get my hardware out and the spinal cord stim. Just know that the manufacturer's websites all say that spinal cord stim is last resort afer all possible surgeries for mechanical problems done.

    Can you get bumped up on your waiting list if you report that your pain is now intractable and getting worsening nerve symptoms(the numbness?)
  • Tracy,

    I have read this whole thread and everyone has given some insightful info. There is one thing that jumps out at me though. Now, first of all, I am not a doctor. You said that you were getting injections around the hardware? Since those didnt work at all, I would assume that is why they are not looking at taking out the hardware. The theory is that if injecting around the hardware has no effect, then the pain is coming from something else. Have they done a CT scan to see if they can see nerves being impeded by the hardware? Now, as for the nerve pain, most doctors will take a combination approach. Gabapentin seems to be a very common medication. That in combination with some other medication for pain can generally redcuce the symtoms. Unfortunately in your case the pain seems to be getting worse. Your PM doc should be more agressive then putting you on some kind of Anti-depressant. While I can understand that depression can cause pain in a sense, but a combination of a number of meds is usually the best approach. It sounds like a nerve medicine should be introduced. Ernurse is correct about the nerve root blocks. At least here in the US, they generally dont want to do more than a few a year. I wonder if the weekly injectinos you are/were getting were some kind of other injection? Maybe trigger point or something like that? I could be way off here as again I am not doctor. I hmyself had a Selective Nerve Root Block a week ago (hasnt kicked in yet..GRRR.) but the procedure for that is they use CT scan guided needle to find the nerve then inject right into the nerve. I hope that you are able to find an answer to the pain. It can take over like in a quick hurry and not want to leave!

    I myself have had 2 microdiscectomy's a fusion from L4-S1. The fusion was in 2006. Just recently I found that a screw is broken (with the help of the ER doc who decided to XRay) Surgeon was not too concerned with broken hardware, but ordered an MRI and CT scan. Once he reviewd those he found that the bone did not grow together at L4-L5 So now a new surgery in March. I have been on many medications for pain. Currently on just Percocet and Gabapentin and Effexor.

    Good Luck Tracy!

  • Yes if hardware block dont help then good chance removing it wont help anything anyways, I had releif with hardware block injection was the only reason i had hardware removed,

    I dont do well with any of the nerve pain medications but found neuroveen on line and i found it to help beter then any of the nerve meds i done and i dont get any of the side affects with this neuroveen,

    Nerve stim scs is usualy offered for nerve pain when medications dont help. I have my 3 rd scs coming up and i am hoping with the scs combined with this neuroveen i can get things under control,

    Best of luck,
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • Actually, I was getting weekly nerve blocks for a long time. My pm (anesthesiologist) said that normally, a lot of people find that with the more injections they get (anesthetic only), the longer in between injections they need, eventually. With me, it didn't quite work out that way, as the spasms in my trap and levator scapula muscles are so intense because of the damage in my neck. The relief lasted a few hours, and I was always so grateful for those few hours, as that was when I got my best sleep that week. I couldn't really do anything else anyways, as my arms would be rubber, LOL.

    Tracy-Lynn, have they ever looked at your SI joints? Just wondering, as they can also cause sciatic type symptoms. We've been treating my SI joints through injections and recently, RFA on both sides, and my sciatica on the one side has disappeared, and been greatly reduced on the other. Might be something to consider. I do have issues with my lower back as well, though not operated.
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
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