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9 months of pain mgmt...no relief..what next??!!

It has been 9 months since my original re-injury of my L5-S1 which had a discectomy 2 yrs ago. I have had several doses of steroids, prescriptions of varying sorts, steroids shots, physical therapy, 3 MRI's , a nerve conduction study....after each treatment (not all but a few times), I would get better for a while, then continue life (work selling vintage auto parts, taking care of elderly parents/home, etc) then will relapse. I can feel what is happening...seems the L5 vertabrae is shifting (I can feel and hear it click or pop, then get shooting pain - sometimes right side, sometimes left side). I have said all along that I need surgery but they keep poking me with needles and it seems pointless. The last time it recurred, I went to my family Dr. for pain medication (the last prescription he gave me for Percocet was 90 pills, which lasted me 3 months- I take as little as I need to get thru the day), he basically said it was the last time he was going to give me anything for pain! And my pain mgmt Dr. wouldn't give me anything at all last time, since I told him Iwanted to be off pain meds! Yeah, I'd like to be off them because Id like to be out of pain! Duh! I don't know what to do now if they want to keep trying all this other stuff that doesn't work, or only works short-term, and then not give me anything for pain! I am 50 yrs old and have worked at jobs all my life that required heavy lifting, plus rode horses for 15 yrs. What next?!


  • Have you consulted with any type of surgeon, or just stuck with your PM doc and GP? I would recommend getting a consult for an opinion or two from a surgeon to see if you have a mechanical issue that needs to be repaired. PM docs can do great things, but many will refuse to recommend a surgery consult because they look at it as they failed.

  • I saw my GP and neuro first...they said they wanted me to try PM first. I absolutely feel that it is mechanical (good term- thank you!) and no matter what they shoot me up with or stick me with, it is going to recur.
    Thanks for confirming
  • sandisandi Posts: 6,343
    edited 07/05/2012 - 8:02 PM
    If you feel that there is a mechanical issue, then you really do need to be seen by either a board certified spinal surgeon, either orthopedic or neurological spine surgeon in order to find out if surgery is something worth considering. Pain management is there to treat the pain, through the least invasive methods and general practioners may give you a referral if your insurance requires one but generally are not well versed in determining whether or not your condition warrants surgical consult or not.
    Good luck
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