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pain still after micro d

I had a micro discectomy/ hemi laminectomy and cyst removal in December 2011. My biggest problem was sciatica bilateral. The most pain was in my left leg from mid calf to around the ankle into the top of the foot. The pain in the ankle was the worst.

I had a 4 hour operation with removal of a cyst that had calcified around the nerve, and scar tissue that built up as a result of that, some bone spurs, spinal stenosis, and a herniated disc. The scar tissue from the cyst was thought to be the cause of the pinched nerve.

I recovered well from the surgery, and the pain has been slowly going away. The right leg pain is gone, pain down both backs of thighs is gone, so it does not appear anything is still pinched.

However, my left ankle is still in severe pain.

I have been on narcotic pain relievers since. Not from the operating Doctor, nor from a pain clinic. It will be no problem continuing them, my Doctor has no connection with my provider.

Yesterday I went to my Doctor for the routine checkup and told him about the pain continuing in my left ankle. He suggested maybe the narcotics were creating the pain in my head, and that I should get off the narcotics.

I do not believe that to be the case, although I do understand what he is saying.

My question, I think it would be most sensible to stay on the narcotics a couple more months and see if the nerve heals in the ankle. I don't believe it's just the narcotics making me believe the ankle hurts, since that was the primary source of pain before the operation. I hate to go through the withdrawal from the narcotics (Norco), just to have to get back on them.

How many of you have found when you got off narcotics you really didn't have any pain? It's not like the narcotics are completely taking away the pain, it reduces the pain to a 4 or 5, manageable.

Any opinions will be greatly appreciated. Thank you!



  • Kwilson400KKwilson400 Posts: 42
    edited 07/15/2012 - 2:35 PM
    Good luck to you and keep me posted.
    June 2011 L5-S1 Lamenectomy/Discectomy
    Dec. 2011 Repeat L5-S1 Lamenectomy/Discectomy
    June 2012 New tear L5-S1 w/ Perm. Sciatic Nerve Damage
    Currently- restrictions (including no work duties) for a min. of 3 months to allow disc time to heal
    edited 07/10/2012 - 6:15 AM
    Hello. Doctors that are not pm doc are always quick to sah you are addicted, that is what is causing your pain, if hou would just stop all your problems would be over. I have been in pm for over two years now. I have stopped taking my percocets for the same reason, being told the pain is in my head that pain medication is actually making it worse to trick your body into thinking that you need to take more. I stopped taking everything for 3 weeks hoping that this was the case. It was not, my pain levels were constantly up around 9 or 10 and it took a long time to get it under control again and ended up needing stronger medication that still isnt really working. Your body tells you that you are in pain for a reason to protect itself, doctors do not like to say that there surgery has failed or did not produce the promised relief. If you have some type of perm nerve damage that is causing pain then maybe some triggerpoint injections or nerve root burning to see if that helps, it is more of a dianosic tool to see which nerves are effect but offers temp relief if/when they find the right nerve. Got a little off subject, but to answer your question. Yes, I have tried to stop and see if the meds were causing my pain and ended up right back on them again. So I would recommend talking to your pm doctor and see what he/she has to say and then follow his advice. But only you can feel your pain and know what your body is telling you. Hope this makes sense and I didnt ramble to much.lol

    ACDF C6/C7 2009
    Laminectomy/Disectomy L5/S1 2009
    Chronic pain since 2007
    Anxiety disorder rx'd 2009
    PTDS rx'd 2009
    Several mbb, steroid injections, nerve root burnings C3-L5
  • I was feeling very stressed out over my surgeon saying that, almost feeling inadequate for not being off the pain meds. I feel so much better now. Hopefully a time will come when I can get off the Norco, but I really don't think it's now.

    Thank you again for making me feel so much better.

    And KWilson, I have read so much about narcotics not helping with nerve pain. I have been on gabapentin, which did help some, but the Norco really, truly, helps the most, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. My pain med provider actually agrees.
  • Kwilson400KKwilson400 Posts: 42
    edited 07/15/2012 - 3:45 PM
    Thanks for sharing
    June 2011 L5-S1 Lamenectomy/Discectomy
    Dec. 2011 Repeat L5-S1 Lamenectomy/Discectomy
    June 2012 New tear L5-S1 w/ Perm. Sciatic Nerve Damage
    Currently- restrictions (including no work duties) for a min. of 3 months to allow disc time to heal
  • Helps even more.

    My surgeon did the small pain fiber nerve conduction study, and said it showed a pinched nerve, and no small fiber neuropathy. And that study did not hurt. Physically, I mean, I guess the other is painful.

    My Doctor that gives me the pain pills had a bad reaction with Cymbalta, so does not prescribe that, and does not like Lyrica, either. They did give me some gabapentin, and it did help some.

    It feels so good to be validated. I don't get that from my surgeon.
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