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New to Spine-Health (much needed advice)

Snaggler51SSnaggler51 Posts: 3
edited 07/02/2013 - 7:18 PM in New Member Introductions
I hurt my back the first time in 1994 when I slipped on the ice and fell. Since then there have been two other harsh falls with months of pain. This last time I did not fall or anything but it has been two years since the last big fall. Gradually my back and right leg had increased pain. I went to my doctor first as I was having an arthritic flare and she prescribed Arthritec two times a day. A few days later the pain increased and I went to a walk in clinic and the doctor prescribed gabapentin 300mg four times a day. Then the pain was out of this world and my husband took me to emergency where they did a CT scan and found that L5 was shrinking, L4 was bulging and S1 as well. The siactic nerve pain was insane. The ER doctor sent me home with hydromorphone 4mg every four hours. Went to my family doctor and she upped the gabapentin to 500mg five times a day and my Elavil to 75mg. A few days later if you can imagine the pain got so bad I could not move and my daughter called and ambulance. The doctor prescribed 50mg of Fentanyal patch. IT helps so much with the other combinations. My family doctor added another 12mg to the Fentanyal patch. I am now on 75mg of Elavil, 2500mg gabapentin, 62mg Fentanyal patch, 75/200mg arthritec 2x a day. Right now I am waiting to get a shot in my L4 to bring swelling down etc. I hope it helps. I am going to a phsiotherapist as well and the exercises and knowledge help. I am gradually losing weight after having a huge weight gain from prednisone a few years back. Lost 64 pounds thus far and have another 60 or so to go. I hope I can get this painful back under control. I also have arthritis in my wrists and ankles. There is an issue with my breast bone as well. Thanks for reading my intro, feel free to ask me questions or answer my problems :) What can I expect if I need surgery and these shots do not work?


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    edited 07/12/2013 - 5:21 AM
    I am sure that you will find your time on Spine-Health very rewarding. This site is a powerful and integrated system that is dynamic and continues to grow.
    Here are just some of the highlights:

    - Detailed medical libraries of Articles and Videos that address almost every Spinal Conditions and Treatment

    - The Wellness section contains articles, tips and videos to help patients after surgery and also to help people avoid surgery.

    - Under the Resource tab, there is a section Doctor Advice Health Center which can be invaluable.

    - As a bonus, Spine-Health provides these patient forums. Here is where you can meet thousands of other people who understand and can relate to your situation. You will soon become part of the Spiney family who provide comfort and the advantages of a Support System. You are now part of this family that is approximately 20,600 International members and growing daily.

    - It is very important to understand the Forum Rules to make sure all of your posts do not violate any of the rules.

    - As a new member, it is helpful to understand the 'makeup' of these forums, how to make posts, tips on adding images and much more. You should read Forum FAQ

    Here are some you should take a look at:
    Read before you post
    Tips for Newcomers
    Understanding the rules

    All of this will help make your threads better and improve the times and quality of responses you will receive.

    If you have any questions or need assistance, you can use the Private Message facility to contact any one of the Moderators on my team:






    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Welcome to spine-health. Have a look around and you will find others going through the same as yourself. AS to what you can expect from surgery well that is kind of hard to tell as it depends on what type of surgery and where it is located. There are so many possible surgeries available, so it depends on what the surgeon feels would be most helpful to you. One thing you can do is get familiar with the spine and how it works so your prepared to ask questions. Also in the FAQ section located at the top of the page(click on it), you will find a link to 38 questions to ask a spine surgeon, along with a link preparing to meet with a surgeon. YOu do want to be prepared for your appointment as most of us don't get a lot of time, so we need to be ready to ask questions. Also you want to be sure to take another person with you as 2 set of ears are better than one. I would begin looking at the questions and those links and see how much information you know. That of which you don't you can use the search feature at the top of the page and begin looking up information. You will find animated video's along with doctor written and peer reviewed articles. Also you can look at members post and see what they have gone through. Hopefully the injection works and you will be out living a normal busy life, but if it don't you will be prepared with information.

    Once again welcome to spine-health.
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