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Introducing myself

Hi, I had a fusion of L5-S1 in 1984 for a 50% spondy, no hardware. They just took a bone plug from my hip, ground it with glue, and pasted it in there to fuse. I've stayed active over the years, but as I get older, I was having more and more pain, numbness etc and developed weakness in big toes and ankles. L4 was sliding now with a torn disc and 2 cysts pressing on my 5th nerve root. The disc between L3 and L4 was also significantly dessicated.

I had a 2 level fusion in June. My dr originally planned to fuse L3-L4-L5, but once he got in there, he discovered L5-S1 was not fused at all, so he ended up doing L4-L5-S1 with 6 screws and rods. Recovery has been going slow. I'm a little concerned because I keep feeling something grinding in there. At my 6 week post op, he said the rods are a little flexible until the fusion solidifies and he thinks it will go away. I think it's been getting worse. I see him next week for my 12 week post op.

My big concern at the moment is I'm trying to get off oxycodone. I was sent home with 25 mcg fentanyl patches and 20 mgs oxycodone every 4 hours. I've weaned myself down to 2.5 mgs oxy several times per day, total of maybe 10 to 15mgs per day. So I feel good about that, except I've reached some kind of plateau and can't seem to take that last step off. I do ok starting out in the morning, but as the day wears on, I start getting intense aching in my leg muscles. I usually take my first 2.5 mgs between noon and 2. As evening progresses and the meds wear off, the aching gets intense where I can't sit still and this causes a great deal of anxiety and fidgetyness. At first, I thought it was my back causing it, but I have very little back pain now. I think its the oxy causing it and I end up caving and taking another half tablet.. I haven't had much other withdrawl symptoms, just the aching muscles and anxiety. I feel like a big baby complaining about such a low dose. I know many people are dealing with much worse withdrawls, but it's important to me to get off this ASAP. I just can't seem to get off this last bit. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to ease the muscle aching and get off it? I do plan on talking to my dr about this next week. I hope to be off it by then, but if not, I don't want to play around with this with an "I can do it all by myself" attitude. I plan to fully discuss this with my dr and do whatever I have to to get off of it. Any suggestions in the mean time?


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    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.
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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
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