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in agony again....need more surgery?advice please

I had fusion of L5S 1 in December last year which was successful...or so I thought. I was doing so well during the summer . Even though I was still on a few meds, I was working full time and even working out. Tuesday night I took a mis step and something snapped in lower back and I was in agony. I got a mri which showed herniated disc at both levels above fusion, and small protrusion at fusion. The pain is in my sacroiliac and radiates to my hip. I wake up screaming, and have to use cane, even after meds.
My pain management dr have me steroids, which did nothing, so I went to er and got if steroids and anti-inflammatory, plus a shot of dilaudid, and nothing even touches it! I lost 2 days of work, and can only lay in bed. I had to double meds just to get any relief.
I think I have to have surgery very soon. The pain is the exact same location as when I had the fusion.

Advice please!


  • First, don't take more of your meds if you have not cleared it first with your pain management doctor. No matter what, you can be dismissed for misusing the medications.
    If the pain is that bad, then you need to be seen by a surgeon or ask your pm doctor to send you for a new MRI and make an appt to see the surgeon as soon as possible. In the meantime, you can ask your doctor what else he can do to help manage the increased pain, but don't just take more meds on your own.
  • The pain is so incredibly bad that I have no choice but to take extra meds. They were prescribed by the surgeon, not by my new pain management dr. I went to er again last night. They faced an iv of morphine which had no effect, then a shot of dilaudid, which had no effect. Does that tell you how much pain I am in? They were going to admire then decided not to. So now what?
  • You sound like you are in so much pain. I hope you can find relief soon. It seems like you are just chasing the pain which is hardly effective. I hope they can get on top of your pain soon so you can manage it better. Try not to worry about your work, your health is more important and worrying will create added stress. Please rest and take care of yourself
  • For you painful return to Spine Health. Have you called your pain management doc to let him know about the ER visits. Maybe he can get you in for a visit and order MRI. My GP does my pain meds so not familiar with how you PM does visits. If I have change in pain I just make appt. And go in for change. I know its much harder to get in with PM. I hope you are able to get some help quickly.

    Gentle hugs,
  • horselady21hhorselady21 Posts: 174
    edited 10/23/2013 - 10:50 PM
    Thanks for the advice and kind words. I finally got an appointment for today (a week after major pain started). I want back on my original meds (tramadol and Percocet), and think I am going to need a diagnostic nerve block at the very least. How do they expect a person to deal with this much pain until you can get an appointment??
  • I had an episode of pain that lasted 3 weeks (and 2 ER visits in 3 days during that time) begging to be admitted. Morphine didn't hardly touch it. I agree about the lack of understanding from some PM facilities. You tell someone you are losing your mind due to the pain (levels 8 and up) and they will not do anything for you, except make an appointment. Scary. I was able to get another referral to a spine specialist, and now I am doing great. (4 days post op from microdiscectomy surgery) I wish you the best!
  • Having been through surgery twice myself, and knowing about out of this world pain levels, I empathize with you, but the reason that I cautioned you about taking more medication than you are supposed to is that you can die due to the respiratory suppression, Call your surgeon since you recently had surgery and ask him what you should do , or your PM doctor. If the pain is that bad, they will send you to the ER and have them admit you for better pain control and to find out why the pain is escalating. It could be an infection or a problem with the surgical site or something else and self medicating is not the way to handle it.
    I know that it is frustrating waiting to be seen or to get an appointment but your surgeon should be handling your pain needs now, and if not, then your PM should.
    I'm sorry that you are hurting so badly. I hope you find the answers soon.
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