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What is next step? Done c4-5 surgery, meds, ablation

I'm looking for what my fellow sufferers suggest for my next step.

After my injury I had a c4-5 fusion. still had pain.
took many meds while it was determined i have nerve damage.
went to pain clinic where they did edsi.
they did trigger point shots
after much time and suffering and lots of different drugs i did fyntanyl patches, when they got too expensive
i went on regular dose of methadone. gradually i cut out all the other meds.
the pain was still there, but now with over 2 years of seeing them they lost interest in me as a patient.
they charged lots of fees and doctor fees even though i did not see a doctor in over a year.

i found another doctor. his goal was to get me off methadone. so
he had me do a facet block - it was pretty good but only lasted a week
then he tried a nerve ablation. it was painful. for two weeks i was in more pain that before.
he gave me methadone, gabapentin, and oral steroids. during the week of drugs
was the best i felt.
after that the ablation pain area subsided, but i've been left with pain above the original area and down into my arm that is just as bad as the original pain. so he i've let him do an epidural to attach the arm pain. so far nothing.

look, i'm all for getting off the pain pills too. but this is a lot to put my body through. do i ask for something like morphine to help mask the pain or just go through endless procedures until the pain makes me go crazy.

i told my wife I'm one step away from going to the hood and buying illegal drugs. for those that have been in this spot, what have you done? What do you suggest?
Surgery c4-5, many epidurals, many different drugs.


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    Please take the time to read this post and refer to it when you have questions

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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
  • http://www.spine-health.com/forum/pain/chronic-pain/chronic-pain-treatment-step-step

    Unfortunately, the increase in pain for a week or more post rhizotomy is normal , because it takes a bit for the nerve fibers to die off and stop sending the pain signals.
    The reason that the block helped for a bit and then the pain returned is that a block is diagnostic, not a cure. The block is done to confirm the area that the doctor suspects is the cause of the pain. The medications contain a numbing agent and steroid which is used to calm down the inflammation and the numbing agent is used to see if the pain is lessened during the duration of the injection. It is not meant to be a permanent fix for the pain but to confirm that the area is the cause of the pain.
    As far as medications go, nerve pain is not that responsive to opiates. Medications such as Lyrica, gabapentin, topamax and several of the anti depressants available on the market today are used quite effectively to treat nerve related pain. They must be adjusted slowly to the right dosage.......gabapentin has a range from 100 mg to 3600 mg per day for a theraputic range and Lyrica has a range of 25 mg to 600 mg per day, so you have to stick with the medication to get to the right dosage where it relieves the pain but the side effects are managable.
    I posted a link to the Step by Step guide to managing chronic pain above for you.
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