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Pain relief after back surgery

Hi am new to the forum , anyone seen a pain specialist after back surgery for chronic pain , a year down the line . Just wondering what things he can offer . I had a pedicle screw fixation between l1/l5 , I had spondelothesis and spinal stenosis bad . I am 38 and healthy. Thanks x


  • are you in pain do you have any neuropathic pain {leg /foot pain abnormal sensations ?? } because it will depend on what's wrong with you as to what the pain specialist will do for you ..if you have no neuropathic pain you're very lucky if its mechanical pain that maybe ..depending on how bad it is you may just be given some simple exercises and some low dose analgesia but if you have neuropathic pain and altered sensation in your legs and feet you may be given drugs to help with that and if the pain is very bad he may give you narcotics ..I would avoid them if you can {I have been on them for ten years now] .you could try a TENS unit .you may be offered injections but I found they did nothing for me and please note they can do a lot of damage later on in life and believe me you will need narcotics if you spinal cord get inflamed or diseased or damaged .you have not given much away in your post so I am just guessing if you can give more details maybe I or some of the other members could offer more advice ??
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
  • I've been in pain management for years. Basically they help you to develop an action plan to help you to manage your pain. This can include injections (muscle & around your spine), physical therapy, medications, chronic pain psychologist (techniques for managing pain), diagnostic tests etc. depending on what your problems are. There are large clinics which have most of this 'in house' (some don't prescribe narcotic medications) & small private doctors who refer you out for some therapies but usually do procedures & medications.

    As Tony said, it's hard to answer your question without more information. My PM doc coordinates everything (surgeon, therapists etc.) for me.
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • For me they tried a mixture of medication and coping techniques which the medication kind of worked for me and the coping mechanisms did not. Right now I am doing acupuncture and massage which seems to be havin the same effect as medications so I am still in a lot I pain however they can give you many options as to what they can do to help your pain, I have had 2 spinal fusions and am so far 1 1/2 years down the road.
  • ChrisnaCChrisna Posts: 4
    edited 07/10/2014 - 12:08 AM
    Hello KerryN, I had a pedicle screw fixation between l1/l5 too.
    I did a lot of things after the surgery as physiotherapy, acupuncture, medical treatment, but I really don't feel better.
    My opinion is that YOU have to find out what makes you better.
    Try things and I hope you to find out what is better for you.
  • dula569ddula569 Posts: 1
    edited 07/10/2014 - 8:14 AM
    My mom had this problem. She had a back surgery due to a severe trauma where they did a fusion with plates and screws. Unfortunately, we later came to find out when she was suffering even with even worse pain that spinal fusions are not very successful at all, more like a coin flip 50% chance that it won't work. She went to pain management the whole 9 yards but all they kept doing was raising her dosage on meds. She saw this surgeon in Tampa, FL (I believe his name was EDIT) and is now back to normal, they had to remove the hardware but she is doing so much better, definitely would recommend checking them out

    Post edited to remove specific doctor's name by Liz The spine-health moderator team.

  • I have been in pain mgmt. after fusion at L5/S1. I was in excruciating pain after fusion. I researched on this site and others, and after trying a few different opiate drugs that just made me loopy. I wanted my life back, so asked and was finally approved for the Butrans patch, and tramadol for breakthrough pain. I now (a year and a half after surgery), take 4 aerobics classes a week, swim, do housework, etc. Everything I did before. I am very pleased.
  • Thank you so much HorseLady! It's wonderful to log-on & read some good success stories. I needed that! Sometimes things get a bit doom & gloom. I know that's the nature of forums..most people only post when they're having a hard time. It's wonderful that you're back to being so active...maybe not the housework but nothing's perfect! ;-)
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • I know this might sound strange and I will probably get flack for it, but I HAD to make my fusion a success! I take care of my elderly parents, and I HAVE to work, so I told my surgeon, and then my pain mgmt. dr. , that my goals were to become mostly pain free and mostly functional because of my responsibilities. Then I dove head first into researching what might work well for me, and then blasted full steam ahead until I got what I wanted. IT wasn't an easy or short road, but I made it. I still have some pain, but all things considered, I am doing very well. I hope that you, too, can find that "sweet spot", that combination of things that will work for you. The Butrans patch, if you choose to pursue that, isn't covered by a lot of insurances, but I am on medical assistance, and it was denied 3 times before my pain dr. wrote a synopsis of my case and they approved it. So don't give up, whatever you decide!
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