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new chronic pain patient

Hi my name is gary, i live in missouri, and have had chronic back pain for 22 years.i have loss of lumbar lordosis,disks at L3-4-5 and5 to s -1 disk herniations, at 3-4 level broad based disk bulge
With lrft parracentral disk herniation with ipsilateral neural foraminal compromise with annulus tear,ligamentum flavum
Hyperthrophy and facet arthrophathy.at L-4-5 centrral hern. Imposed on a disk bulge with effacement of epideral space and thecal sac indentation.at L5-s-1 broad based rt. Paracentral disk
Hern. With effacement of anterior epidural space and spinal canal
Stenosis and rt. Lateral recess stenosis.now i dont know what all
That means except that i live in pain 24/7, i was a carpenter for 22 years and now am on ssid
,im just now getting to pain management to discuss pain pump
Am taking 30mg ms contin and 10 mg hydro. But side effects
Are getting to be to much. Ive been reading along in the shadows
For ahwile and am looking forward to talking to some people who
Know what i go through,thanks and hope to hear from anyone,
Ive been up all night trying to get signed up as i dont sleep but
Every few days.anybody else not sleep cause of pain? I know im
Not the only onei


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Am i online yet or did i mess up agian.i am not very computer
  • you and I were both in the construction industry I was an electrician {a spark} and you a joiner {a chippy} as we say over here in the uk .I have not been able to work for many years too .due to spinal pain ..I have posted may post about me so I wont repeat myself but just to say hi and welcome .as for an answer to your question ?? I don't have one .I have just been discharged from orthopaedics as they can't do any more for me and I am on almost 500mg of oxycontin/oxynorm a day and I am still in pain !! TENS doesn't work on me anymore have you tried it ? .pain is a nightmare its cost me a lot .I just do what I can as I can do it
    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
  • Injections, facet, trigger, caudal, all failed, PT, failed, my cool suggested three level discectomy, don't know? Failed on every body I know. And said it would only be effective on leg pain. Have widespread problems, all three levels of spine. Especially the ones at c-2-3!,not letting them go there, I heard you don't come back from that at all? Scared and don't know?
  • NailDriver. I know how overwhelming it is to have many different problems going on at the same time. Living with chronic pain is so hard & you've been enduring for so long. Stress & lack of sleep always makes everything so much worse for me. It's exhausting & incredibly depressing isn't it?

    You say you've recently started pain management, was your GP in charge of your care before? What other specialists have you consulted recently? Are you on any other meds, nerve, muscle relaxants? I assume surgery is recommended because of nerve compression causing sciatica. I would get a second opinion & really think about this. A pain pump is just another way of masking the pain & you could be risking permanent nerve damage. Do you experience numbness anywhere? I completely understand your concerns about surgery but sometimes the alternative could be even worse. I'd ask the question "What can I expect if I don't have surgery or wait?". It's apparent that chronic pain has already stolen so much from you. I'm incredibly isolated & restricted by my pain too. Joining this forum has really helped me to feel less hopeless & alone. Please remember that people come here because they're in need like us. Many have successful surgery but they're less likely to join than those with problems. I'm not saying that you're going to be pain free & dancing through the night anytime soon but things could get a lot better. We live in hope ;-)

    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • Hi Englishgirl, yes, the pain has taken almost everything in my life, including my marriage, my work, and most of my friends. My
    Children and my family are still here, thank god. Yes, a open, three discrete discectomy has been offered, but said would only help leg pain, if it works at all. I am taking Neourontin for leg pain and it works fairly well. I already have permanent nerve damage in left leg. I go to talk a Gian Monday with pm and am considering everything he has to say. I just want my pain underbetter control, if that's possible. I would love to dance
    Again, thank you Englishgirl.
  • When surgeries fail, and I won't kid you, they do sometimes, it has an awful lot to do with people not following the post op restrictions and limitations long enough. I am not saying that it is the reason in all cases, but in a large percentage of them, people feel so much better after surgery, that they tend to jump back into doing things that they haven't been able to do in a long while, far too soon.
    The surgery is the easy part, the hard part is living with those restrictions until everything heals completely. And that can take months, depending on the type of surgery. With a discectomy, they remove the part of the disc that is herniated, so it does weaken the annulus ( covering of the disc) until it heals and scars over. That takes some time for that to happen. You also have the muscles, tendons, ligaments, cut and stitched back up, so that also takes time to heal. Some surgeons paint a picture of a matter of a week or two and you can get out there happily resuming your life as before......and you can, just not in a week or two.
    As far as your cervical spine goes, if it is compressing the cord and causing damage, not doing anything about it can lead to worse problems and ones that aren't going to get better if left untreated. I don't know what your diagnosis is in the cervical spine, but that is one area of the spine that if the cord is involved, is not a good idea not to get treated and sooner, is usually the best outcome.
    No one really wants to undergo spine surgery, but if you do your homework, research your options, and check out a surgeon that you feel really comfortable with, and are confident in his working in your best interests, and get a second or even a third opinion, it makes the decision to undergo surgery if needed that much easier.
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