I finally joined after lurking/educating myself for a few weeks.
I have had back pain over 13 years now. In 2000 I had a microdiscectomy for a massive herniation. Things were good.
Fast forward to the last couple of years. I had trouble sleeping again, pain would always disrupt my sleep. I couldn't sleep on my right side, instant painful squeezing feelings in my thighs. Stiffness, hobbling, gradual reduction in doing anything except what HAD to be done. But, still I thought it was just me and there was nothing wrong or that could be helped.
I had the years of "you're just depressed, take these" and had tried almost all of the antidepressant medications, all having side effects.
I can't take pain medications because of either intense itching or breaking out in Hives.
So, finally at a breaking point, I made an appointment with my Rheumatologist, Orthopaedist and Neurologist.
I first saw the Neuro, total waste of time and energy. He is totally against ANY surgery.
Next I saw the Ortho. He did my original surgery and saved my life. He ordered scans of my neck and spine but didn't have a follow-up appt. until August. Two days after the scan, his assistant called to get me in a week later.
And I am not crazy, hurray!!
We went thru the options.
1. do nothing.
2. See a physiatrist to figure out the pain medication issue and either have injections and or start P/T.
4. This is a big personal decision. I got the feeling it not if but WHEN.
So, I believe in starting with the least and giving it a try.
Yesterday, I saw the pain anesthesologist and have scheduled an injection for next week. I have had these before my last surgery, so I know this guy. He feels that having the injections THEN having P/T is the better route to go.
He says that I have scar tissue that is around the nerve and that "could" be causing alot of this pain. I
also have alot of arthritis in my back ( really everywhere)
So, here's the question (finally, lol)
He says he can insert a cathether in the area that is to be injected, get it over near the nerve and inject an enzyme that would break up the scar tissue, then do the normal steroid injection.
Has anyone any experience with this? I don't even know what this enzyme is called in order to look it up for myself.
I also have scheduled a second opinion with a doctor out of my area that has done 3 fusions on a business contact of mine. I would need L4-L5 fused but the disks above aren't too good either.
My neck disks in 3 levels are really thin which is what I am hearing when I walk, a clicking as the bones rub together. My dr. says they will eventually fuse themselves as they put down new bone to compensate for all this friction. The logical part of me says that doesn't mean they would fuse together in a healthy form though I suppose they could.
I appreciate any ideas.