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New pain

CzechchickCCzechchick Posts: 9
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:25 AM in Chronic Pain
Hi everybody,
Newbie here! Hope everyone is having as good of a day as you can possibly be having! I was wondering if anyone had any ideas about this new pain I am getting. Background: I injured my back in bootcamp, Marines, and it was not caught for some time after, so I finished bootcamp and did combat training with my injury. MRI showed two herniated discs, L4-5, L5-6, one herniating to the right and one herniating to the left. I also had an old compression fracture that had by that point healed fairly well, and two compressed discs, clearly all caused by repetitive trauma (yeah, bootcamp will do that!) I had a laminectomy about three years ago as L4-5 had pretty much exploded. I saw my surgeon on a Friday and a week and a half later was operated on. Very lucky I got it taken care of so fast. Anyway, as a result of surgery I have gobs of scar tissue, so I get sciatica into both legs. But the sciatica right now is under control. I get flare-ups but nothing too bad. I have developed a new pain within the last year or so. It is very centered in my spine, sometimes the feeling of pressure in my spine is almost unbearable. I cannot sit for more than 15 minutes without excruciating pain in my spine and that feeling of pressure. I am on flexeril at night, robaxin for day (does nothing, so I don't really take it), and oxycodone 1 to 2 three times a day. I have been to my military doctors several times in the past about two months to switch meds because it is getting unbearable. I don't sleep, sometimes I only get 2-3 hours a night. I have two little baby girls, so I am very active, but it is starting to impinge on my time and patience with them. I am very puzzled as to why I have this new pain and where it is coming from. My doc didn't seem too concerned, but I am very concerned. I have a lot of stiffness and tons of clicking and cracking when I move. Like I said I don't sleep and my meds barely seem to touch this pain. Also I have numbness in both hips extending down leg on right side where my disc basically exploded, so nerve damage. But besides the numbness I don't get a lot of sciatic pain to be honest. It's all in my lower back and directly in the spine. I am kind of angry to be honest because I can't believe that I have a new kind of pain, I just didn't think it would get this much worse. And I DO NOT want to take meds constantly, I was addicted to the lortab I had before the percocet and I hated it. It was just agony waking up in cold sweats. And my doc pretty much told me the only other option is a pain clinic, but I am very, very afraid of this as I do not have the option to change doctors if I don't like this one as they are military doctors and you just don't get to choose. I have tried to research this feeling of pressure and the pain and I still have no clue as to what could be causing this. But it is taking over my life! I can't think about anything else all day long, it is interfering with my job and my life in general. The insomnia is just atrocious. I am so tired I can barely function, but can't sleep. The meds don't really help me sleep either. Anyone else have these symptoms? I am only 26 and at 5'6" I weigh about 130 pounds, so I am not overweight. Any ideas what this could be? I know you all are not doctors, but I can't seem to figure out what could be causing it and I am beginning to think it is all in my head. It just doesn't make any sense to me. Why would I be suddenly developing this pain? I never had it before, just the sciatica. Any ideas? What else can I do? I am almost at the point of just breaking down and going to the pain clinic because I just feel like I am loosing my mind from the pain. But it just scares me like I said. What if the new doc just cuts me off? I hate this so much. It is just taking over my life. I think I am getting depressed as a result. I would appreciate any thoughts you may have. Thank you.


  • Welcome here. I'm not a Doctor but the only way they can tell anything is to get an MRI. Can you call the surgeon who did your OR? Did he mention a few problems that could happen again when he did surgery? I hope you go to the pain management Dr. I've found the injections helped my leg pain but not everyone benefits. You should get a Neurologist referral and ortho if unable to go back to the first Dr. Sorry you're having pain. Have you tried ice/heat? Did you have a fusion? I hope you find some answers. This is a good support group. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • I'm sorry that you're going thru all of this and amazed you were able to go thru bootcamp. I have nothing but admiration for you and I hope you get adequate care you need, because I know it hard when you have children. A lot of us here go to pain clinics, and it helps us function. I think a long acting opiate will ease your fear. I take Fentanyl patches and I never feel high- I don't feel anything but when the levels drop, the pain goes up. And they do more than just pills; some offices only do injections, but you're better off in a multidisciplinary clinic where they do everything. And from my experience, they will refer you to a surgeon if they feel it will help.
    I hope you find a solution that will put you on the road to recovery. Take care
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  • I am wondering if you may have some arthritis going on? I have it and my back pops and clicks, can't sit or stand much. I get extremely stiff especially in the mornings when I wake. It takes me 20 minutes or more to straighten up after getting out of bed. I am so sorry that you are suffering so much at such a young age. Have you thought about the longer acting opiates for pain control? They are much safer for long term use as they do not cause damage to the organs. Also, the dose is usually 1-2 times a day because they are so long acting. Good luck and please keep us posted.
  • Thank you so much for your responses! My last MRI was a year ago and besides the masses of scar tissue on the right side the doc didn't say much about it. Meydey, thank you very much for your kind response. But believe me I had to get the heck out of training. I was sent to a medical platoon for a while because I kept telling them that I was in major pain, but due to the fact that so many people lie, I was just ignored. The medical platoon was atrocious and I had to finish training and get out of there. At the time I felt that I had no other option. I had really, really bad sciatica at the time and during combat training I just quit taking my boots off at night because I couldn't bend over to do it! But they did ignore me. I get disability and do not feel bad over that as like I said, I was ignored despite me telling them that there was something really wrong. But I do think that I am just going to have to shove my fear aside and venture into the pain clinic because I just can't take it. I think I need new xrays and mri's to see what is going on. Charry, I can't go back to my old surgeon because he retired (he was the director of neurosurgery at this hospital and so was an older guy, I was very lucky to get the director and to get into surgery so fast!). Also I currently have no insurance so military doctors are about it for me. And I have tried heat, in fact I use it very often, and actually have one of those neat portable heat thingies strapped on right now. I did not have fusion three years ago, they just took out the bits of disc that were floating about in the canal and also cleared out some bone to give the nerve more room. At that time the degeneration was not enough for them to consider doing something for that. I'm not sure it would have helped, I scar really bad so I can't imagine what I would have been left with after fusion. But things have changed now and the pain has changed. I think I do need longer acting meds and perhaps something else, maybe shots? I recently did a round of steroids but they did not help. Painintheback, I was researching the arthritis today and I must say that a lot of my symptoms point to it. And it is not a long stretch because there was already so much degeneration it is possible. So I think I need more tests. And the pain clinic. Is there anything that helps you with your arthritis? Stretching? Walking? Anything that maybe I could try? I really, really appreciate the encouragement, and despite my fears I think you all are probably right, I need something longer acting and/or another approach. Thank you all!!
  • There are some stretch excercises under treatment above. But you should clear things with your Dr. of course and review some medication treatment with him. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
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  • Hiya Chick, Welcome to Spine Health >:D< I am sorry you have so much pain :( , we can all relate to it :''( , and most definatly understand the pain >:D< . Your not alone :) . I just wanted to ask, How does your back feel when you wake up? :? Have you had any burning pain? :? Because of the lack of sleep due to the pain, do you think you could be suffering clinical depression? :? Its very common with the level of pain that we experience :''( . Let us know how you get on :) . Check out the chat room here :))( . Hope to see you around. :)

    Angie :H
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