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I have a few questions

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:25 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
My fiance had a L5 S-1 fusion 2 1/2 years ago. He fell down a flight of stairs at work and fractured two vertabrae in his spine. He sill has severe pain in his back, the same pain as before the surgery. He also has numbness in his leg constantly. The pain is so much for him that he became addicted to vicodin, (which he is now in a program to stop), but he can barely move without them. At one point his surgeon said that one of his bolts had shifted but then a month later the surgeon told him that the bolt was back in place. Does anyone have any suggestions on what he could do or maybe whats going on in his back that it doesnt seem to be getting any better even years after his surgery????


  • In what way did he become addicted to vicoden? Is it that he likes the feeling that he gets from them so he takes too many? Or, that he is in so much pain that he needs more to control his pain? There really is a difference between dependence (for pain control) and addiction (like the high). There are lots of us that are no better or worse after surgery and we do have to rely on the pain meds in order to have any kind of quality of life. I am really wondering if he just needed to take more in order to control his pain. If that was the case maybe he should be given a long acting pain med, The vicoden is fast acting and requires several doses throughout the day.
  • It is time for your fiance to see a different surgeon and get new films done.
    It sounds as if he is getting the brush off from this Dr and needs to see someone new and fresh to his case.
    Is this an work related injury or not?

    I know that not everyone had decreased pain aafter surgery but most people do so there must be a reason why his is so bad still. What are his L4-L5 like? Maybe the screw is pressing on a nerve?
    Dont hesitate, just make an appointment and take him along.
    Blessings Sara O:)

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  • He has a dependence to the meds. He can't function without them. It's not that he wants to take them he is just in so much pain that he has no choice. I'm just wondering, though, do you think that he should have had some improvement in his back? There seems to be none and most days he seems to be worse then he was before the accident. I'm very worried that something is wrong with the rod and bolts. He's 31 years old and most days he can barely walk and sometimes he can't even get out of bed. I don't know what to do for him. Please help.
  • I would say if he takes them for pain, then the dependence is founded. You say he doesn't want to take the pills, he has to because of the pain he is in. That doesn't sound like addiction to me. He needs to get help from a new doctor, and get fixed, then worry about any addiction issues. It would be so unfair for him to suffer without any meds.

    Someone suggested a different prescription and getting a second opinion. That is definitely what I would do.

    I'm not sure where an addiction comes into play here when he is still in pain?

    This is just STRICTLY my opinion. I am not a medical professional.

  • In my opinion, this is not the case. Your boyfriend is in tremendous pain from the hardware. He is needing, or depending on the Vicodin to treat his agonizing pain and he is not addicted. I think he may need a long acting medication to help control his pain in addition to Vicodin, which is a short acting medication that wears off in 4 hours or less. Examples of long acting meds are Morphine ER, Oxycontin, Kadian, Opana, and Fentanyl patches.
    I had a 2 level fusion with hardware months ago and my pain is still severe. I depend on Fentanyl, Norco, muscle relaxers, etc. to control my pain. I can't function without them and I have so much pain that I have no choice but to depend on them for relief. :?
    I'm just trying to make you understand that people in chronic pain depend on pain meds to function and have a better quality of life, the same way that diabetic, heart disease, and asthma patients depend on theirs. There is a stigma for taking pain medications, but when it is taken for chronic, debilitating pain, and taken as prescribed, there is a very low chance of addiction.
    I hope you come away from this with understanding, awareness, and compassion.
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  • Please get your fiance to a pain specialist and a new surgeon. Good-luck to both of you. >:D< Sue
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