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Can anyone help me?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
I have a real problem and lack of people with the same problem as myself that I can compare myself to (in a general way). I have had 3 open back surgeries within a 16 month period. The first was a fusion at L5-S1. This doctor ran one of the 4 screws through the nerve sac on the right side. I didn't know what was going on, but knew my Dr. was not addressing what I was trying to tell him, which was I was obviously in worse shape after the surgery than before. I finally had it with his "I can do no wrong additude" and saw another Neurosurgeon that immediately saw the problem when I came to him with an after surgery CT scan. 6 months later, the new Dr. repaired and repositioned the screw (the 2nd surgery). 10 weeks later I blew out the disk at L4-L5 by simply coughing from a wildfire in the Great Dismal Swamp. I felt it immediately. Both of the disks that blew out were intruding left more than right. I was actually in more pain on the right since the mis-placed screw of the first surgery. I am still in more pain on the right, which leads me to conclude that the mistake made by the first surgery has caused permenant nerve damage and my new Dr. says that is a possibility. My new Dr. suggested that if I cannot keep the pain under control with the current meds, that I may have to go to Oxycontin or MS-Contin, but that that would have to come from a pain management Dr. as his outfit draws the line at oxycontin. I went to see the pain management Dr. today and he said that he does not prescribe these meds and all he does is get people off of the opiods. I can see where this would be the case in a typical situation, but I have had 3 major back surgeries within a 16 month period and may have permanant nerve damage from the first surgery. Because of the complexity of my situation, there are a lack of people to compare me to. Does anyone know of someone that has gone through 3 major back surgeries in such short time without being in a train wreck? The pain management Dr. says that the meds cause the pain and if I got off the meds, the pain would be gone. I can see where this may be the case for a person having 1 surgery and that everything went well. This is not my situation. My right hip and right ankle (on the outside) is in pain 100% of the time as well as the big toe of the right foot feeling like I stepped on a nail. These pain levels are about a 5 if I do nothing (that's with taking 16-20 5mg oxycodone pills daily). If I do something as simple as cook the family dinner, it goes to 8 and sometimes involves tears. The more I do, the more pain I'm in. How is the decision typically made to take meds away vs. keeping someone on meds? :S :/


  • Welcome to S~H :H

    I agree with Paul.

    I have not had spinal surgery,but have had 7 foot operations and am a case study for that.Also I suffer from arthritis and DDD in the cervical area (and others,but we are at spine health so I'll stick to that).I agree that you should see another PM,one who is more understanding of your medical conditions and the pain that you live with.

    We are all individuals,so even if there were others that suffered the exact same injuries as you,your pain is as individual as you are ;))
  • Oh yeah, you need a new PM.

    One thing that struck me is that you list oxycodone as a med-is that your only medicine? Have you taken anything like Neurontin or Lyrica for your nerve pain? For me, narcotics don't really deal with my nerve pain, they just make me sleep or not really care so much about the nerve pain. I do take narcotics for my back pain, though. I'm about to have my 3rd back surgery in 18 months.

    So, if I were you, I would:

    1.) Get a new PM doc. He might even be able to do some nerve root injections with steroids to calm down that L5 nerve root.
    2.) Ask about Neurontin or Lyrica for nerve pain.
    3.) Ask about a long acting pain med(like Oxycontin or whatever) and then take short acting when you have break through pain.
    4.) Go get a 2nd surgical opinion. Even if you love your current surgeon, I would want to just be sure there wasn't something else that could be done.
    5.) If you are already on Neurontin or Lyrica and still not controlling your nerve pain and you are not a surgical candidate, you might want to ask about a spinal cord stimulator.

    Just my thoughts on your situation, but I really hope you find some relief soon. Keep us posted!
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  • I'm very glad that I've joined this and wish I'd done it long ago. Hwen you are first exposed to this type of stuff. It is difficult to know what is correct and where you should be. I think my joining spine-Health may help this situation. I have tried the Lyrica from the Dr. that gave me 3 epidurals before surgery in an attempt to avoid surgery as well as it being required by insureance. I did not have a good experience with this med because it made it almost impossible to urinate. When I reported this to the Dr.'s office they said that is a side affect in some people and that if I'm also having this side affect, I need to stop taking it as some people that have this side affect end up in ER having a cathater installed.

    Thanks again ernurse and have a merry Christmas :)
  • Just like everyone suggested, go to another pain doctor. Keep in mind that not all prescribe narcotics and do only injections. Look at their webpage if they have one and see what treatments they offer. Your best bet is an integrative clinic where they do everything from meds to implant devices (neurostimulators and morphine pumps). I really believe that in your case, you shouldn't have any trouble finding one that will give you a long acting narcotic with a break thru pain killer. I know it will work out for you.
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