First of all, love the Spine-Health Website and all the member contributions - Thank you to all. I wanted to share what I thought might be encouraging news to some. Summary of my story is "life happened" which led to herniated L5-S1. I am a happy dad, two kids and a wife, very busy all the time. Treated with Norco 10/325 4x/day. After 2 epidurals, had diskectomy/laminectomy in 3/08. That day, switched to 8 Norco/day. Pain never really went away, stayed on 8 Norco/day as well as 6 ~ 9 Neurontin. On ice 3 or 4 times / day. Joined Gym and did cardio (Eliptical) most days. Met with two different surgeons, both said surgery would be through front and back, that it would be a three day surgery, 10 days in hospital, and off work 8 months to a year. They both basically strongly discouraged surgery. The fact that I was relatively happy, and still functioning, (with meds help), made them decide not to risk surgery.
L5-S1 Disk herniated again in July '09. I saw another new surgeon (with Kaiser), he looked at MRI and said, yep, let's fix this. So, I had surgery on 6/24. It was PLIF - through the back, fused L5-S1. While in hospital I was absolutely miserable - do doubt about it - it was horrible. BUT, now 5 weeks post-op, I feel pretty darn good. I've been wanting to get off the meds but couldn't (or chose not to) deal with the withdrawls. So, finally, to get to the point of my story (|: . I met with Dr. last week and he explained Suboxone's roll in helping me. Today, I went in there with moderate withdrawals and he gave me my first dose of Suboxone. Within 20 minutes I was back to feeling okay, he gave me two more, he monitored me for an hour, and I was good to go. So now, after 18 months of 8/Norco / day, I have gone 24 hrs with zero. I will be weening off the Suboxone for the next three weeks, at which point, I'll be med free. Obviously it's not going to be completely easy, but I wanted to share this story with others as I am very excited and optimistic about the future. Take care and feel free to ask if you have any questions. =D>