I stumbled upon this board and am excited to have partners in this nightmare I have experienced for nearly 10 years.
There is no short but I will try. I had one surgery for a simple fusion with instrumentation L4-L5 in 2005 after 5 years of living with it and pain medication. Shortly after that major leg pain returned. Ortho doctor/surgeon said "it is repaired, this may be what you have to live with". Three years later (with just surviving on pain meds) an MRI showed the hardware had actually broken. Unbelieveable and it is only guaranteed for 3 years, this was 3 yrs, 1 month and 11 days later.
After finally seeing a neuro surgeon (I suggest surgery by them instead of orthos) he repaired and caged all sacral and lumbar areas EXCEPT scar tissue surrounding the broken screw and he could not get to it. Hence, the nerve pain from this screw impinging it was still there and in addition, the thoracic CT scan showed T3 through T12 are all bulging. I often ask myself what happened that my back is such a mess and can only conclude that I played league volleyball for 15 years. They are calling it degenerative disc disease.
Today I received my 39th spinal injection which I am convinced doesn't do anything but the pain management doctor insists the pain would be multiplied without. I am on massive amounts of Oxycontin (60 mg 3x day) and Roxycodone for breakthrough pain (15 mg up to 4x day). In addition all the other things we think help like Neurontin, Flexeril and of course more Aleve than I should probably take.
When I saw the doctor today during the injection he suggested that I change to Dilaudid extended release. I didn't even know they made it in an ER form. Has anyone taken the extended release form of dilaudid? Any ideas of a comparison to the amount of Oxycontin I take converting to the ER dilaudid?
It had been a long road, often filled with depression and sadness about what the rest of my life will look like if it is like this at my young age of 54. I could exercise and walk so much better last spring/summer however I have really detoriated since then. The brutal winter in PA didn't help as it prevented my daily walks.
I wish they would finally manufacture something that isn't so addicting that relieves pain. They have discussed the pain pump with me however my neurosurgeon says "no way". He says I am too young to use the last resort yet. Last resort? Geez
Any input or simple support would be so welcome.