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bmillerbbmiller Posts: 2
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:56 AM in Chronic Pain
Hi all. I joined this forum to try and learn more about my pain. I fell in July of 09 while cleaning a vinyl pool, and blew the disk at L5-S1. I was in Illinois at the time and could not get into surgery till January in St. Louis. The first surgery failed and two weeks later went back in for another one. The second surgery took, however,for three days I screamed in pain in the hospital and I guess it caused them to xray my left hip. An intern came in and told me they were placing me on Gabapentin. It worked great. One week later I was in an ER w/staph & group B strep in the surgical pocket. A cleaning was done of the pocket thru surgery. and I was sent home with a pick line with injectable anibiotics for 11 weeks. I felt good afterwards. I came home to AZ last summer took myself off the Gabapentin with a little difficulty and 4 months later somehow blew the L5 again. This time I went to Barrows and luckily found a Dr that cut part of the vertebrae away and all the scar tissue. Placed me back on Gabapentin and put me in PT for three months. The pain came back with a vengence in February. I tried again to come off the gabapentin in May and screamed with pain again. My DR. here tried Lyrica but I ended up back on Gabapentin. The pain is increasing and MRI's show bulging in Thorasic and neck as well as L5. I am going to a Pain MD on Thursday. My pain keeps me from lying on my stomach, and my left hip hurts all the way to my toes as well as hot spots. They threw alot of options out there but I dont know what to do next. Any suggestions? Sorry for the length of this.


  • Sounds like you have had a discectomy and a repeat discectomy with a lamectomy? No fusion yet right?
    Welcome to Spine Health Becky :) this is a great place for learning.

    Are you using a PM? I love mine- he handles all of my pain meds and we found the right dose and meds so that my days can be as pleasant as I can get them. I can't figure out why I waited so long. Have you had any injections ESI style> or other treatments? Have you tried the Lidoderm patches (lidocane numbs the spot where the patch is) I love these little guys.

    I have no idea what will work for you. I have had a lumbar fusion at L4-S1 with excellent results. I also had my neck fused at c5-6-7. I have spinal instabilty and needed the added support of hardwear. My disc at L5 was already gone as was my c6. Thanks to a MVA I now have several thoracic disc that are pretty ugly and a couple really nasty ones.

    My options are two different fusions at this point.

    I have never take either of those nerve meds. I did take Topomax for about a year. I liked it and realized once I came off it- that it was working wonders on my cervical nerve pain.

    what other meds are you trying? Have you tried a tens unit? I use mine for mental health breaks when my pain wont settle down and no amount of meds will work. I can hook it up lay down in arealxing spot. Use my heating pad and pretend some one is giving me a message :)

    Feel Better,

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,438
    I can appreciate what you went through with the pict line and antibiotics at home. I developed osteomyelitis after one of my ACDFs (from the hip bone scrape) and was on the IV line for 3 months at home.

    Besides the Neurontin (Gabapentin) do you take any pain medications or muscle relaxers?

    What where the actual several MRI findings of your spine.
    You know about your L5-S1 problem. What did the one MRI show in terms of thoracic discs? Then what did the other MRI show in terms of cervical disc?

    Thats a long way from Cervical down to Lower Lumbar.
    Do they feel it could have been a result of the original fall?
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
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  • Thank You Ron and Julie. Well, Here goes. The MRI's show that my C5/C6 is severly herniated, the T7 is herniated and my L5 is shot! So the results are off to Barrows for analyzing. Fusion I'm sure. Just wish that while they are there they could just fry my nerves. Julie: What is a PM? Is it a Pain Management Doc? I have had no fusions up to this point because I am a smoker. (WILL finally have to give those up I guess) LOL No patches of Lidoderm either. No other meds except Ibruprophen 800 mg 3xday along with my gabapentin 3x day. They also found something that appears to be Chiari Syndrome. WOW it is just neverending it feels like. Thank you sooooo much for your input. It is nice to be able to share. I have gone from an overactive 46 year old to a person who cannot do anything it feels like, without damaging my body. I have never been much of a drinker and never used drugs, so my request to the Dr.'s was no narcotics. However, Gabapentin sure feels like what people describe coming off of as a narcotic. LOL
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