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Introducing myself

Hi, I had a fusion of L5-S1 in 1984 for a 50% spondy, no hardware. They just took a bone plug from my hip, ground it with glue, and pasted it in there to fuse. I've stayed active over the years, but as I get older, I was having more and more pain, numbness etc and developed weakness in big toes and ankles. L4 was sliding now with a torn disc and 2 cysts pressing on my 5th nerve root. The disc between L3 and L4 was also significantly dessicated.

I had a 2 level fusion in June. My dr originally planned to fuse L3-L4-L5, but once he got in there, he discovered L5-S1 was not fused at all, so he ended up doing L4-L5-S1 with 6 screws and rods. Recovery has been going slow. I'm a little concerned because I keep feeling something grinding in there. At my 6 week post op, he said the rods are a little flexible until the fusion solidifies and he thinks it will go away. I think it's been getting worse. I see him next week for my 12 week post op.

My big concern at the moment is I'm trying to get off oxycodone. I was sent home with 25 mcg fentanyl patches and 20 mgs oxycodone every 4 hours. I've weaned myself down to 2.5 mgs oxy several times per day, total of maybe 10 to 15mgs per day. So I feel good about that, except I've reached some kind of plateau and can't seem to take that last step off. I do ok starting out in the morning, but as the day wears on, I start getting intense aching in my leg muscles. I usually take my first 2.5 mgs between noon and 2. As evening progresses and the meds wear off, the aching gets intense where I can't sit still and this causes a great deal of anxiety and fidgetyness. At first, I thought it was my back causing it, but I have very little back pain now. I think its the oxy causing it and I end up caving and taking another half tablet.. I haven't had much other withdrawl symptoms, just the aching muscles and anxiety. I feel like a big baby complaining about such a low dose. I know many people are dealing with much worse withdrawls, but it's important to me to get off this ASAP. I just can't seem to get off this last bit. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to ease the muscle aching and get off it? I do plan on talking to my dr about this next week. I hope to be off it by then, but if not, I don't want to play around with this with an "I can do it all by myself" attitude. I plan to fully discuss this with my dr and do whatever I have to to get off of it. Any suggestions in the mean time?


  • LizLiz Posts: 9,703
    I am sure that you will find your time on Spine-Health very rewarding. This site is a powerful and integrated system that is dynamic and continues to grow.
    Here are just some of the highlights:

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    - As a bonus, Spine-Health provides these patient forums. Here is where you can meet thousands of other people who understand and can relate to your situation. You will soon become part of the Spiney family who provide comfort and the advantages of a Support System. You are now part of this family that is approximately 20,600 International members and growing daily.

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    Here are some you should take a look at:
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    All of this will help make your threads better and improve the times and quality of responses you will receive.

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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
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