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Nerve Pain and Hardware Pain

christine1438cchristine1438 Posts: 1
edited 10/07/2014 - 6:37 PM in Chronic Pain
In February 2013 I had an L4-5 discectomy and a spinal fusion. Six months after surgery I went back to work where I was required to stand for 8 hours (with a half hour break) with constant bending and climbing a small step ladder. Six months later I was in tremendous pain again. The surgeon said he saw a small tear on the L3-4, but otherwise I looked fine and the fusion had healed nicely.

I was taking vicodin for pain but I started to need it more and more and got concerned so I went to a PM doctor. She prescribed butrans patch and gabapentin. The gabapentin was awful and she told me to stop it. She also ordered a new MRI and we saw that I have a new herniation at L5-S1 (only 6 months later). I had an epidural at the new site which gave little effect and I am scheduled for another. The butrans seemed to do almost nothing so we stopped that and now I am taking Lyrica. The Lyrica is great for the sciatic pain but the pain at the original surgical site has now become horrible. I won't see the doctor again for a few weeks. Should I call and ask for something else? Tylenol, Naproxen and Advil are not helping. Any ideas?


  • LizLiz Posts: 9,543
    edited 10/07/2014 - 6:37 PM

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Since the laws regarding Hydrocodone were changed there isn't a narcotic medication that they can phone in for you so you would have to go into the office anyway. Maybe they could pull your appointment forward or allow you to go collect a prescription. Do you think the butrans was working better than you thought? I've experienced that with meds. I didn't know how much they were helping before I stopped taking them. I'd phone & explain what's going on & see what they suggest. Different doctors have different rules.
    Have you tried topical creams, ice/heat, Epsom salt hot baths etc to take the edge off of the pain while you're waiting? They can help a bit.
    What's the long term plan if the injections don't help? Have they suggested anything else at this point? It must be incredibly frustrating for you. I'm sorry. At least the fusion took well. I hope concervative measures work this time.
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
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