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Can I/Should I ask my surgeon for a pain managment referral?

Ok so I'm 4 weeks post op and although the the first two were great with no leg pain it's seemed that something has gone wrong and my left leg pain has returned. 4 weeks ago I had a multiple level laminectomy and a discectomy at one level with the intention to return normal function and to eliminate pain. Being that I'm very young and am/was a collegiate athlete, I have had difficulty being treated correctly and have at times been discriminated against and accused of drug seeking due to baseless assumptions based on my appearance. Normally after the doctors actually take a look at my history they see that I actually do have pain and my MRI films are proof of this. As of now my surgeon told me that going forward pain medication wouldn't be a regular thing but being that I'm still having pain and it is only 4 weeks post op, could I, or should I ask my surgeon to refer me to a pain managment doctor? Also I do not take very strong meds like fentanyl, morphine or dilaudid and actually gave my doctor back the oxy 5/325 I was prescribed because it didn't help my pain as norco does. I take 4-6 norco 10/325 a day and am just trying to keep my doctors happy while not being in pain.
  • Degenerative Disc Disease
  • Disc Bulge L2-L3, L4-L5
  • Disc Herniation L5-S1
  • Facet Arthrosis
  • Laminectomy L1-S1 02/18/15
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Comments

  • I can definitely understand the feeling that you get looked at funny for being young and on pain medication. I'm 22 and totally get it.

    Anyway, in my opinion, a referral to pain management couldn't hurt. It's much more than just hardcore opiate therapy. They do a lot of things to try and help. I think it would be a good thing, especially because your surgeon won't feel comfortable doing any sort of meds for an extended period of time. I started with my new PM two months ago and am super happy with him. So I'd say it's definitely worth looking into.
  • Kelsiedee said:
    I can definitely understand the feeling that you get looked at funny for being young and on pain medication. I'm 22 and totally get it.

    Anyway, in my opinion, a referral to pain management couldn't hurt. It's much more than just hardcore opiate therapy. They do a lot of things to try and help. I think it would be a good thing, especially because your surgeon won't feel comfortable doing any sort of meds for an extended period of time. I started with my new PM two months ago and am super happy with him. So I'd say it's definitely worth looking into.
    Thanks for the response. But yes, I am firstly trying to just get back to sports and working out as that's my life. I only ever have used my medications to improve my quality of life and to be able to walk around and do normal stuff. I never sought meds when I didn't have pain either. In your experience though what type of things do they ask you and basically hoe does it work?
    • Degenerative Disc Disease
    • Disc Bulge L2-L3, L4-L5
    • Disc Herniation L5-S1
    • Facet Arthrosis
    • Laminectomy L1-S1 02/18/15
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  • Well I'm currently on my second PM doctor. The first one and I didn't click so I got outta there. But it's pretty basic stuff. Where your pain is, how it feels. You may be asked to bring any images you have (MRI's, X-rays). My first appointment with my PM was awesome. It was basically 'this is what we're gonna do'. He set up multiple images and began prescribing that day.

    But, not all doctors will prescribe the first day. I'm lucky enough to live in a state where I don't have to be seen every thirty days for a refill, but you may need to be. You'll more than likely be asked to sign a narcotic contract the first day which just explains the rules of the practice in regards to narcotics. This contract should be taken very seriously, as violation can result in discharge as a patient. Overall though, doctors want to help you. Don't ask for specific medications. Above anything, be honest with them. About everything. It will make the whole process easier.
  • Kelsiedee said:
    Well I'm currently on my second PM doctor. The first one and I didn't click so I got outta there. But it's pretty basic stuff. Where your pain is, how it feels. You may be asked to bring any images you have (MRI's, X-rays). My first appointment with my PM was awesome. It was basically 'this is what we're gonna do'. He set up multiple images and began prescribing that day.

    But, not all doctors will prescribe the first day. I'm lucky enough to live in a state where I don't have to be seen every thirty days for a refill, but you may need to be. You'll more than likely be asked to sign a narcotic contract the first day which just explains the rules of the practice in regards to narcotics. This contract should be taken very seriously, as violation can result in discharge as a patient. Overall though, doctors want to help you. Don't ask for specific medications. Above anything, be honest with them. About everything. It will make the whole process easier.
    Oh yes, I've actually read all kinds of horror stories with PM doctors labeling people as drug seekers and what not and if I didn't need these medications at the moment I wouldnt be using them. I want to one day not need to take any meds, though I'm not sure how realistic that dream is. Thanks for breaking it down though, it's just a shame that people like my surgeon can't help me out (he's an amazingly cool doctor) because he would get pressure from the DEA. He still giving me prescriptions but it's the idea that at any moment he may say he can no longer, thus why I'd like to be proactive.
    • Degenerative Disc Disease
    • Disc Bulge L2-L3, L4-L5
    • Disc Herniation L5-S1
    • Facet Arthrosis
    • Laminectomy L1-S1 02/18/15
  • I promise that if you're honest in what you're telling me, you have nothing to worry about. Also, you need to be willing to try other things. I'm not saying that you haven't, but pain management is a lot more than medications. For example, I do yoga, use heat, and do breathing exercises when I'm having a bad pain day. Explore those options too. You never know when one of those things could help on a bad pain day. The first day I used heat after a bad PT session changed my life. :) just be sure to communicate. Think of this like a relationship, trust has to be earned both ways. I was terrified of all of it at first and joined this forum and now I'm glad I went to PM.
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  • As I said before, the most difficult thing about all this is balancing trying to get back to my life while admitting that I'm not totally the same guy I was before and it is unlikely I will be doing the feats of strength I had before. People who know exactly how much I excercised and how rigorously kind of dismiss the pain I have and to an extent the truth is I'm paying for pushing my body to its limits. Not many people with the extent of lumbar damage can say they've deadlifted 450lbs or bench pressed it, and to me medication is a means to be somehwhat active or try to be since without medication I feel horrible, weak, and just want to sleep. Anyway, I would hope that medications are used to improve the quality of life and not reserved to wheelchair bound patients.
    • Degenerative Disc Disease
    • Disc Bulge L2-L3, L4-L5
    • Disc Herniation L5-S1
    • Facet Arthrosis
    • Laminectomy L1-S1 02/18/15
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