chronic back pain

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kara487
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 637
   Posted 3/4/2008 10:37 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi everyone , I am married and from Georgia. I suffer from chronic back and hip pain. Numbness and tingling in my legs . I was dxed through a myelogram with spinal stenosis  , herniated lumbar disc that is pressing on thecal sac and nerve roots . I also have a blockage in  l5 and s1 nerve root . I went two neurosurgeons  who are reluctant to work on spines . I am in a,lot of pain everyday is a struggle. I am on soma and lortab which doesnt help me much. Where do I go next? I hope everyone has a low pain day.

Mochiah
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 450
   Posted 3/4/2008 2:26 PM (GMT -7)   
Welcome, Kara. I hope you find wisdom and understanding here at HW, because we definitely understand....I guess it's the wisdom part that is in question!! Just kidding....

First off, I would start by NOT returning to that neurosurgeon! Now, I know there isn't much of anything they can do for stenosis until you are faced with surgery or a wheel chair...but they CAN do something about the L5-S1 nerve roots. I don't know what the blockage is, whether it is from swelling or from bone/hernia sac, but they can either do steroid injections to lessen swelling or surgery to remove the herniated disk. Find a neurosurgeon who specializes in spines, not one who dabbles in it now and again.

Unfortunately, Soma and Lortab are usually the basics of what you would be given (if anything at all), so you are lucky to have even received them. I didn't go to a pain management doctor until 7 years after the back pain started, I had gone to my regular doctor, but perhaps that is a place you may want to start...pain management doctor because I would think they would know which route to take.

Course, everyone else here may know a better road to travel, so let's let them chime in.
Mochiah/a.k.a. Sue
cervical fusion 2006
L4-5 surgery with cages, plates, and screws in 2005
MEDS:  Fentanyl patch, Norco, Celexa, trazodone, and baclofen
 
To handle yourself, use your head...to handle others, use your heart
 
I'm going to smile like nothing is wrong, act like everything is perfect, and pretend its not hurting me.


kara487
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 637
   Posted 3/4/2008 3:00 PM (GMT -7)   
Mochiah, Thank you for responding to my post . My insurance has changed I have to find a new pain dr. Thank you for the advice. I hope you have a low pain night.

PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 3/4/2008 4:30 PM (GMT -7)   
The first neurosurgeon I consulted a couple of years ago gave me a 10-40% chance of success with a fusion, and recommended I try to manage the pain via other means (easier said than done, we know). Of course I didn't want to give up, so consulted a surgeon at a major medical center who gave me an 80-90% of being able to eliminate my back, leg and foot pain/numbness. Who wouldn't jump at those odds? Turns out the first neurosurgeon was right, as the guy who did the surgery just told me this week that I was one of 2 or 3 patients he's had for whom minimally invasive surgery hasn't worked, as there is still soft tissue pressing on the nerve even after a fusion at 2 levels. Of course he wants to try a "traditional" surgery but at least at this point I'm having none of that, as even the minimally invasive surgery actually INCREASED my symptoms, especially the muslces in my back. So I know we don't like to hear it, surgery won't help all of us. Gramps makes some good points. Still, it's so individual it's hard to know. Maybe ask why the neuros don't recommend surgery; make them give you answers.

wmnak
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1123
   Posted 3/4/2008 9:46 PM (GMT -7)   
kara,
 
i agree with the other respondents:  surgery should be a LAST resort and not a FIRST THOUGHT.  I fell down a flight of stairs in 1990 and injured my lower back, L4-5, S1.  I was in really killing pain at that point.  not pushing, but i was familiar with chiropractic and used chiropractic adjustments for pain relief for several years with great success.  my chiropracter referred me to several neurologists, orthopedists, surgions, etc, but i just wasn't ready to have anybody do permanent "damager" to my back.  :-)
 
Like you i too lortab and some other "milder" pain killers and had several sets of spinal injections.  The last ones, in 2001, drove me to an attempterd suicide because the pain was to terrible - the neurologist who admininstered the epidural steroid injection, i found out later, ws using my body as an erxperimental dummy.  if i believed in malpractice lawsuits, i would be tempted. . . . .
 
I also had a great deal of relief from accupuncture just aafter the injury.  my insurance stgopped paying for it and i couldn't affoprd it with my severly limited income.
 
i've had two surgeries by an excellent dr who does nothing but spinal operations.  Before the first surgery, in 2002, i weas walking with great difficulty with a walker.  after the surgery, i was almost pain free for a year and could walk unaided.  unfoirtunately, after about a year the pain came back and the dr "reminded" me that he had wanted to do a second surgery to remove the screws holding the titanium rods in place.  This second surgreery was not neaarly as succedssful from a pain standpoint.  i am seeing a pm dr who had rxed percocet 3x/day and morphine as needed up to 3x/day.  i am walking painfully with the aid of a cane.
 
i cannot tell you what to do.  you have already been given some excellent advice and histories.  i have shared my experience with you  to help provide "grist for the mill" to your decision-making. 
 
i wish you the very best, all the luck in the universe, and all of the tenderness that can possibly be provided.
 
warren
That light at the end of he tunnel?  It's an on-coming train.
 
 


notnu2cp
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 138
   Posted 3/5/2008 3:14 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi and welcome to the forum, I tend to agree with the others and like Gramps said if they didnt jump at you with surgery as this is how they make their living then it must be too soon and they want to try other options first.
 
So many folks that come here seem to have as many problems if not more after surgery then before so think long and hard and make sure your sucess rates are in teh higher percentages before making it an option.
 
We all know how easy it is to jump at anything that may take away the pain but you sure dont want to add to it in anyway.
 
I am not sure how long this has been going on with you and if PM at this point is even feasable as alot of them want you to have tried alot of other things first and have a good amount of pain time in prior to taking you on. I certainly would let the prescribing Docs know your not getting alot of relief from the combo your on and maybe they can at least increase or add something else to the mix.
 
Sorry your having such a time of it and all you can really do is keep searching for that onething that  helps some and I wouldnt expect to get 100 percent relief with the kinds of diagnosis you show so remember to shoot for little bits at a time versus the whole lot.
 
This is a place where we all certainly understand your pain and a great place to rant if all else fails. Hehe! Had to get that in there.
2 knee replacements & a hip.
spondylosis at L-4,5 & S1
arthritis,sciatica all that being a CPer entails!
 
If you stumble make it part of the dance!


kara487
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 637
   Posted 3/5/2008 3:47 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you everyone for your advice . Its not that I want to have surgery . I am willing to try epidurals but no one has offered them to me . I just want the pain to lessen the pain is too much for me at times to take . My husband sometimes don't understand what im going through. I should add sometimes I get electrical shocks up and down my spine. I hope you have a lpd.

notnu2cp
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 138
   Posted 3/6/2008 2:52 AM (GMT -7)   

Sadly to say so many times those in our lives dont understand and it is just another hurdle we come up against in this battle.

There are some things I have found to work to help those on the outside looking in to have a better understanding of our pain and sometimes they work for some folks and othertimes tehy already have preconceived notions and nothing works.

You might try educating him to back pain and the diseases effecting you,print out some info and get him to read it,have even seen people print forum posts from various threads and have family read as then they see it isnt just you that suffers.

Take him to your appointments with you,share your thoughts but try to leave the whining at bay and that is difficult at times as I hurt I whine,natural but useless most times so I whine to myself! Lol

I am a far better listener to my own whining then anyone in the family anyway!

Try to encourage him to be a particpant in your needs and issues as alot of time the fear of the changes they see in you are enough to push them into an outsider,we tend to get all wrpped up in our pai issues and push those around us completely out of our lives and this is a normal process and it takes work not to do it. How many times I wish everyone would just go away and leave me alone in my misery! We cant hope to hold together a relationship of any kind letting ourselves do this to the point we are spending all of our time alone and isolated. It is necessary at times but dont let it become a habit and it doesnt mean you have to spend every waking hour sharing yourself but it is a quality issue versus quantity.

He may fear your pain your health issues and is putting that out in a not understanding you way.

As for the injections be careful what you wish for again and ask one of your Docs about them and and see if they think they would do any good just yet.

Good luck to you and I certainly hope you find some relief in some way and alot of times for us it is a very long and very drawn out process of finding the right Doc for us.


2 knee replacements & a hip.
spondylosis at L-4,5 & S1
arthritis,sciatica all that being a CPer entails!
 
If you stumble make it part of the dance!


kara487
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 637
   Posted 3/6/2008 11:28 AM (GMT -7)   
Gramps, Thank you for the advice . I was seeing a pm but all he would give me is lortabs and soma. I told him about not helping my pain much but he did not listen just keept on writing the sam scripts. Right now I don;t have insurance my new insurance don;t start until march 15. so I am looking for another pm then. I just dont want to be on pills the rest of my life and have a better quality of life. How are you doing? I hope you have a lpd.

kara487
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 637
   Posted 3/6/2008 11:29 AM (GMT -7)   
Ruth, Thank you for the welcome and the advice. I hope you have a lpd.

boater
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 3/12/2008 11:22 AM (GMT -7)   
I've been seeing a pain management group since 1998.  From day one the doc there said he couldn't fix me but he could give me a better quality of life and i have to say he did.  they weren't afraid to give me medications and my pain has become a lot more bearable.  i have a lousy back, herniated discs, disc degeneration. facet syndrome, arthitis, spinal stenosis, and dessication of a bunch of lumbar discs, in other words, a lousy back.  i am taking massive doses of narcotics and after adjusting to the fact that i needed them to function it was easier for me psychologically. i have also been lucky in having good results to my yearly radiofrequency procedures to my spine.  now my main concern is my crohns disease.  i need to have a subtotal colectomy and though i haven't seen the surgeon yet, am concerned about the pain management because of my high tolerance.  also i will be going to a hospital not where my doctors practice so i am concerned about the management of my pain thru surgery and the recovery period.  has anyone had surgery where they've been under painmanagement for their chronic pain and how did they manage. i'm new to this website and it's taken me awile to find this spot so any info would be greatly apprectiated.  confused
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