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skrape
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 141
   Posted 10/8/2009 3:55 PM (GMT -7)   
I had another procedure today to try and find out if my back pain is caused by arthritis or not. This involved doing 6 more spinal injections to inject a local numbing medication. If this relieved my pain for 2 to 4 hours, then the pain is from arthritis. If it did not, then they said they need to do a discography to try and find out what they can operate on. I had no pain relief and/or change from the procedure today so I assume I will be moving on to a discography soon.

Has anyone had a discography procedure done? If so, what all is involved and what do I have to look forward to? I have been reading about it and it sounds like they try to reproduce or intensify your normal back pain. It sounds uncool... Please let me know if anyone has had one of these done and their experience(s) with this procedure was.


Skrape
Pain:
Oxycontin - 40mg x 8 hours
Vicodin - 5/500mg x 1/2 every 6 hours (as needed)

Sleep:
Amitriptyline (Elavil) - 25mg x 1 to 2 at bedtime
Zolpidem Tartrate (Ambien) - 10mg x 1 at bedtime

Heart/Cholesterol:
Atenolol - 50mg x 1 a day (lunchtime)
Crestor - 10mg x 1 a day (lunchtime)
Niaspan - 500mg x 1 before bedtime (w/a low-fat snack, one hour after an aspirin)
Trilipix DR - 135mg x 1 a day (lunchtime)

Other:
Amitiza - 8mcg x 2 a day (when needed; not often)


Chartreux
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9622
   Posted 10/8/2009 4:13 PM (GMT -7)   
What your referring to is a test called a "Discogram" and it can be painful...
There are numberous past posting on discograms and you can get more info thru a google search..
Hope this helps, I've had one it's not what I'd want to go thru again...
call your doctor cause I think you need to be off muscle relaxers for this test...
well wishes to you and so sorry your having to go thru all this..
Soft hugz
((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((Skrape))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))
may you get a low pain day soon...
**********************************************
* Asthma, Allergies, Osteoarthritis, Spinal Stenosis, Degenative Disc, Fibromyalgia, Gerd,
Enlarged Pituitary Gland, Sjogren's and Ocular Migraines

********>^..^<********>^..^<********>^..^<********


PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 10/8/2009 10:29 PM (GMT -7)   
Skrape,
Well, "uncool" probably is one way to describe it. I have one and the best thing I can say is that if you want them to find the source of your pain, then you need to hope they are able to reproduce your symptoms. That would give them information, which is a good thing. Have to remember that because yes, it can be painful when they reproduce the symptoms - if they can. In my case, they didn't; one of my disk spaces was so narrow already they couldn't get the need into the space. They inject a dye into the disk space as well, and take images so there are precise images of the areas taken right inside the disk space. In my case, it turned out to be not very painful because they couldn't locate the source of the pain. I was given a type of conscious sedation, but they can't numb you or give you a general because the point is for you to feel the symptoms.

I think sometimes we become too afraid of potential pain of procedures, and forget how much pain we deal with all the time. It's not going to be any worse than our worst pain day. And it's time limited. Doesn't last for a long time. If surgery might be an option you want a doctor to have as much precise info. as possible.

So try to relax about it; if it hurts, it can mean a good thing in that they found the source of your pain, which will make it easier to fix. I was actually disappointed because I knew they hadn't reproduced my symptoms.

You'll get through it!

PaLady

skrape
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 141
   Posted 10/9/2009 5:50 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for the support. I think my problem is that I was so let down that this procedure yesterday didn't do a thing. I am pretty sure I was having nightmares about the procedure and had my hopes really high that they would numb me up and the pain would be gone. Then all I would need is for them to burn off the nerves and my pain would be gone! I was really, really disappointed when I felt nothing after the injections. I wasn't all that nervous about the procedure itself, I have had 17 epidurals so far in about 1 year and this latest one was basically the same thing as far as what I had to go through for the diagnostic. I am quite sore today since they basically did another 6 epidural-like injections yesterday.

I am not sure if I explained this properly. They did 6 injections, 3 on either side of my spine, and it was to numb up the nerves that produce arthritis pain. The effect should have lasted 2 to 4 hours if it worked. I felt as if I could tell they had stuck another 6 needles into my spine but my pain level was unchanged. I knew this meant that I would be in for the Discogram and (potentially) surgery. So I was really, really hoping the pain would end up being arthritis and it was not...

A lot of people have given me advice about surgery. Everyone seems to be split between it either fixing everything or setting you up for a long road of surgery after surgery and as my doctors always tell me, "man, you are only 29. We are going to try everything we can to prevent you from having to go down that road." This procedure yesterday was the last thing they could do to prevent me from having to go down that road...

I do have fear of surgery. My mother broke her hip in '04 and had a less than competent surgeon. He botched the surgery and she has now had a total of 6 surgeries to try and fix what he did to her in the first one. I have seen surgery go badly and I know back surgery for chronic pain can be a crap shoot in the first place. I could go into more detail of the hell I had to help my mother go through due to botched surgery but I can sum it all up by saying when it was at it's worst, she begged me on an hourly basis to kill her. Not a joking around, "oh, just kill me now" type of thing but a begging and pleading type of completely serious, wanting to end the pain that went on for years. She had an infection that was dissolving her pelvis for over 2 years. During that time, no one believed her when she claimed she was in huge amounts of pain and they dismissed her as a drug-seeker. So for quite a long time, while in the worst pain of her life, they would not even give her anything to ease the pain. She is finally over it but I now have an almost phobia-like fear of surgery.

I guess I just felt like I needed to explain that. I am in a great deal of pain w/my back and have been for over 2 years now. My fear is now that I have exhausted all avenues available before surgery, I am now looking at going under the knife. I would like to tell my doctor that since I am off the patch that had messed me up for almost a year, I would like to try and manage it (with meds) as long as I can stand it. He seems pretty intent on getting me off narcotics so I am unsure how he will take that. Like maybe I am just in it for the drugs and will balk when it comes to going under the knife. It is just, at this point, I think I can manage better than I could before and I feel that I would have to be better off trying that over having surgery at this point. I am scared to tell him this for fear that he will think I am a drug seeker and not really in pain. I have had that treatment before...


Skrape
Pain:
Oxycontin - 40mg x 8 hours
Vicodin - 5/500mg x 1/2 every 6 hours (as needed)

Sleep:
Amitriptyline (Elavil) - 25mg x 1 to 2 at bedtime
Zolpidem Tartrate (Ambien) - 10mg x 1 at bedtime

Heart/Cholesterol:
Atenolol - 50mg x 1 a day (lunchtime)
Crestor - 10mg x 1 a day (lunchtime)
Niaspan - 500mg x 1 before bedtime (w/a low-fat snack, one hour after an aspirin)
Trilipix DR - 135mg x 1 a day (lunchtime)

Other:
Amitiza - 8mcg x 2 a day (when needed; not often)


straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 13473
   Posted 10/9/2009 6:04 AM (GMT -7)   
Skrape its a painful test, many drs quit doing it because some peoples disc got blown or a tear happened during procedure. I would never have one,.
Straydog/Susie
Moderator Chronic Pain
 
crohns disease dx 2002 & small bowel resection, still looking for remission whatever that is, chronic pain 22 yrs, added ulcerative colitis 6-05 to the mix, high blood pressure 28 yrs, aortic heart valve insuffiency, depression, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis lumbar spine, scoliosis lumbar spine, peripheral neuropathy hands & feet, COPD & on oxygen therapy, lupus & decreased circulation in both legs. Several other health issues just not enough room to list it all. Too many surgeries to list and too many medications to list. Currently on 16 different daily medications. Intrathecal pain pump implanted June 05.


Mrs. Dani
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 2787
   Posted 10/9/2009 9:12 AM (GMT -7)   
 
   Dear Skrape,
 
     Good morning! *huggs* I hope you are able to somewhat relax today. How are you feeling?  ..my husband is reminding me my time is running short *argh!*
 
     I havnt a clue what the different injections are that are done in the spine. And know nothing of what the types are for.. Not much help I am afraid.. But *warmest huggs!!!!* It could be one step closer to finding the cause! I sure hope they can pin point it soon.!
 
*warm huggs*
    dani


TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,  
And sorry I could not travel both  
And be one traveler, long I stood

Post Edited (Dani Henson) : 10/9/2009 7:53:00 PM (GMT-6)


Chartreux
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9622
   Posted 10/9/2009 12:19 PM (GMT -7)   
Skrape,
Please don't give up Hope yet, what other things have you tried besides injections???
There are other procedures out there and I'm sorry if I sounded bad in my first posts
You know we all care about you...missed you too...the discogram is just a diagnostic tool
your doctor uses and maybe asking for a contrast ct scan would be of better help...
lots and lots of soft hugz and hopes that you'll get a low pain day soon...
((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((Skrape))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))
**********************************************
* Asthma, Allergies, Osteoarthritis, Spinal Stenosis, Degenative Disc, Fibromyalgia, Gerd,
Enlarged Pituitary Gland, Sjogren's and Ocular Migraines

********>^..^<********>^..^<********>^..^<********


PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 10/9/2009 12:53 PM (GMT -7)   
Skrape,
I don't blame you for being super cautious about surgery. It shouldn't be undertaken lightly. I had double lumbar fusion, which didn't work (which doesn't mean it wouldn't help you), but had two opinions (I'd never have major surgery without at least two opinions unless it was a life-threatening emergency), and I went to a major teaching hospital for the surgery.

Most of us are like you. We hope with every new test, procedure, etc. that it will take away the pain. An answer will be found. That's just normal. And healthy, IMHO. I mean, why go through all those injections if you didn't hope they'd find the source of the pain. I also had hoped to try RF (which I think is what you're referring to) but the precise location of my pain could never be found with needles.

Before getting the discogram, I'd get some second opinions - or have you done that already? What do your MRI's show? To be honest, I'm not sure my discogram helped at all in terms of diagnostics, except to show just how narrow the space was in that one disk. I mean if you can't even get a needle in there...

But some of the major teaching hospitals are doing things that may help you (like a disk replacement) if it's determined your pain is coming from just one disk. And I do know personally of someone who had that and went back to work and a normal life. This person actually went to Germany, before they were doing them in the U.S. But if you have problems are multiple levels of your spine, your prognosis may not be as good, and I don't think they replace more than one disk.

You DO want to do your research on the surgeon and the hospital you select, if you have surgery. And it's worth traveling if you have to. If you haven't had a full work up at a major teaching hospital, then is there one within a few hours of where you live that you could go to?

I don't know if any of this helps, but thought I'd toss it out.

Hugs,

PaLady
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