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momtofourangels
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 2261
   Posted 4/18/2010 10:05 PM (GMT -7)   
I just wanted to update you guys.  My dr. finally called the pharmacy, but she didn't want to do the approval number for the lidoderm patches, so she gave me the cream instead.  It helps for about 10-15 minutes.  I wonder if the patches would last longer.  I found Tiger Balm  on the internet because Dr Oz said that he uses it.  I ordered some.  It helps for about 1 1/2 hours and then it stops.  At least I get some relief.  I'm wondering about the Voltaren Gel though.  Could those of you that use it give me some info on it?  I'm thinking about calling my dr. and tell her that the lidoderm cream only works for that very short time and ask her if she'll call in some voltaren gel.
 
I'm also considering the surgery, but I'm scared that  I'll be the 1% or whatever that would get unlucky and have the cement leak and cause me to be paralyzed.  I also read that the longer you have had the compression fracture, the less likely that the procudure will make any difference. (Spine Universe) 
 
Could I get some advice from you all?  What would you do?  I know you're not doctors, but you are my new family, and I am coming to you before I make up my mind to get advice.  I appreciate any advice given.  I'm really going back and forth with this.  I really don't know what to do.  I am going to call the PM dr. that my dr. referred me to and see if I can get an appointment with him. 
 
I'm so grateful to have you guys and gals.  You all know what I'm going thru and it feeels better emotionally to be able to come here and get support from people that know what I'm going thru.  I consider you all my friends as well.  (((((((((((((((((((hugs))))))))))))) for you all.  I hope you having a lpn and will get a good nights sleep tonight.  God bless.tongue  
Loretta

Dx:  ddd, spinal stenosis, bone spurs, hypothyroidism, typeII diabetes, asthma, allergies, high blood pressure, polycystic ovary syndrome, PTSD, depression, anxiety


PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 4/19/2010 12:08 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi, Loretta,
It's late and my brain is pretty fried, but I did want to comment on the lidocaine patches, as I use them occasionally for pain. You can only keep them on for 12 hrs (12 hrs on/ 12 hrs off) but they sure do last longer than you're saying the cream does. And usually you can use up to 3 patches at a time (3 different areas). Most doctors don't have a big problem prescribing them because they're localized and not system. I don't know about the gel as I've never tried that, but when my nerve really acts up in my lower back, around where my surgery incision is, a lidocaine patch calms it down and it does last for several hours, although maybe not the full 12. But it only helps in that one area.

Glad you found spineuniverse useful.

Hope this helps a bit.

PaLady

bsjaguar
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 974
   Posted 4/19/2010 12:44 AM (GMT -7)   
I agree with the info that PAlady gave you regarding the lidoderm patches. I've used them in the past for shingles pain and lower back pain. I never really saw much relief from them but everyone is different. They are quite expensive though and even with insurance I wouldn't want to have to pay the co-pay amount for very long. Sorry I can't be of any help with the voltaren cream but I'm sure you'll hear something soon.

Any surgery is hard to come to terms with. Good Luck on your decision and keep us posted!
---Jag---
 
DDD, osteoarthritis, facet syndrome, fusion surgeries C-5/7 & L-4/5 both in 2006, torn meniscus surgeries left knee 2000 & 2002, buldging disc L-2/3


Retired Mom
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 1753
   Posted 4/19/2010 3:46 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi,

I too have tried the patches, but didn't get too much relief before my surgery. The PM suggested I take them back out and try them again and said he would prescribe me all of them I want if they work well (but the co-pay is really high) so I haven't done it yet. I'm not sure why anyone would have a problem prescribing them as my PCP was the one who gave them to me years ago.

Regarding the Voltaren Gel... you may want to do a search and look up the uses online. I'm one of the ones who posted what a positive experience I have had using it, but I don't believe it is prescribed for backs/shoulders or large areas. I think it is mostly for knees/hands (OA and RA) type problems. It certainly helped my knuckles, but not my husband's shoulder/back at all. It is only a NSAID in a gel form. You may get the same relief from OTC NSAIDS, but I can't take them because of my stomach so I tried this.

I know this is a lot of babble to answer a simple question, but I didn't want to lead you wrong.

I hope you find relief soon!
DDD, CPS, TLIF L5-S1 2009, FIBRO, VERTIGO, MIGRAINES, GERD, SLEEP DISORDER, NISSEN FUNDOPLICATION (failed), DEPRESSION, EXTREME ANXIETY DISORDER, OCPD, PTSD, CHRONIC MUSCLE SPASMS, HGH DEFICIENCY, VIT D DEFICIENCY, CARPLE TUNNEL SYNDROME, BLOOD SUGAR ISSUES, THYROID CYSTS, AND SERIOUS MOOD SWINGS :) 
 
 


Mrs. Dani
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 2787
   Posted 4/19/2010 8:40 AM (GMT -7)   
 
 
 
   Dear Loretta,
 
      Good morning. *hugg* It is so good to hear from you. How are you feeling this morning? And when can you get in to see a new PM? Soon I hope. You ve been through alot and it will be nice for someone to aggresivly treat you pain.
 
     I am sorry the gel isnt working so well. It must be quite a dissapointment especially after all the hassle it took to get the script in the first place! I wish I could help with information on the patches but I cannot. But, on my hipps, during "morning flare" I use arnica gel. It can be found online, or in most whole foods / organic stores. It works rather well for me. But after spending so much time and money on the lidoderm cream and tiger balm... I not sure you want the hassle of another gel.
 
      You know when I learned more about what is going on with your spine, my heart ached for you. I was frustraited that your pain wasnt being treated. I also read about the surgery you are considering, and it is a big decision to make. Only you know if you truly want to have it done. But, having the fracture(s) repaird just might help. I think once you get a new Pain Magagement specialist, you should ask him / her about it. Another thought is you might want the surgeon to give you an information packet or direct you where to go online. Again, it is a BIG decision you face. But no matter what you decide, just do what feels most comfortable to you.
 
     I do hope you have a good day. More so, I hope you have a few chances to relax. You are in our hearts.
 
*hugg*
   dani

 

 

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

 

 


momtofourangels
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 2261
   Posted 4/19/2010 11:40 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you all for supporting me.  I'm going to wait until I can see a PM dr. and talk to them about the surgery.   Thank you for the informatiuon on the lidoderm patches.  I hope you're all having a low pain day.
 
 
Dani
Thank you so much for you concern.   I looked the Arnica Gel up and it looks like a really good product.  I'm glad it gives you relief with all the things you have going on in the pain area.  My heart goes out to you.
 
hugs
Loretta
Dx:  ddd, spinal stenosis, bone spurs, hypothyroidism, typeII diabetes, asthma, allergies, high blood pressure, polycystic ovary syndrome, PTSD, depression, anxiety


straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 13471
   Posted 4/19/2010 6:42 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi 9Years,
 
I read up on the surgery you spoke of for your compression fracture. That type of surgery is less invasive as opposed to the lumbar fusions that several on here have undergone. I am not saying the recommended surgery is not serious, any kind of surgery involving the spine is serious in my book. Where these fusion folks have open incisions much larger than the Kyphoplasty, the recovery time is much less according to what I read and that is really in your favor. They say there involves two very small incisions made just big enough for the straw like instruments  to fit in, sounds similiar to microsurgery, which is good to know. Truthfully the procedure for the compression fracture is nothing like what lumbar fusion surgery the folks on here has had, it would be like trying to compare apples to oranges, because everything is totally different.  It really is an interesting procedure. They say people return to their normal acitivites quickly and so on. How much did the neurosurgeon speak with you at length about this surgery? It says further by putting the "cement" in between  the spaces it restores height back to the spine.  Any time a dr does surgery on a patient he must explain all risks and complications. By law he has to do this, also it is required by his maplractice ins to tell patients this, but that is not saying this will happen to you. Did the neurosurgeon say if there is a time limit on when this kind of surgery can be done?
 
Since none of us here are drs we really can't do much more than support you in whatever decision you make. The best ammo you can have is to educate yourself about this surgery. Sometimes many say they don't want surgery and that is sometimes the only option as anyone here will tell you it was not something they wanted.  Stick with reputable sites like the Mayo Clinic as am example. Take care of yourself.
 
 
 
 
                                                                                                                                                  
 

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 & psoriasis and psoratic arthritis. 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 17 different daily medications. Intrathecal pain pump implanted June 05.


momtofourangels
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 2261
   Posted 4/19/2010 8:08 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you for the info Straydog.  I did realize that the Kyphoplasty is nothing compared to the fusiion surgery.  The surgeon didn't explain anything.  He just told me that it is available, what he would do during the procedure, and that I could become paralyzed if he did it.  I told  him no thanks, but now i'm reconsidering.  I have finally got an appointment with a pm dr. that takes my insurance, and i'm going to ask him about the procedure, and what he thinks about it.
 
I didn't  mean to compare the kyphoplasty to the fusion surgeries.  I was just saying that I know a lot of people here have had them.  I thought that someone may  have some thoughts on the surgery.  I'm sorry if I offended anyone. sad The surgery is still scary.  I've only had a gallbladder surgery that was done like Kimber's was done and a tonsillectomy when I was 11, so needless to say I'm scared. 
 
I do appreciate that you looked the procedure up and read about it.  I've read some, but I guess i'll read more.  Take care.
 
Hugs
Loretta
Dx:  ddd, spinal stenosis, bone spurs, hypothyroidism, typeII diabetes, asthma, allergies, high blood pressure, polycystic ovary syndrome, PTSD, depression, anxiety


PAlady
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 4/19/2010 8:23 PM (GMT -7)   
Loretta,
I agree with with your plan to read up more. Before I had my double fusion, I read a lot of the studies I pulled from medscape.com and even some from medline (journal articles the doctors read). You might want to ask your doctor for some of the statistics on the number of people who suffer severe post-surgical problems like becoming paralyzed. That's a big one, but then again any surgery carries risks. You want to find out just how big a risk it is for you.

The spineuniverse.com site I think is connected to the Cleveland Clinic, but I would use several sites that are credible like Straydog suggested - Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, Johns Hopkins are some.

Good luck!

PaLady

momtofourangels
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2010
Total Posts : 2261
   Posted 4/19/2010 8:42 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you so much PaLady.  I really appreciate all the websites that you posted. 
 
You guys and gals are so wonderful.  I'm so glad that I started posting here.  You guys and gals are really like family here.  You're all so comforting and supportive.  It really helps.  Thanks Again.
 
hugs
Loretta
Dx:  ddd, spinal stenosis, bone spurs, hypothyroidism, typeII diabetes, asthma, allergies, high blood pressure, polycystic ovary syndrome, PTSD, depression, anxiety


straydog
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 13471
   Posted 4/20/2010 4:21 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi 9Years, oh, no I don't think you offended a soul here, lol. I probably worded it wrong, in the difference of the two surgeries. If the neurosurgeon didn't explain the procedure to you shame on him, that was lousy on his part. As with any kind of surgery its only normal to be scared, if a person wasn't I would think they were nuts, I don't care what kind it is. I did read about it on Spine Universe and of course the good ole Mayo Clinic and they each said the same thing. It just doesn't sound too good leaving a compression fracture untreated that is a concern. Since you are seeing a PM dr soon, perhaps he could recommend another neurosurgeon for a 2nd opinion, sure wouldn't hurt anything. Take care & let us know how your appt goes.
 
I forgot to tell you, I am a big fan of Tiger Balm and have used it for years. You can general find it at most drug stores including WalMart. I am not surprised it did not help you. It really is used more for sore muscles and such. My massage therapist used it on me after the massage and would put moist warm towels over it and that heat seemed to make it sink in deeper. I use it alot in the spring especially on my knees and legs from doing spring yard work that is a killer.


 

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 & psoriasis and psoratic arthritis. 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 17 different daily medications. Intrathecal pain pump implanted June 05.

Post Edited (straydog) : 4/20/2010 5:26:18 AM (GMT-6)


Snowbunny21
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 3557
   Posted 4/20/2010 4:26 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Loretta,

I just wanted to add that any type of surgery carries risks...and most women who have had babies who got an epidural had risk of paralysis as part of it but most women don't even think twice about getting that done...same with a C-section...

Any time there is general anesthesia involved for any surgery, or one's that deal with the spine, there are pros/cons....risks/benefits..

So, yes..it's certainly important to go over all of this with your Dr. as well as get a second opinion from a Board Certified Dr. who has had the most training...

You mentioned talking to your PM about the surgery..they would not be the one to make that determination nor give any medical advice about surgery, they are not trained in that area just fyi...True PM Dr.s are either Anesthesiology background or Osteopathy (D.O)..

Who was the Dr. who actually suggested this surgery?

It's smart to read up as much as possible, and PaLady is correct...to look at actual numbers of paralysis per number of surgeries if you feel like it...

For my 3 cervical fusions...I knew the risks..but they were so small that I leave it up to God (for me personally)...and the cons of not having the surgery were much greater with my risk to paralysis and pain, as well as I truly trusted and adored my Neurosurgeon...

Just like with any medication we take...there is a whole page listed of side effects..and most of them in the slimmest of possibilites can cause death or coma, but again..I try to look online at the highest percentages and what is 'likely'..

Keep in mind that Dr.s always have to tell you 'worst case' to cover themselves for malpractice...that doesn't mean it's 'probable'...

I would just say to try not to let the fear of the unknown take over and make the total decision for you in something that can possibly truly help...as Straydog mentioned...I think this particular surgery has good results and pretty safe...that's why second opinions are crucial to then have more than one Dr. telling you that it could help (or not), your pain, to live a better life...and how great would that be!!:)

One other suggestion...my Dr. has free samples of the lidoderm patches in his office and since I don't have insurance..this saves a bundle!! So I would ask him if he has them, or can get some for you...they are given samples by sales reps of many medicines everyday..

Take care..
SB and "the pup who snores loudly" 
 
ACDF C5-C7, (no hardware), with autograft bone Nov. 2001
(reabsorption of bone 2 years later...still lost in body..expect to burp it out at anytime..haha")) 
ACDF with hardware, allograft bone Nov. 2005 
Anterior and Posterior CDF, allograft bone with BMP, removal of old hardware, use of titanium plates, rods, screws, & kitchen sink (lol) Dec 2006
 
 

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