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Gamma Daddy
New Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 11/6/2009 12:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello all, my name is Robb and I'm so relieved to have found this site!  I just wanted to introduce myself and hopefully glean some answers to questions I have about dealing with my daily pain.
I'm a multi-surgery guy with 6 on my right knee (Torn meniscus x2, torn LCL x2, Torn ACL, hardware removal).  The original accident happened at work (I was in the oil fields of the arctic in Alaska) and it started with just a torn meniscus and hyperflexion of the rest of the muscles/tendons.  On my second surgery to repair the meniscus again, (it retore in PT); the nurse dropped me off of the post-op bed while trying to get me dressed.  That's when my LCL blew out the first time; the second was a re-do of the original sugeons work because it wasn't done correctly (that was his first one, I came to find out later).  Since I've had so many surgeries on my right knee I've spent a lot of time limping and using my left leg to compensate, which has now caused (well maybe not caused but it has contributed) to my lower back pain that I have been dealing with for the last 2 years.  My neurologist says that I need to have injections into my L4 becuase its bulging and that is what is causing my lower back pain and the numbness on my left leg.  I'm a bit torn about the whole thing, it does not sound like a pleasant experience nor have I hear/read of real success stories from the procedure.  Anyway, that's about all in a nutshell.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 3193
   Posted 11/6/2009 1:10 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Robb... Glad you posted...but, of course, I'm sorry you are dealing w/ chronic pain. There's great support to be found here, so I'm glad you posted. I completely understand what it's like to live day-to-day w/ pain.

I have to go for now, but wanted to welcome you... I look forward to learning more about you! -Tina
Pain Issues: Neck/back pain; migraines; carpal tunnel syndrome; widespread joint/muscle pain, nerve pain in hands, arms, feet; I also have POTS/dysautonomia; CFS/Fibromyalgia; Severe Hypertension; Hypothyroidism; Addison's Disease; Central Sleep Apnea; etc etc

Meds: MS Contin (480mg daily); Dilaudid (8mg/3x day); Actiq (1200 mcgs/1x per day); Soma (3x day); Atenolol; Midodrine; Phenergan; Effexor and on the list goes...

Future Plans: Intrathecal Pain Pump; already completed trial; awaiting my decision for implantation

Screaming Eagle
Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 11/6/2009 1:21 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello Gamma!....and welcome to this wonderful site! I also have lower back problems L4 & L5. I also have neck problems as well. I have had a total of 5 Epidurals, 3 in my neck and 2 in my lower back. The ones that I got in my neck helped greatly for about a year or so, but my lower back never did well with them. They always gave me the choice of a sedative, and I'm glad that I did so. I would highly recommend it, and will make everything much more pleasent for you. One thing I would recommend for the Epidural, is that if a second one is offered in the same injection site, I would strongly suggest you take it. I was told by my Dr, that it usually takes two of them to get the most relief. If your insurance is anything like mine, they only cover the cost of 3 per year. I have seen many a case where the Dr, will push to have all three done in one year. It is big money for them. It can be a risky procedure though, so it is a decesion you will have to make. Ask lots of questions of your Dr. about it. You will usually have to wait 2weeks before they will do the second one, and it takes about 72hrs for it to start  working, if it is going to at all.  The two week mark is considered the maximum effect it is going to have on you if it works on you. If you elect to be given a sedative, you will be required to have a driver take you home, as they won't let you drive at all. At least 12hrs of bed rest is normaly required after the procedure, and follow this to the T! Usually, 24hrs later you can resume normal activitys. Of course, this will all be explained to you before hand. Hope all turns out well for you. And keep us updated on your progress.

Post Edited (Screaming Eagle) : 11/6/2009 11:24:41 AM (GMT-7)

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 329
   Posted 11/6/2009 1:23 PM (GMT -6)   

My husband has a 19mm bulge in his L4 and the shots have made all the difference in the world for him. It did not make it go away 100% but now he is able to handle the pain with meds, heat and rest when he needs it. He says the shots are not bad, compared to the pain he is (was) in.

Hysterectomy at 25

4 laproscopic surgeries since 24

Cervical Stenosis between C 2 and C6 and two bulging disks located C2/3 and C4/5



Meds - percocet  3x day :


In the United States today, there is a pervasive tendency to treat children as adults, and adults as children. The options of children are thus steadily expanded, while those of adults are progressively constricted. The result is unruly children and childish adults. ~Thomas Szasz 

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 453
   Posted 11/6/2009 1:55 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Robb
I too have bulges and surgery. I had both of my knees done and walked around for so long with them bad that my gait was screwy and so was my back. Glad to have you posting with us. I've had injections but because of the compression I don't think they ever got in to where it did any good so I'm not a good one to ask.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 16804
   Posted 11/6/2009 2:48 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Robb and welcome to Healing Well. I am very glad that you found us and decided to to take the big step and post. We have a great group of people on this forum that can relate to the different types of conditions you may have, even if we don't have the same conditions as you we all understand CP. It just stinks and messes with our lives in so many ways.
I totally understand where you are coming from with the knee problems. I have had 4 surgeries on my left knee and 1 on the right stemming from torn meniscus to a tear of the ACL. My last round of surgeries were in the fall of 04. I had both knees done three weeks apart. That was one of biggest medical decisions screw ups on my part in a long time, lol. What was I thinking!!! I had no clue as to what I was in for. On the knee that had the torn ACL, 10 days post-op I was walking up the sidewalk to the ortho's office for my first post op visit. I caught the toe of my shoe in the cracks in the handicap walkway and I was trying to avoid falling and ended up twisting the knee severely. I tore the knee up really bad and spent a year in Don Joy brace for that little incident. Spent a week in the hospital for pain mgt because it was so bad. After this I did the series of 5 Supaartz injections in each knee to buy more time before having both knees replaced. If I sat down in a chair or whatever someone had to be there to get me up. I was once stranded on a lounger on the back patio. The only good thing that came of that was I had my cell phone with me and was able to call my husband to come out there and get me up. My ortho said I hope you learned your lesson to never be w/o that cell phone. 
You will get mixed comments about the injections for your back. Some they help, some they don't. We all just react so differently its hard to know how it will work for a person. I had one pain mgt tell me they were worthless and the drs did them to pad their bills!! So, its really a mixed bag.  Numbness in the leg pretty much means you have some nerve involvment going on. Pain meds as a rule do not help with nerve pain. Medications such as Lyrica, Cymbalta, Neurotin all can sometimes help with nerve pain as they are used frequently for nerve pain.
Again, welcome aboard and I hope you have a low pain weekend.
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.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 11/6/2009 4:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, Robb,
I also want to add my welcome to the chronic pain forum, but sorry you have reason to be here.

All my problems started with a bad fall which resulted initially in a slight tear to the ACL in my left knee. After a couple of months my back pain started, including pain going down my right leg, and slowly numbness and tingling developed in both feet. I'm a huge believer that not only the fall itself (on hard cement after I was airborn) but the change in gait caused or worsened back problems I never had before. Yesterday was the 5 year anniversary of that fall, and sad to say after much PT, numerous injections, and a double lumbar fusion nothing's ever improved. That doesn't mean it won't for you, though!

The injections do help some people, as others have said. I've always had a doctor do them using a flouroscope (a little x-ray machine at the end of their needle - my lay terms! - that shows them the image on a monitor) and with mild local sedation. I've never needed anymore than a local injection, but I know others here have gone for full sedation. Guess it depends on you and your doctor. Yes, as others have said, usually the injections are done in a series of 3, but if by the time you get the second one it hasn't helped, that probably means they won't. None of the ones ever helped my back, but when I got the full series of 3 for tendon problems in my hands, they did work and I've never gone back for more. They're worth a try.

Do you have a PT you trust? PT has done wonders for me, although not fixed the problem. Mostly helped with some ideas on how to manage it. Seems like your PT caused you more problems. I know I've had some horrible PT's that did cause me more injury, and some wonderful ones that at least taught me a lot about movement, stretching, etc. And I have a stim unit at home , heat, ice, and gosh knows how many other things to help manage pain!

Anyway, I've rambled enough! Glad you joined us - and again, welcome.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 974
   Posted 11/6/2009 4:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Welcome Robb, nice to see you at the forum. I've had lumbar & cervical fusion and now have a bulging disc at L-2/3 also. I got a steroid injection at the site about 4 months ago and it did wonders for two months. The only problem was I ended up with shingles (which can be brought on by stress plus steroids and other meds). I've had injections before without this happening so don't let this scare you too much but anyway they won't give anymore injections for 6 months now. Anyway back to where I started, the injection did help alot but it is normally used as a diagnostic tool to tell the dr. if this is the area that is causing your pain. If it is then they can take other measures to possibly do something more long lasting. My doctor did use a sedative with an I/V and it wasn't painful some discomfort though and I did have to have someone drive me home. I'm not working now but was told to take it easy for the rest of the day. Your doc will give you instructions to follow. I've had alot of different types of injections through the years epidurals, trigger point and some I don't know the names of. Some helped and some didn't but none are long lasting. The shots can help relieve the pain for periods of time but not forever. This is just me though.
DDD, osteoarthritis, fusion surgeries C-5/7 & L-4/5 both in 2006, torn meniscus left knee 2000 & 2002, buldging disc L-2/3

solar powered
Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 538
   Posted 11/6/2009 8:43 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Robb. Welcome to the family here. I had 4 surgeries on the same knee in 17 months time. Like you because of the altered gait due to braces, crutches, and pain I ended up with a messed up back and bad hip on the opposite side. Muscle compensation can cause all sorts of pain problems way more than I think even most doctors realize. I too have several bulging lumbar discs but they aren't the main problem, the muscles were. After much PT without many positive results my ortho sent me to a chiropractor who specializes in muscular rehab. He uses special techniques such as active release and Graston therapies along with some chiropractic. My ortho who is the team doctor for an NFL team sends the players to my chiro so the techniques are not voodoo but valid, useful and well respected. This man has been a blessing to me and has helped more than anyone to help rebalance those confused muscles and improve my comfort level. I would encourage you to investigate these treatments. Good luck. Lisa
If I can laugh at it, I can live with it.

Mrs. Dani
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 2787
   Posted 11/6/2009 10:32 PM (GMT -6)   
   Dear Robb,
     Good evening. My name is Dani. It is a pleasure to meet you. I am glad you came across Healing well, even better the CP forum.  :-) We love meeting new folks and sharing our experiences.
       I am so sorry to hear of all you have had to endure because of your knee. It sounds like it has been a very hard road. *huggs*
      Injections, thou, I know very well. I have a very large area of my spine done on a regular basis as I am not a candidate for nerve abalation (sp?) or anything else right now.... In anycase, at first they were very hard to get used to. after the first year I became very comfortable with the process. Mine are mostly sucessful (except my last one only provided about 40% reduction of the "sting" sensation). They last any where from 2 month to 4 months.  Here is some cool info you might find useful ~~>



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



Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 999
   Posted 11/6/2009 10:48 PM (GMT -6)   
Welcome Robb, if you are here at this site, it means that not all is well. Thats pretty much the story for all of us. We endure and work through the issues with pain and how it effects the rest of our lives. Many with back problems have tried the injections but there are several types. Some drs offer sedatives and others try to do it without (that was mine). Even though you have a bulge in the disc, everyone is different. What might help one will not help another. Many drs use the injections before going to surgery as surgery is still controverial. Most of us here have had many types of treatment and it has either not worked or had limited effectiveness. There come a point when you have to try something because it seems that they just don't heal enough to give the quality of life we want. I waited over 10 years to have surgery and ended up with nerve damage that I am stuck with. I would encourage you to look at the long range picture as well as the short term. Do a little background on your doctor because all doctors are not created equal. Any way, welcome and keep us posted.

Gamma Daddy
New Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 11/6/2009 11:13 PM (GMT -6)   
I am so pleased that everyone has been so hospitable. Thanks to all for the warm welcome. I have heard from a close friend today that had a sister go through the procedure and I'm going to base my decision on her experience. My neuroligist is adement about the safety of the procedure as well as confident that it will be a succesful treatment to lower or even eliminate my pain from my back. As for my knees; I've pretty much given up on that.

Screaming Eagle
Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 5005
   Posted 11/7/2009 12:14 PM (GMT -6)   
Gamma, a word of caution here for you. As stated here many times, the Epidural may or may not work, but it is in my opinion, worthy to try. The results can last from a week or so to several months if not even years. One thing to remember, it is a mask of a deeper problem, so be careful of feeling well enough to resume normal activity's and injuring your self even further. Take care now, and let us all know what takes place, if you follow through with it. We love to hear succes story's, but will also support, if the outcome is less than perfect for you.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9664
   Posted 11/7/2009 2:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Good luck with the injections, I will hope they can be of help for you..There are several older posts
regarding the epidual injections if you want to read up more on them, I have to agree with what Screaming Eagle
said it can go either way, they may help or they might not...I had cervical injections in August 2009 followed a
week later by the Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) (C-4 to C-7) and I've ended up worse and having a hard time turning my
neck...Usually for the lower back they can help and I sincerely hope you can get some relief...
Keep us posted..
Lots of soft hugz to you...
(((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((Gamma Daddy)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))
Please don't let my posts scare ya, but use it as the information it's ment to be...
* Asthma, Allergies, Osteoarthritis, Spinal Stenosis, Degenative Disc (Lower Lumbar S1-L3 and Cervical C5,C6, C8 and T1), Fibromyalgia, Gerd,
Enlarged Pituitary Gland, Sjogren's, Ocular Migraines, mild carpel tunnel, ect.... "Would be nice if we could use the edit button in real life"...


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