Any thoughts on these treatments?

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Sick_N_Tired
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Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 10/12/2011 8:41 PM (GMT -6)   
So as I've indicated in my previous post I've been in a lot of pain throughout my whole back.  I've been referred to a new PM by a friend of a friend who says the this Dr. Panchal has changed his life (and he said he went through a few to find him).  I have an appointement with him coming up soon.  My previous PM who I am altogether unhappy with wanted to do a Radio Frequency Leisioning of the Medial Branch Nerves, and I was planning on asking to new PM to do the same procedure.
 
Today I went to the ortho spine dr.  who said that the disc bulges, ddd, and spodylosis are not bad enough for surgery though that doesn't mean that I am not in a lot of pain.  I asked her about injections, and she said epidural injections may be an option.  They have a specific Dr. who does the injections, and now I have a consultation scheduled with this Dr.   But first, I do not have an up to date MRI of my Thoracic, though my most injured disc is the t3-t4.  So the ortho want me to do a new mri on the t-spine (this sat),  then come in for a follow up visit the following Wed.
 
My question is if anyone knows whether or not I can/should do the epidural injections and the RF leisioning?  Or, do one or the other.  I guess the RF is just for mechanical joint pain, so I think it would be ok to disclose both procedures to both the Ortho and the PM, and go through with both.
 
I want to get away from the narcotics that I have been taking for a long time.  But, pain is worse than it's ever been.  I'm really hoping one or both of these procedures will work for me.
 
Ortho Dr. also recommended Robaxin 500mg.  Has anyone used this, and what do you think?  I have some Soma left so I have not filled the new one yet. 

Chartreux
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9664
   Posted 10/12/2011 10:24 PM (GMT -6)   
I think you can get both the injections and radiofrequency done together, but you will be sore
from the procedures and need to ice your back for a few days afterwards. I'm not sure
about the medicine you mentioned, sorry...
Others will come by with better advise, so hang on...also you can go back and read
the info on injections there are many older posts, (just don't respond to the older postings)
Nice to meet you but sure wish it was under better circumstances than Chronic Pain.
we are a family here and it's a very good forum...
many well wishes to you...
**********************************************
* So many dx's I could write a book* "It would be nice if we could use the edit button in real life"...
********>^..^<********>^..^<*******

bsjaguar
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Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 974
   Posted 10/13/2011 5:26 AM (GMT -6)   
Sick, I've had radiofrequency ablation done on my lumbar spine with good results which lasted about a year.  I've also had epidural injections with no results but one lasted 3 months.  The rf injections are actually for nerve related pain.  It's amazing how much pain one little nerve can cause, they can cause referred pain causing you to hurt in a totally different area from where the actual pinched nerve is.  The pinched nerve in my lumbar spine causes severe muscle spasms in my side from under the rib cage down to my hip.   Your doctor should do nerve block tests before completing the rf injection to pin point which nerve is actually causing your pain.  If they can't locate the correct nerve the rf should not be done.
 
With any injection there is always a chance of them not working at all or getting great results.  Kind of the flip of the coin, you just never know which way it will land.
 
I've heard of robaxin but not sure what it is.  I'm sure a search on the manufacturers website or your pharmacist will give you the information.  Good Luck with your new doctor and hope you find some relief.
---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 & L-3/4, fibromyalgia, polymyalgia rheumatica

Sick_N_Tired
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 10/13/2011 8:07 PM (GMT -6)   
I've done some searching and found that the epidural is hit or miss in regards to how well it works.

I did have a diagnostic facet block done on my cervical. It seemed to help, but it was hard to tell because I was still loopy from the anesthesia, and the muscles were sore from the injections themselves. But, I'm pretty sure it helped. I guess either way, neither procedure carries a whole lot of risk, so I just figure why not. It may be great, or I may still be in pain.

I'm going to go ask the pharmacist about the robaxin this weekend and see what they think. Dr.'s seem to dislike Soma's, but they provide great releif. I don't understand why them being addictive is such a big deal when your pain isn't going anywhere?
29 years old. Disc bulges at C3-C4, C4-C5, C5-C6, C6-C7, T3-T4, L3-L4, L4-L5, and L5-S1. Also, Cervical Sponylosis, and Disc Desiccation or DDD. Migraine headaches when cervical pain not managed.

4 x 10.5/325 vicodin daily (at most)

2(sometimes 3) x 350mg Soma daily (at most) (having difficulty obtaining this prescription at the moment)

NiNi53
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Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 816
   Posted 10/13/2011 8:34 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, I am Kathy/nini, first, I would tthink hard even on the injections, they are temporay at best, and some of the steroids used in them will come back to bite you if you are not careful.  The one series of injections I had to relieve the burning pain in my leg, which was caused by a fall, then neuropathy, I will say after that series my leg no longer burned but I have been left with a numb foot, although that was not the fault of the injections.
 
Secondly, I really have no opinion of the other thing you mentioned, as I have never heard of it.
 
And lastly, each time I get on the hw, chronic pain, I read at least 2 persons who want to go off there meds, when that is the only life line to a better quality of life for most cp patients.  This scare caused by the few who abe there meds has made us the cp patients feel as if we should rush to detox, get away from the narcotics.  This campaign by the gov to make us all feel like addicts will only work if we give into it.  I am not sure why you want to get off your meds.  They are made for persons like us.  I cannot speak for all but without the meds, my life would be a living nightmare, the meds make it possible for me to get up every morning and go about my life.  I never want to be without my meds, I am going tgizeo keep on taking them until I have gone away.  I will not apoligize for using them and will not let the DEA or anyone else make me feel quilty for taking them.
 
That being said, I hope you are feeling better soon, good luck and take care,
 
Kat
degenerative disc disease, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, neuropathy, lumbar laminectomy july 1998 no help, rechargeable neurostimulator unit low right back w/lead wires to left side and right leg unit not working just sitting there.i am 57 years young in may will turn 58. i have 2 grown daughters, 25 and 29. i have 2 grandchildren, 9 year old grandaughter and 5 yr. old grandson

Sick_N_Tired
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 10/13/2011 10:37 PM (GMT -6)   
I personally have nothing against the meds. But I don't like the idea of the acetomenophin(spelling?) in the vicocdin 4 x a day. And whenever I ask any of the dr.'s Ive seen for something without it, they decline in a way that makes me feel like they think I just want harder drugs. The Soma's work great for me, but lately and I'm in FL :(, every dr. I see gives me a hard time about giving me more than 1 a day. I'm tired of taking days off of work to see new dr.'s, I'm tired of seeing new dr's, and I'm tired of being made to feel like a drug seeker when speak my mind to a dr. I'm tired of dr's wanting me to try less effective non-narcotic drugs, when what I've been using works, and I take them as prescribed. So I'm hoping these procedures will help enough that I can just take some OTC anti inflammatory and be OK at least. Just tired of dealing with dr's that are scared of losing their licenses if they treat their patients. I cant even remember a day with no pain, but nobody seems to care. Just the fact that i have to dr. shop to get what works and has worked for years just makes me feel like crap. I'm over it, almost rather be in pain. Maybe just start eating marijuana, and avoid dr's, it sure seemed to relax me years ago when I was a young buck. Funny how the legislation to help stop addict, is making me think about using illegal drugs, I haven't messed with in over ten years back in High School. I'm just over it.
29 years old. Disc bulges at C3-C4, C4-C5, C5-C6, C6-C7, T3-T4, L3-L4, L4-L5, and L5-S1. Also, Cervical Sponylosis, and Disc Desiccation or DDD. Migraine headaches when cervical pain not managed.

4 x 10.5/325 vicodin daily (at most)

2(sometimes 3) x 350mg Soma daily (at most) (having difficulty obtaining this prescription at the moment)

bsjaguar
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 974
   Posted 10/14/2011 5:46 AM (GMT -6)   
I take acetaminophen every day 3-4 times per day but always stay under the 4000mg max dosage suggested.  With your vicoden/tylenol mix you are only taking 1300mg per day so I wouldn't worry too much about it.  I'm also on methotrexate which can damage the liver and get regular testing for this and between the tylenol and mtx my liver is doing fine.  If you drink alcohol this increases the chances of liver damage while on acetaminophen.  Have you ever tried Ultram or the generic Tramadol.  I've found that the tramadol along with acetaminophen helps my pain better than the narcotic drugs but everyone is different.
 
Regarding the steroid injections.  The last time I received a steroid injection into a bulging disc at L-2/3 it did help with my pain for 3 months but along with it came shingles, not a common thing to happen with a steroid injection but a possiblility.  I'm just lucky like that.  So when it came time for the radiofrequency ablation in my lower spine I opted to use no steroids.  With the rf the relief should come from the nerve being disrupted.  Don't be worried about shingles now because I'd had numerous injections before using steroids with no problems.  This was just a shot in the dark kinda thing.
 
Just remember to ice down the area after any injection and rest.  Listen to your doctor!

Sick_N_Tired
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 10/14/2011 12:15 PM (GMT -6)   
Tramadol gave me some fierce headaches, and just made me feel off.

I don't drink other than weddings(and very little) and maybe a little champagne once a year when on vacation with my wife.

But it is worrisome when always hear of it being the #1 cause of liver disease, I know there are effective drugs without it, and drs just say no because they are abused. I've always taken my pills as prescribed yet I am made to feel like an addict. It is so frustrating!
29 years old. Disc bulges at C3-C4, C4-C5, C5-C6, C6-C7, T3-T4, L3-L4, L4-L5, and L5-S1. Also, Cervical Sponylosis, and Disc Desiccation or DDD. Migraine headaches when cervical pain not managed.

4 x 10.5/325 vicodin daily (at most)

2(sometimes 3) x 350mg Soma daily (at most) (having difficulty obtaining this prescription at the moment)

mrsm123
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 1235
   Posted 10/14/2011 8:06 PM (GMT -6)   
The RFL- radio frequency lesioning- is done to burn the nerve endings in the facet joints. It does provide good pain relief if the facets are the problem ( arthritis) for 5 months to a year or more in most people.
As far as epidural steroid injections go, I'm no fan of them. There are too many complications that can be caused by them, and you are not supposed to get more than 3 sets of them in a year's time, otherwise you are in danger of osteonecrosis ( death of the bones due to the steroids). It can also cause problems with increased blood sugars, adrenal problems and some others.
And they are highly variable in results. The best results from studies that I have read regarding them come in the first three months after an injury. After that, they really don't seem to help much as far as pain relief.
There is no harm though in giving one injection a try. If it gives you some relief, then it might be worth persuing again later on. If not, then don't do them again.
Sandi
Motorcycle accident 1992, Back problems from 92 to 2005. August 2005- early 2006- Chiropractor care
March 2006- consult with surgeon -PLIF/TLIF L4-5, spondylolysthesis, canal and foraminal stenosis, multiple herniations
Post Op Cauda Equina Syndrome
Revision August 2007- salvage op
March 2011- 2nd onset of Cauda Equina Syndrome
Needs surgery to prevent paralysis

woodpecker_lips
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2011
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 10/18/2011 10:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi sickandtired, I'm sick & tired too! RFL works well on some, and does nothing for others. It gave me about 6 months of pain relief, which I was thankful for. I would love to have just 6 HOURS of pain relief nowadays.
I take 1500 mgs of Robaxin a day, it's a muscle relaxer. It seems to help, somewhat, better than nothing. It helps me get about 4 good hours of sleep & I don't have the spasms I used to have.
I did something stupid & decided to go off my pain meds this summer so I was grateful for anything they could give me. I was just tired of being a slave to PM doctors & pills, tired of feeling like a criminal & feeling guilty for taking narcotics. After months of suffering I've had a change of heart. Nobody is going to tell me I don't need pain meds. I KNOW I do.
Sorry for that rant. Anyways, epidural injections didn't work for me, but everyone is different. And I know what you mean about marijuana. Believe me, I've thought the same thing. I even told hubby we need to move to one of those states that legalized medical marijuana.
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