Ortho doc is not wanting to treat pain...

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 932
   Posted 2/9/2012 5:31 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi all,
 I had shoulder surgery in November. I was slowly getting off the pain meds, but in Dec, I had a seizure and retore my labrum and the repairs they did during surgery. Since, I have been having dislocations and subluxations and I am in a lot of pain, every day.
 My doctor says he only gives pain meds up to three months Post Op, so he just gave me 15, 5mg Hydrocodone( 5 mg is almost like drinking a glass of water and taking an asprin), and that will be the last script. My pain stays around a 6 and gets to a 8 or so often.
Honestly, I don't understand why this is not concidered a new injury. If after surgery, the repair was fixed, and I was healing, and after a seperate insident the labrum is now torn and my MRI is worse than before surgery, why isn't this concidered new.  Even my PT thinks it is a new injury and that my pain is not being maganaged well at all.
He has been really hesitant from the beginning treating my pain. I was only on 5mg of percect after surrgery and my tollerance is HUGE. He even said, "yeah I could tell in recovery pain meds didn't effect you much, but I just won't write anything stronger, sorry." I asked the doctor for a refill just 2 months post op and all he said was "You'll get hooked on that stuff Miss. Angela". When I have to be sedated to relocate my shoulder it takes enough meds to put a horse down just to get me sleepy, and it is clearly documented that my body is very tolerant to pain meds. It seems like doctors are so scared to treat paitents for pain. Its not like they can't see the damage on my MRI and I'm just wanting more pills for the thrill or something. Its obvious in x-ray, MRI and all that something is really wrong and it hurts.
I don't feel like it is fair to not treat the pain simply because its been 3 months since surgery. Also, no other ortho's will see me until I am at least 6 months post op, so I have no options. I don't know what to do.
Ang cry
27 years old
Dx's: Depression/anxiety, Non-Epileptic Seizures, Migraines, repeat joint dislocations, suppressed immune system
14 Major surgeries
Meds: Cymbalta, Vyvanse, Valium, Trazadone, Ambien, Loratab

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 175
   Posted 2/9/2012 6:08 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi AngMichelle
I'm sorry to hear your doing so crappy. It frustrates me to no end that doctors are so callous toward chronic pain patients. I would try and get into a good pain clinic. I wish you all the best and hope you can get some decent help. Take care. Let us know it turns out.
Chronic Back Pain, Anxiety, A little Depression, Left foot problems...foot growing in length and big toe growing out sideways, Osteoporosis,11 surgeries total..right foot twice, right knee 3 times, right elbow, throat/neck, spinal fusion, left elbow, left knee, currently deciding on whether to have surgery on left foot.
Meds: Oxycodone, Oxycontin, Clonazapam
Birthday July 18th

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 186
   Posted 2/9/2012 6:26 PM (GMT -6)   
I would also say try a pain management doc. I have been with mine for about a year now, and my pain is more in control and I am taking less than I was before. I highly recommend one! Most docs are scared to rx pain meds. Also, have you tried alternatives as opposed to narcotics?
I am a 30 year old female. Have had problems with Crohns/Colitis since 1997. Once I had my colon removed things got a little better. Until about 2 years ago. I just got my port placement and will start Remicaid treatments soon:)
I have awful tummy pain and joint pain as well as female issues.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 3557
   Posted 2/9/2012 6:33 PM (GMT -6)   
The main reason is that nowadays, the laws are changing in many states that unless you take extra classes and get a certificate to show that you are able to prescribe opiates long term, many non PM Dr.s will only prescribe a short term amount of medication. Even before this, many Dr.s felt this way....Especially surgeons or Orthopedics...pain management is not their specialty at all...so they will refer you to a PM DR...

This is what you need to ask him to do, or go to your GP and let them know what is going on to get that referral. The main thing is to let them know that you have an active prescription from the Ortho and are NOT trying to double up...you will only receive another new prescription once out of the meds you have now...

Again, they really aren't trying to be mean or cruel...it's just not their job to prescribe long term after surgery is completed...

A Pain Management Dr. is your best choice...They can set you up with a comprehensive plan that may include opiates to use when you have an acute issue....but also perhaps a muscle relaxer, more PT, aquq therapy, injections, acupuncture, stretching, etc....

An opiate is only one piece of the puzzle...But PM Dr.s are the ones that have taken years of studies in helping those with chronic/acute pain...

Good luck...
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) Oct 2006

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 15830
   Posted 2/9/2012 6:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Ang, wow so sorry to hear of the problems with your shoulder. Is this something that will heal on its own or will you require more surgery to the shoulder? I hope its not more surgery.

I know from personal experience where I live orthos & neurosurgeons will not write scripts for pain meds beyond 6 weeks post op. It has been this way long before all the hype over drug abuse. We were always told if meds were needed after 6 weeks it would have to come from the PCP. I am not saying I agree with this, but that is just how they do it here.

I too think your best choice here would be to get into a good pain mgt dr. Those guys are trained to handle patients that suffer with chronic pain.

Please let us know how you are doing, take care...Susie
Moderator-Chronic Pain Forum

Retired Mom
Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 1753
   Posted 2/9/2012 7:28 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm sorry to say that I have found the same thing with post-op pain relief.

You've had some great advice on this...especially making sure to tell the provider that you are not seeking medication prior to the end of your current prescription. It is really a no-no and will immediatly give you a bad reputation that is almost impossible to overcome.

PM Dr's are about the only ones who can be reasonably expected to help in this type case. I know you are suffering and how hard that makes it, but the sooner you get the referral, the sooner you will find the pain relief you so desperately need.

Good luck and I hope you find help very, very soon!
Failed TLIF L5-S1, Miltiple Bulges/Herniations, Scoliosis, Pituatary Disorder, Fibro, Failed Bladder Surgery, Failed Nissen, GERD, OCPD, GAD, MDD, CFS, TMJ, Migraines, HBP, Idiopatic Reactive Hypoglycemia w/Diabetic reaction to HGH, Bi-lateral CTS (now trigger finger), Edema, Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome, Peripheral Neuropathy, Plantar Fascitis, Tibular Tendonitis, Adult Onset Flat Feet, & Vision Issues

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 615
   Posted 2/9/2012 8:05 PM (GMT -6)   
AngMichelle....so sorry you are having these troubles...been there....I have to agree with the rest see if you can get in to see a pain specialist, they are very knowledgeable in pain meds and pain they should be able to help get your pain under control. I hope you are going to be able to get an appointment soon....Hang in there...Keep posting it is a great place to get support.

Take care, Amy
Chronic Pain(nerve), fibro, mild depression and a few others
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