I went to see the spine surgeon in Boston on Monday. He is not recommending surgery at this time. He said that my L4/L5 disc which I had a micro-d a couple years ago is all sloppy since it looks black on the MRI. The
L3/L4 disc is not looking so hot either. He did say ADR and fusion. But, he said that the outcomes are only about 50%. So, I have to lose weight, go to PT like there is no tomorrow, quit smoking, and get the depression under control. So, I have gotten my script for Chantix and I am looking towards the future. He did say that the PT will hurt and that I will have to work through the pain. I have to keep a positive attitude about all the changes I need to make. He did say that if all of the things that he suggested doesn't work that I should come back and see him again. At least he wasn't rushing me into surgery. I am still in a lot of pain and I am hoping that I will be able to get a TENS soon. The new PT place I am going to is great and if I get a script for the TENS I can try it for a week to see if it will give me relief before investing the money into it. So, wish me luck guys. I hope everyone is doing well.
Hi angie, we are almost in similar situations are at least kinda the same. i started off with no to surgery to, i have been dealing with my pain now only going on 7 months but 6o fhtose months have been terrible, I have had everthing done conservatively done just about, now I am in acupuncture and water therapy, my pain is so bad I am taking ms contin 100 mg 3x day with no relief. Anyways, enough of me the point I was making is that the doc told me the same things they are sort of telling you, pt, lose weight, etc. I have to lose 60 lbs, at first in March the surgeon said he wouldnt touch me and that I was not even a candidate, but he reordered mri and called me a week ago and asked how I was feeling and of course I told him still miserable I still cant work and he said surgery will be set for september, he also told me I had to still lose the weight and I found out the reason why is because they do disc replacements anteriorly, wow, so now I am my mission to weight loss. Angie I am here for you, so if you need anything, have a question just let me know. Take care and best wishes to you.
HI Angie. Thanks for the update on you. I think your surgeon is a straight shooter and I personally prefer this type of doctor. He is giving you some ideas on changing your current body behaviors to see if they help bring you relief from your pain.
He is right.. PT is beneficial but can really flare you up in the process. Are you in pain management at this time? If not, you might consider being in this at the same time, as they can coordinate your care while you are in PT. If you hurt, you can't fully reap the bennys of PT, especially during a flare up. You need to expect this through the process. BUT communicate all and every thing with your therapist. This is VERY important to your care they give you. While PT is somewhat standard, it truly is tailored to the individual and/or their needs.
I hope the TENS bring you some relief also. They will show you how to properly put the leads on for the maximum effectiveness. Many insurances will pay for this device.. so you should look into this also for coverage for you. Good luck and keep us posted.
"believe in the beauty of your dreams"- E. Roosevelt
L5/S1 bulging @ 18, now 46; still there (but no pain)
Fusion at L4/L5 Apr -2006
Solidly Fused Nov-2006
A Success, but still improving!
Last edited by Justoneofus; 05-17-2007 at 04:47 PM.
I have been in physiatry now for about 7-8 months now. I have had 3 esi's with no relief and have been on percocet for about a year now. First got the painkillers from my original doc now just from physiatry. I have taken nortryptlyine, lyrica (for one week) with no relief. After my 3rd esi they suggested the nerve burning. I am not sure if I want to go there yet. This is my 3rd time in PT. The people that I am going to now are really great..and don't push me at all. They always ask how I am feeling and tell me that I can take breaks if I need it. I am going back to physiatry next Friday and will be asking about the TENS.
One thing that I thought was kinda funny that the surgeon from Boston said was that when I mentioned my first round of PT they pushed on my spine a lot and did that pulling traction thing. He said that is a bunch of BS and that he was surprised that PTist are actually still doing that. He also told me that I should be doing the pool PT for a few weeks and then go to land PT. I am not sure if I will be able to do land in a few weeks since I hurt just walking in the pool. It is kinda annoying since my 2nd round of PT was pool and I didn't have as much trouble as I am now. But, like I said I have to keep the faith. The one good thing about seeing the doc in Boston was that he agreed with my surgeon who did my mirco-d about not doing surgery now. But, this guy was much more caring and a straight shooter about the situation. God, I hope I can do it. Just a lot to do at once. I hope I don't get too overwhelmed by it all. But, really what choice do I have. I will check in later. I hope all is well with everyone.
Why would they take you off Lyrica after just one week? This drug has to build in your system and it can take up to two months to get the most benefit. One week isn't even enough time to titrate your dosage up to a higher level.
It does work very well for nerve pain. One other thing if you need to lose some weight ask your doctor about Topamax. It is another anticonvulsive drug that is used for nerve pain. One of the major side effects of Topamax is weight loss.
I am not sure why the physiatrist decided to take me off it. I had "brain mush" from it also. I know that the side effect can wear off. But, since I told the physiatrist that it wasn't helping with the pain he told me to stop taking it.
I will have to look in to Topamax. I am currently taking Zoloft prior to this reccurrence of back and nerve pain. Since it is not really helping me with the anxiety and depression so much I just got a script for Wellburtrin also to try with the Zoloft. I got the script for the Wellburtrin and the Chantix today from my primary's PA and informed her of my pain issues as well. She said that the Wellburtrin may help with the nerve pain and with the smoking as well. So, for now I am going to give it a go and see what happens. All that I know is that I really want to be off of the percocet. Hopefully, things will work out so I won't have to be on it forever. The taking of all of these different drugs I think can be kinda scary. I really don't like the idea of taking a cocktail like that everyday. It doesn't help when some of my family members tell me that they are scared about me taking all of these drugs. I just want to keep that to myself sometimes. But, I inform them just in case something were to happen. I guess it is just part of the pain puzzle. Gotta figure out which pieces fit together nicely.