20+ months post fusion, still in a lot of pain
Yup, had my spinal fusion done back in late April of '07. Since then the pain's come back to where I presently am right now. My injury had been multiple herniated disc's, to which the fusion had been my 3rd major surgery. I suffered from extreme back pain and pain down my left leg due to having a pinched nerve.
Anyways, as I said the pain came back, first it was just the lower back that hurt. Now I'm back to where I started, as the leg pain has returned as well. Although the leg pain isn't usually as serious as it once was, I feel it will only get worse as has everything else.
As for my doctor/medication situation, it's the same as well. Soon after my last fusion my insurance dried up, I began going to free clinics in Chicago, and was eventually referred to a pain clinic at a hospital. I have an appointment with the pain clinic once every 4-6 weeks. I am grateful, because it's basically a free PM doctor, and they give me meds (tramadol,codeine, gabapentin). The problem is, that's all they've been doing. I've been going there for 10 months, and since then the only thing they've done is a trigger point injection, which was way back in July. My question is what should my next step be? I'm 23 yrs. old and still can't work or attend school because of my back.
I don't wanna be on meds forever, but at the same time I know that right now if I stopped taking them, I'd be worse off than I am now, and able to do a lot less. My surgeon who did all my surgeries said if the fusion wasn't successful, there is a large chance I have permanent nerve damage. My next app at the pain clinic is in 6 days, and I do plan to talk to the doctor about this. Would it be a good idea to ask to do an epidural or something? I just want to try something, and if I need another surgery I know they're gonna wanna do every test and procedure they can before going that far, so I'd like to start to get that over with.