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Old 04-02-2012, 08:34 PM   #1
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Question Dr Prescribed Skin Patches For Pain

My most recent MRI dated 02/14/2012 showed that I have moderate disc bulging at 3 levels and some arthritis. My pain is centered in my lower back and the level varies between 5 and 8. I'm able to climb stairs for exercise without any increase of discomfort. I have had trigger point injections which if they had worked would have meant I could benefit from a rhizotomy, but the injections didn't work. The people at the surgery center I visited told me I'm not a candidate for a discectomy.

I saw a new doctor this morning. He reviewed my radiologist's report and we discussed my previous treatments. He gave me a prescription for the skin patch Butrans 10mcg/hr. Has anyone tried skin patches? What has been your experience?

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Old 04-02-2012, 10:00 PM   #2
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Re: Dr Prescribed Skin Patches For Pain

I wonder whether you are willing to share why you are not a candidate for micro-discectomy?

I use Lidocaine patches, which act locally. So, they are good for pain generators close to the skin, like nerve pain in my lower legs. I am thinking that the Butrans patch is a dermal method of administering a systemic pain medication?

 
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Old 04-03-2012, 10:12 AM   #3
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Re: Dr Prescribed Skin Patches For Pain

Ms SweetPeainSF

Thank you for your reply. The Dr gave me a handout on the Butrans patches.
It was my belief that they were to be applied over the problem area. I don't believe I will have the prescription filled as I wasn't expecting a general narcotic. I've learned to cope with my discomfort and for now will self administer conservative measures, cold packs, etc. until my next Dr's visit.

I will investigate microdiscectomy further. My MRI indicated a problem at
L4-L5 and I earlier developed a painful occurence of sciatica after a session on an eliptical trainer; I don't use that machine any more and don't have that symptom any more.

I was on the docket for surgery at a facility in Arizona and was led to believe they would offer a surgical solution. Then I had a pre-surgery diagnostic injection. I told the Drs that my pain was concentrated over my tailbone but per the L4-L5 problem the Dr injected my right buttock. My right leg became numb for awhile but my low back pain remained. No relief, no surgery.

 
Old 04-03-2012, 02:04 PM   #4
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Re: Dr Prescribed Skin Patches For Pain

If you don't need pain meds, avoid them by all means! If your pain can be controlled through over the counter medications (NSAIDs), ice packs, etc., then use those. I use the Lidoderm patches for really tough areas that don't resolve, and they are more of a topical treatment, though of course some of the drug is absorbed into the body. If you find that some pain is not resolved, you could ask your doctor about these.

I was wondering if you had bone spurs that blocked the area of the spine, thus making access for a microdiscectomy more difficult. It sounds like the reason for not performing the surgery was the failure of the injection.

Do the doctors plan to repeat the diagnostic injection? Some other posters have mentioned requiring a series of two injections, because the first one can be false-positive. I have to imagine that some are also unsuccessful on the first round. Or maybe they injected an area that wasn't the pain generator? Keep pushing for answers! Good luck.

 
Old 04-11-2012, 02:58 PM   #5
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Re: Dr Prescribed Skin Patches For Pain

My MRI report also says I have 6mm Retrolisthesis at L5-S1 which means that the 2 adjacent vertabrae are out of alignment and which I believe is the source of my pain. According to my book on back pain, it is usually corrected with a fusion if more conservative measures fail. I will discuss physical therapy and Lidoderm or Flector skin patches - which are applied directly over the pain source - with my Pain Dr during my next visit.

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04/11/2012

Last edited by senior41; 04-11-2012 at 03:00 PM.

 
Old 04-12-2012, 11:52 AM   #6
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Re: Dr Prescribed Skin Patches For Pain

A microdiscectomy would not have corrected this structural problem, so better to either have no surgery or a surgery that will correct the problem. I was trying to determine what grade retrolisthesis you had, but apparently, grading is done in terms of percentage of intervertebral displacement, rather than absolute measurement.

Physical therapy can help to stabilize the muscles to prevent further spinal instability. It won't fix the underlying problem, but it may provide you with enough relief to either avoid or postpone surgery.

 
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