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    Old 01-31-2010, 06:53 PM   #1
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    amputation pain

    my husband looks like he may lose his little finger on hand has anyone had similar injuries and will there be ongoing pain with this.
    he is already on other pain meds for burns
    and this will be the end result of his burn injuries

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    Old 01-31-2010, 09:04 PM   #2
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    Re: amputation pain

    This type of pain can be very challenging and is clearly dependent upon each situation as they are all different. Many variables are involved with each case, so it's really hard to give a blanket type statement.

    Those who do experience pain afterwards, normally refer to it medically as "phantom pain." It can be fairly common in those who return from combat due to the nature of their injuries....Limbs that are severely severed, damaging nerves & etc. What happens is that the nerve endings leading into the amputated area can be damaged, and send signals to the brain that there is pain. For example, a patient at my clinic is a vet of Desert Storm.....He is treated for severe leg pain even though he doesn't have a leg. His brain doesn't "realize" it due to the nerve endings firing messages saying he's in pain. In fact, it's quite severe.

    On the other hand, when some body parts are removed, it also eliminates the pain completely. Again, it just depends on the situation.

    Best of luck to you.



    Old 04-08-2010, 05:22 AM   #3
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    Re: amputation pain

    I lost 3 fingers on 2/10/2010 to a snowblower... I have gone through many pain meds to fight both the phantom and stump pains. Percocets, both 5 and 7.5 mg, Vicodin 10 mg, Tramadol 50mg (which gave me a bad reactions, insomnia, loss of appetite, weak, and spacey on top of it all with little pain relief. My docs just put me on Neurontin, an old anti-seizure med, and it has worked wonderfully for me. It is a non-narcotic so I don't have the scratchies and itchies and no longer are constipated from the opioid narcotics like percocets and oxy contins. Yes, there is some pain, but the mirror therapy has reduced, almost eliminated the phantom pain... what a wonderful, easy procedure... don't understand how or why it works in the brain... but it certanly helps. My suggestion is to keep asking your docs... and if you reduce or eliminate the narcotics you may find something like Neurontin which does the trick without the risks and side-effects of the opioid painkillers...
    May you heal quickly without pain... because it is true pain is a thief which steals your ability to function in any little task you're able to achieve as you heal and discover you've survived a traumatic injury and now are coming back to a normal life. My best wishes....

    Old 06-17-2010, 07:27 PM   #4
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    Re: amputation pain

    What is the dosage on the Neurontin? Just wondered. I am almost four weeks post-op from a revised amputation surgery on my middle finger after my dachshund bit the end of it off. I have been on various pain meds and wondered about Neurontin for which I already have a prescription but I am uncertain as to dosage. I was prescribed this drug to use occasionally for sciatica. I also have swelling and stiffness. When they unbound my arm and hand, I was so surprised how useless my other fingers had become while they were not in use. I am doing salt water soaks 3 x a day after a quick dousing with peroxide (not leaving peroxide on the wound). I have been unable to graduate to a bandaid because the wound on the end of my finger is too large, so I am still having to use Xeroform (thank God for that) gauze, with white gauze wrapped around it. Any tips you can offer??? Thank you!

    Patti in Alabama

    Old 06-18-2010, 06:14 AM   #5
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    Re: amputation pain

    if you have an Rx already, there 'should' be an actual dosage written on the Rx too? i am wondering just why any doc would actually rx a med like neurontin for "occasional use"? since with all of the anti siezure meds, and neurotin IS just one of many used for pain, they are usually used in a more 'ongoing/everyday way"? like on a daily basis so its allowed to actually kind of "build up" in your system and really reach a good thereputic level over that time? it can also be tapered up pretty high depending upon the pain levels and how well it is working? its just not actually 'ment" for 'immediate" use like a short acting form of narcotic would be for like a "sudden onset" pain, not at all.

    i was on this med for about 2 and a half years and started out with like 100 mgs three times a day(it was upped like every week for the first month or so by 100s mgs per dose per day?) then slowly over the two and a half years was at around 3200 mgs? it never really worked all that well for me but my docs just kept on tapering it up til i finally got into pain magment and my PM switched me to another different anti S med called gabitril?

    but i would definitely call your doc about the dosage and should you actually be taking this every single day to try and 'prevent' that sciatica from even flaring up on you at all, or at least when it did it may not be "as" impactful? this just does not really 'sound' at all given how these meds simply 'work" like an 'occasional" type use med that if taken that particular way, would really even 'do" much for you in a more immediate way? personally i think you may be much better off with some form of actual anti inflammatory med here that just would actually "work" more immediate vs the neurontin? this would really 'hit' what kind of creates that sciatic nerve to even show pain in most cases? the overall inflammation of the nerve or surrounding areas that simply would be 'setting it off'?

    as far as that finger/ hand goes? the longer it stays immobilized the more loss of your overall dexterity kind of goes with it too? since this was only the tip of the finger that got injured and not like the whole hand where you would be dealing with alot more ligament or tendon/muscle damage, just getting to a good hand therepist would help TONS in getting the dexterity back to normal again. the muscles do NOT take long at all to simply atrophy anytime we simply 'cannot" really use them. but given good excercises by an actual hand therepist can really really help alot, trust me.

    i had the same type of situation when i blew out the ligaments on both sides of my middle finger years ago while at work and fell kinda backwards and put my hand out behind me and landed full force on that dang finger tip and it just blew the ligaments right out. a cast did my atrophy too over six weeks and the hand therepist got back all the ROMS and dexterity i lost just doing all the right types of good excercises and her wonderful massage finger therepy too. i am sure you would really get some good results in just seeing one too. they are just highly specialized in regaining muscle/dexterity only in the hand and fingers.

    but i would seriously see your doc about getting you onto a much more effective type of med for your sciatica there hon. this type of med just really would not work well for how he expects you to even take it? 'occasionally'? by the time an actual thereputic level could even BEGIN to actually even "do' anything for your pain, it would take possibly weeks? or your pain would simply get wayyy out of control before THAT particular med could even begin to work in any way really the best for YOU? unless he wants to place you on this on a daily basis like i mentioned above to "try" and keep that sciatica from getting 'out' of control to begin with? thats just how it realistically 'should' be Rxed for nerve pain anyways. i would simply see him and discuss some options with him other than any anti S meds? unless it is taken daily, it just wont work well at all with this type of med.

    if this is the type of pain that just flares up kinda out of the blue on you,you would logically need some type of med that works in a much more immediate way too? i would just see about possible anti inflammatories or maybe even a lower level type of narcotic like tylenol #3's or ultram maybe? that may work too? i personally use those lidocaine patches for MY nerve ick that flares up in my low back from time to time from a L side lumbar herniation and stenosis? as long as i can get that patch right over one particular spot thru the hip/buttock area, they will work rather well by kind of 'numbing' that main generator that radiates out the pain? like the 'base" of pain where it actually starts or is the strongest? but it IS a really good option for some.

    just some stuff i would see your doc about and discuss? he can also refer you to the hand therepist too, which i really DO think would get that whole hand and that finger up and running much more quickly. i hope everything works out for ya hon. marcia
    3-22-01,herniated C-6-7
    11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
    9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.

    Old 06-18-2010, 07:20 AM   #6
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    Re: amputation pain

    Thanks for the tips. I think my hand surgeon will eventually refer me to a therapist. His office has a therapy unit. I watched some hand therapy videos on you-tube last night and thinking how great a hand massage would feel. My entire hand is still a bit swollen. I return to the doctor in about a week and will discuss this with him.

    The neurontin was actually prescribed for three 100 mg caps at bedtime since my back bothered me at bedtime. Then I saw a back specialist who ordered an MRI that showed I have a herniated disk...but I have elected not to have surgery yet. My sciatica flares up usually only after I lift something or I try to avoid those activities. I did buy an Oreck which weighs only 8 pounds so I can vacuum very easily without resulting pain. The pain med I take for the back is usually generic Tylenol 3. But I still have some of the neurontin but I don't take it...except recently a few times for this hand.

    I think I am going to have to have my dachshund who bit me put down. We put him on puppy prozac this week and he seemed better for a few days...but he had some bad behavior this morning. He is three years old and we have had him since he was 6 wks. Doxie rescue groups have turned him down due to his biting history. I hate to lose him, but the liability is a huge concern.

    Anyway..thanks for your help!

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