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surgery vs pain meds

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Old 12-14-2003, 01:34 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: princeton, nj
Posts: 189
khoff HB User
surgery vs pain meds

I am just trying to get everyones thoughts about this. I have a heniated L5-S1 with an annular tear. After 6 years of P/T and ESI's which all help to a degree, I had a nucleoplasty 10/20 which helped my sciatica a bit but not my back pain. I b elive this to be from either a chemical inflammatory response from the nucleus still leaking, or the annular nerve fibers still causing pain.
I have a level 5/6 pain daily and am now trying bextra. I am on percocet 5mg 2x daily but have become tolerant and will need to go to 10mg probaly soon.

I am not sure if I should just continue with pain meds as I think I might just end up needing more and more, and living and dealing with the pain on a dail basis to som e degree, or look at surgery. Fusion still scares me from all I heard of others who have have it and without luck, or maybe look into ADR. Everything seems to be a best try effort. What made others finally try surgery? Was it worth it in the end? would you have done it again? how much pain meds is too much and does it just keep going up to the highest point or do you reach a point where at some level pain meds work and you don't have to increase? Anyone have any luck with bextra?


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Old 12-14-2003, 03:34 PM   #2
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: ohio
Posts: 330
ltedeschi HB User
Re: surgery vs pain meds

I think the decision for surgery is when all else fails. If you have any options open take them. When the pain meds aren't allowing you a normal life or you keep increasing the dose to handle the pain I feel you really need to rethink surgery.
No one can make that decision for you. The surgery pain wasn't as bad for me as the pain for the two years before.

Good luck
Good Health to all

Old 12-15-2003, 06:00 AM   #3
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Ohio
Posts: 747
mokita HB User
Re: surgery vs pain meds

Hi Ken

I am currently taking oxycontin 2x/day and percocet for breakthrough. It doesn't completely take care of the pain - but, it makes it livable for now. I am going to have the nucleoplasty, as you know, w/ the hope that I will be able to wean off the meds and not need them anymore. This is a hope ~ and I realize it w/b sometime before I can go off meds completely.

My point is there is alot of room for you to take medication since you are at such a low level now and taking a immediate release med, percocet. I think I would consider trying the longer-acting meds that are out there (oxycontin, methadone, ms contin to name a few) before I'd go to fusion. That's just my personal opinion. And it may not be what you want to do. But, perhaps you could be on a low dose of long-acting medication w/ a BT and maintain a 3 or 4 pain level for a time. You won't really know that unless you try, I guess. Everyone is different. I started on 10mg oxycontin2x/day in March, and now am @ 20mg. This keeps me around a 4 for a good part of the day, if taken w/ the BT of perc 5mg 2-3x/day. I hate having to take meds....that is why I want to try the Nucleoplasty. But, if That doesn't work....I suppose I would continue w/ meds before I'd ever consider fusion. I would have to be not walking before I'd agree to fusion. Again, my personal opinion.

Good luck w/ your search for the right answer for you.


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