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Will we get off pain pills??

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Old 01-27-2005, 07:21 PM   #1
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ladybird988 HB Userladybird988 HB User
Will we get off pain pills??

Like many of you, I've had surgery, and at 7 mons post op, I'm still on pain meds; percocet and hydro. for back pain, and nerve pain (stabbing kind).

the meds don't really touch the pain. They just take t he edge off making it bearable (i guess). What really happens is they make me high so I don't care.

The doctor says to hang in there. He has no problem giving me these and says i take way less than most people. I go without pain pills til I'm bonkers in pain, thinking death is preferable to the pain, and I tell this to the PT and the PT says to take them every 12 hours and not let the pain get that bad. I HATE pain meds! Can't function with them brain-wise.

He says it could be a year before the back pain wears off and 3 for the nerve to heal and the leg to come back.

I had a microdisectomy on L4/L5.

Right now, I'm going through a bout of stabbing foot pain that has just got me worn out and am barely hanging in there. I cannot function in this pain. I'm not working. I just hang in there each day, writing on my book in a recliner, doing what I can (some days are better some are worse). i have no life. the pain is blocking out my life.

Question: Have you had surgery and then finally gotten off the pain pills? Does the pain EVER end?

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Old 01-27-2005, 07:41 PM   #2
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Tulsa, OK, USA
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SusanPLIF HB User
Re: Will we get off pain pills??

If/when you find the answer to this question, I too would like to know!

I TOTALLY understand what you're saying. Not to just add fuel here, but I'm 1 1/2 yrs post op. I am using less pain meds than before surgery - but I'm still in pain and still taking them. Ya know? Stinks....

I am working...I'd be in some institution if I weren't... but the pain sometimes when sitting...oh gosh..

anyway.. maybe you just need to ask for a different med that doesn't make you high as a kite. Then maybe you could get out of the house and back to work? Its a start.

Chronic pain is #1 a mental game you have to play... gotta get that hurdle mastered somehow..else its just all over. Ya know?

Don't give up... Its hard as h#ll somedays.. but just don't give up.

Old 01-27-2005, 07:52 PM   #3
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 61
CocoandChase HB User
Re: Will we get off pain pills??


Maybe the surgery hasn't healed yet? Is the pain as bad as before surgery? I know you don't like taking the pain meds and maybe you need a different kind, but if you wait to take them when you are in severe pain, they don't work as well as if you take them on a regular scheduled basis. Take Care!

Old 01-27-2005, 07:56 PM   #4
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myspine HB User
Re: Will we get off pain pills??

That is a good question
I am pos op 7 month fusion and post op 2 weeks lami decompression for severe leg pain following my fusion.. The end result .my back pain is gone but the leg pain is unbearable. I work everyday and have three kids and take lots of different meds, today my doctor said I was a good candidate for the SCS implant trial. I do not want to take these meds all the time either. So maybe this will help cut them down I do realize that it is intended to only reduce the pain but I am in the same boat as you the leg pain is unbelievable and be 34 I can not do this for 50 years. So please know you are NOT alone . I hope you can find some kind of relief Take care.

Old 01-28-2005, 12:26 AM   #5
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humptydumpty HB User
Lightbulb Re: Will we get off pain pills??

Lady, it seems the meds you are on are short acting only. You might try something longacting and maybe the percs for breakthrough. Methadone is a really good one. I take it and I don't get that "high" feeling at all. I take neurotin for the burning nerve pain and zanaflex for muscle spasms and the myofascial pain syndrome. I see a pain management doc who helps me and listens to what I have to say.I don't know what kind of doc you are seeing but you might look into the pain management area.
Hope you have a better day,

Old 01-28-2005, 04:55 AM   #6
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zoey1 HB User
Re: Will we get off pain pills??


i am 8 months post opp double level fusion, and still have mega problems, recently my rhumotologist doc diagnosed me with A S ( chroinc spine imflamation) the spine specialist doc, 2nd her opinion.

Funny thing first thing they both did is increase my pain meds. i do beleive my spine specilist was "happy" it wasn't the fault of the surgery why i wasn't doing so well...............

I know some folks feel tons better right after surgery to me it wasn't the case. The neck problems and numbness did go away but the shooting spams and the chronic pain did not after surgey .

I still have an idea in back of my head "they may both be wrong" and evenutaly i will wake up one day and be just fine..............

Old 01-30-2005, 07:53 AM   #7
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whackedback HB Userwhackedback HB Userwhackedback HB User
Re: Will we get off pain pills??

Ladybird -

It seems that if you are in pain for that long post surgery, you might want to ask your doctor to have another MRI performed on your lumbar, both with and without Gadolinium (contrast) to see if there is something else causing the pain down there. An EMG to see which nerve(s) is/are being affected is also advisable.

It might be something as "simple" as a piece of disk left in or possibly another herniation. But IMHO it should be checked out since your pain has lasted so long. I've had two lumbar laminectomies (both without fusion), to handle 2 different herniated discs. In my case, prescription pain meds weren't needed more than a month, and Ibuprofen only a short time after that. But your mileage may vary.


Old 01-30-2005, 08:11 AM   #8
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Rhonni HB User
Re: Will we get off pain pills??

I had continued pain after my discectomy... went back to a new doc who told me the first doc didn't do a thorough enough job and should have done the fusion in the first place. Now I've had the fusion and feel no pain!

Old 03-03-2005, 02:58 AM   #9
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spiderswoman77 HB User
Re: Will we get off pain pills??

Ladybird-I hear ya, and share your pain! I had a fusion done last October, and have had stabbing pain in my foot for the last three months. The doctor said "hopefully" it will go away. I can't even stand to wear shoes, it hurts so bad. Sounds like you're on better meds than I, all I get is Vicodin and Neurontin, neither of which do more than take the edge off. I'd mention the pain to your doctor, sounds like you've been suffering too long. I'm going to check in with my doc, next week when my physical therapy is done. I'm going to let him know loud and clear, that my foot is not getting better. I hope you do the same! Hope your pain goes away soon.

Old 03-03-2005, 10:25 AM   #10
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tammys HB User
Re: Will we get off pain pills??

Ladybird....I have lived with pain for what seems like an eternity. I had my last surgery (fusion at L5S1) in April 2002 and over the past couple of years I went from bad to worse. I am now seeing a new doctor (who I think I am going to like) and she just put me on Ultram, Lodine and Tylox. I also take zanaflex and flexeril for muscle spasms. I did a year of neurontin and hated it. I would suggest another MRI to see if there is still something there that needs fixing. I had mine yesterday and waiting the results. I also had X-Rays and the tech asked me how long have I had the hardware in my back..........I said since 2002. He said on x-rays it looks kind of "iffy". So I am thinking if the x-rays look iffy.......then the mri will show what is wrong. (hopefully). But to answer your question...Do we get off pain pills?....I hope eventually I will, but so far I haven't. I take more now than I did before surgery. I also know people that have had surgery that have done wonderful afterwards and take nothing. I think it is basically how each individual does. No two people respond to the same treatment.
Good Luck!!! Keep Smiling!!!


Old 03-04-2005, 11:37 AM   #11
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ladybird988 HB Userladybird988 HB User
Re: Will we get off pain pills??

Thanks for the answers. You've all been through it rough.

I saw my doctor and he mentioned maybe doing another MRI to see if I reherniated (I had a large disc tear to begin with). I've been ultra careful. If it did tear again, it wasn't me.

He has put me on neurontin as the nerve pain in the foot has gotten worse. Also prednisone for the tail area inflammation, so hopefully I can sit again. I will try the neurontin after finishing the percocet. Don't want a double whammy.

He mentioned that I am only 8 mons post op and it's still early yet. He says 3 years for my nerve to heal and to hang in there. Did mention that if this pain continues to have another MRI to see if re-herniated, and possibly a spinal pump. He did say he's seen people worse than this come out of it. That one day they wake up fine. ??? hard to believe.

Put me back on percocet instead of vicaden. that does help the pain. My leg pain did subside quite a bit in Dec and the leg get stronger overnight from 20% to 50%, so that tells me the nerve is doing better,but that led to increased foot pain, so it could just be the nerve healing it's way on down the leg.

I don't have the stabbing spine pain in the spine anymore like I did when it herniated onto the nerve.

I'm scared to take the neurontin, but will give it a whirl. He said it could be a godsend.

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