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SD Backache 01-26-2013 06:40 PM

4 Back Surgeries and Still In Pain
I had a multi level laminectomy L3-L5 back in 2002. Then a discectomy at L5 in July 2011, woke up in recovery with complications of a blood clot in the spinal cord with a ruptured disc and fragments also in the cord. Back into surgery 2 days later to remove blood clot and disc fragments. Disc ruptured again and there wasn't enough disc left to do anymore surgery on except for a fusion. Surgeon thought it best to do a 360 degree fusion at L3 through S1 as the other disc were diseased and would require fusions at some point in the future. My surgeon thought it best to just get it over in one surgery versus repeated ones as the discs ruptured. The fusion was in March 2012 and the recovery has been so hard, much harder than I ever expected. Had to relearn the use of my left leg and it still feels funny, kind of heavy, fatter then my right and slower to respond. It hurts to sit for longer than 15 minutes, walking is also painful as is standing. Even laying down doesn't relieve the pain. My surgeon has stated even before the fusion that the pain may be permanent. I am still trying to adapt to the idea of living the rest of my life on oxycodone and neurontin, when it doesn't even stop the pain. How does one get used to being in pain 24 hours a day, only getting 1 to 2 hours of sleep at a time? Sorry to rant on here, some of you have so much more to deal with than this, my heart goes out to you.

noevr 01-26-2013 08:28 PM

Re: 4Back Surgeries and Still In Pain
Wow that is a lot back surgeries for the back you poor thing. You didn't say how old you were or if you were in shape at all. Has you dr ordered pT yet? Do you have a brace? How ant mg of neurontin are you on? Max dose? You can also mix it up with lyrica or topomax too. Topomax will take weight off btw.

Are you seeing a pain mgt dr yet? If not I'd ask to be referred to on. You need long acting Med's and your pain needs to be managed better. Please let us know how it goes, don't forget the ice not heat. A TENS unit is good too. With the pain in the legs you could be a good candidate for ab intracal (sp?) pain put inserted by pm doc but you got to get to one first.

Please don't lift, twist, bend, or push anything things have to heal and that sort of stuff creates scar tissue good luck cathy

SD Backache 01-26-2013 08:42 PM

Re: 4Back Surgeries and Still In Pain
I am 58 and was in pretty good shape, actually look more in my 40's. I have had so much therapy, and pretty much received maximum benefit. I am currently taking 2400 mg of neurontin and 60 to 80 mg oxycodone. Was on 8 tramadol's (50 mg each), but they were causing problems with my hands, making the carpal tunnel hand numbness worse, so I weened myself off of those. My surgeon has been acting as my pain management doctor for the time being. He doesn't want to go with any long acting pain meds yet, because he has less control over them. He has mentioned a spinal cord stimulator but I am concerned about further surgeries. Most of the medicines similar to Lyrica, I cannot tolerate. In fact, most medicines I have problems with. I have multiple allergies and cannot take most antibiotics, and steroids cause all kinds of problems with my blood pressure, causing it to raise to very dangerous levels. I am allergic to the vaccine for pneumonia, iv medrosol, anti inflammatories, and most of the medications used for fibromyalgia. One of my friends said, "Getting older isn't for sissies!" How true!

noevr 01-26-2013 08:53 PM

Re: 4Back Surgeries and Still In Pain
Hi I have fibro too :(. What about the brace? So the surgeon hasn't released you yet where are you going to get Ned's when he releases you? How about steroid inj? Can't do those? I still think you need a LA med it has worked wonderful for me. I take opana er and opana ir for breakthrough and I haven't had back surgery! Hopefully you'll get to a o
Pm doc soon. Cathy

SD Backache 01-26-2013 11:45 PM

Re: 4 Back Surgeries and Still In Pain
Hi Cathy,

I did wear a brace, looked like a tortoise shell, for many months, until the bone began growing at the fusion site. Then my surgeon slowly weaned me from the brace. I don't think my surgeon will release me anytime soon. I have been going there since 2001 and still have problems with my cervical spine that we haven't dealt with yet.

Can't do steroid injections, cause way too many physical problems that take months to resolve and the dangerously high blood pressure, just make it not worth the risks.

I haven't heard of LA med or opana, what type of pain medication is that?

noevr 01-27-2013 05:12 AM

Re: 4 Back Surgeries and Still In Pain
Hi la is long acting Opana is a synthetic morphine oxmophone medication. I like it because you don't get the highs/lows like from other meds.

Wow I've never heard of a surgeon keeping a patient that long.

Why don't you ask him about the Opana? I was on 10 mg of Percocet 4 x day and he switched me to 20 of Opana er (extended release) twice a day with Opana IR 5 mr 3 x day for break thru pain.

You would need a higher dose.


SD Backache 01-27-2013 07:41 AM

Re: 4 Back Surgeries and Still In Pain
Thank you Cathy! I will discuss with him next week. Ahh, the hope of maybe getting this pain back down to a manageable level without the grogginess. Thanks for giving me hope again! Will keep you posted.

So you have fibro also, any ideas on what triggered yours? I had a nasty bout of Chronic Fatigue i which began in 1986, started like a bad case of the flu but without recovery for a very long time. Still get bouts of it out of the blue. Then the fibro which for me seems to be have been triggered by past surgeries. Does the Opana help with fibro?


noevr 01-27-2013 08:07 AM

Re: 4 Back Surgeries and Still In Pain
I'm pretty sure I had the fibro since I was a kid around 10 or so I was always getting strep getting sick. Remember getting my mom to take me to the dr because my legs ached so much. Then around 18 tried to. Snow ski but the boots killed my shins. Tender tender. Then I was in a motorcycle wreck in 74 and I think that caused me to have the back issues, sciatica too. Have had 3 foot surgeries both rotator cuffs even an anal fissure repair. Darn fibro really makes everything go wrong it seems.

The Opana helps with all over pain too plus I take topomax that helps a lot. Don't sleep too well that is one of my major problems.

I also have hypothyroidism and secondary Addison's where my adrenal glands don't work but take a form of steroid (puts on weight)everyday.

I get migraines too the topomax helps with those some.

Right now I'm getting over a bad reaction to cipro caused severe rib pain weakened my ankles so I fell and twisted one of those. You're not supposed to take cipro and hydrocortisone together (the one I take for Addison's) but neither the dr nor pharmacist caught it.

Ok blabbered enough! Cathy

SD Backache 01-27-2013 10:12 AM

Re: 4 Back Surgeries and Still In Pain
Wow, we have so much in common! I too suffered from many, many strep infections, in fact that is how I became allergic to some of the antibiotics. About the only antibiotic i can tolerate is zithromyicin. Also, am hypothyroid and ski boots would kill my legs! I was in auto accident, not motorcycle. Have suffered from migraines since around 7 or 8 years old. My son and daughter also suffer from them. And I thought I was the only weird one!

noevr 01-27-2013 11:02 AM

Re: 4 Back Surgeries and Still In Pain
No everything "bothers" me hubby says any smells can set my head off.
It suxors, ya know? I'm sort of housebound right now, hubby has to drive me everywhere and I'm only 56. I retired early from fed gov at 50 thank goodness they offered a package at that point I was in bad shape it was right before my hypo diagnosis and had severe joint pain from it. But once on meds I was fine but was retired by then so it worked out for me. I had a couple of good yrs before I started getting bad and having the surgeries.

Hopefully ill get this latest stuff turned around and be able to enjoy life again.

Sorry your kids get the migraines do they take anything to help prevent them?

I have one son who is 27 he has some of the FM tendencies but not a lot. He has to be careful lifting things, already has a problem with a shoulder and in 08 he cut his hand/fingers real bad was in surgery for 5 hours he is very lucky he has 95% use back but that includes strength/gripping.

He is an exec chef at a hotel I MD.

Ok I'm blabbering again sorry cathy

SD Backache 01-27-2013 11:54 AM

Re: 4 Back Surgeries and Still In Pain
We are very close in age, I am 58. My son is 38 and my daughter is about to graduate high school. Her migraines started in kindergarten, poor little thing. She has medication that she can take when it first starts and also medication to help make her go to sleep, which seems to help stop the migraine. Bummer that I passed on that nasty gene!

I worked for over 32 years for a government contractor, a very large one in Southern California, before my health got so bad and my doctor put me out on disability. I was a Contracts Manager and really enjoyed my work and the people I interfaced with. I am also pretty much home bound and rely on hubby and daughter to drive me around. They also do most everything around the house now too and I am so grateful for them. They do all this in stride and i have never heard them complain, they hope that things will turn around for me and that I can get back to somewhat the old me! Well, enough of my rambling on.

Take care.

noevr 01-27-2013 12:17 PM

Re: 4 Back Surgeries and Still In Pain
We do live similar lives wow. I was a COR over our contracts along with my project management job and i loved it as well. Do you know the med your daughter takes that makes her sleep? I need something like that when I get a bad one nothing is working for me. Thanks cathy

SD Backache 01-27-2013 03:43 PM

Re: 4 Back Surgeries and Still In Pain
Cathy, the medicine that her doctor prescribed is Butalb-acetaminophen-caff 50-325-40, generic for fioricet.

noevr 01-27-2013 03:56 PM

Re: 4 Back Surgeries and Still In Pain
Oh ok I've tried that it does nothing for my migraines so glad it works for her though thanks for checking cathy

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