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CateCatherine 12-28-2019 05:30 AM

Pain Mgt Practices - Severe Stenosis
Well, like many, as an over a decade, minimal dose (Vicodin) oral pain med user, I was cut off with out warning in April as the medical profession over reacted in panic to the opioid crisis in this country. I have some daily meds now (tramadol) but have been told to go to Pain Management or a Surgeon.

Over a decade ago I did try Pain Mgt and was not impressed by the outcomes. Steroid shots were the fad then, and they didn't work for me.

I am looking for personal experiences of patients who have submitted to some of the new procedures (invasive or otherwise). I want to go with an open mind, but so far I have heard few good outcomes for nerve ablations, fusions etc.

Latest MRI shows severe lumbar stenosis ( mostly foraminal) and all lumbar discs herniated. I am 63 y/o.

Any replies would be appreciated.


MSNik 12-28-2019 03:24 PM

Re: Pain Mgt Practices - Severe Stenosis
Stenosis doesn't usually hurt...its simply narrowing of the spinal column and spinal fluid....but herniated discs can hurt like the Dickens! I had an ablation done and it worked like a charm... I would try anything before you go for surgery.

Many pain management doctors who do cortisone shots also do ablations. Ask around..I would seriously consider that procedure and had excellent outcomes with mine.

CateCatherine 12-28-2019 03:42 PM

Re: Pain Mgt Practices - Severe Stenosis
Thank you.

Well, my stenosis is causing pain and functional impairment in my legs It causes radiculopathy and neuropathy and my legs and I have problems walking. It causes falls for me sometimes. The stenosis surgery for me would be laminectomy. I agree, surgery would be the last resort. The discs are indeed a problem. I am currently unable to drive much because I made some wrong move a week ago and the sciatica it caused brings tears to my eyes when I sit in the drivers seat with foot on the pedal. Stenosis pain and disability depends on if it's canal or foraminal and severity from what I read. My neurologist warned I could wind up paralyzed. Guess I'll get more info at pain mgt. But I also intend to get surgery consult just to know more. Thanks again.

momzworkin 02-10-2020 02:02 PM

Re: Pain Mgt Practices - Severe Stenosis
I had a double fusion in 2006, which ended up failing. I have been in pain management for years that included medication management, physical therapy, massage, water aerobics, nutritional supplements, cortisone injections,etc... Just letting you know where my experience comes from -
It is February now so I hope you have gotten some answers from your PM doc! I have mild stenosis and it has affected my sciatica too. Last year I had an MRI, CT Scan, and xrays. I had my PM doc and ortho surgeon review everything while trying to decide if a spinal cord stimulator would work for me. My surgeon said he thought it was worth trying, otherwise we needed to visit about surgery for the next 2 levels that needed to be fused. I got my high frequency (HF-10) SCS in July of 2019 and so far it has helped about 50-60% pain reduction, enabling me to reduce how much pain meds I need. The rep of the company I chose is in regular contact with me and we have to tweak it from time to time, but it is better than waiting to have an medication change/increase.

CateCatherine 02-11-2020 12:03 PM

Re: Pain Mgt Practices - Severe Stenosis
Thanks for your reply. I cancelled my PM appt as I read some honest reviews of the practice and have no intention of being a revolving door patient, nor climb through barbed wire for pain medications. I think I will get a more honest answer from a spine surgeon as to what would truly help and what would not. Then I will make some decisions. I also now have more experiences from other patients with my particular severe stenosis and the general feeling about "pain management" practices is that it's a racket. For now I have some meds from my neurologist that make it somewhat tolerable, though I have lost any functional consistency in my life.

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