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  • Failed acdf - and thoughts

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    Old 03-22-2014, 08:53 PM   #1
    Join Date: Mar 2014
    Posts: 2
    pricey59 HB User
    Failed acdf - and thoughts

    Hello, I'm new here, but you all seem very helpful,supportive, and knowledgeable. A little background... I was in a vehicle accident a year ago. Injuries include, 9 compression fractures to my T-spine, 3 to my C-spine with herniation, and a fractured sternum. I was seen by an ortho for t-spine, and a neuro for the neck. Ortho said no need to see him as the nuro could treat all my injuries. Had acdf on c4-5,5-6,6-7. He said when I woke up from surgery, I would feel much better. I didn't. I had PT for 3 months 3 times a week. After 90 days I was released full duty, with no lifting over 50lbs. I objected to this as I was still in a lot of pain. He did an xray and said fusion had started, and he had to be fare to the insurance company, and release me. I went to my pcp and he referred me to pain management. PM said light duty, no lifting over 10lbs and only 20 hours per week. I was put on butrans patches, and given gabapentin. I was having neck, shoulder, and arm pain, plus my back was killing me. (No treatment for my t-spine injuries). PM did trigger point, facet inj, and radio freq. ablasions. These didn't help for longer than a few days. In December, the ins. company stopped approving my medications, so I had to stop working. The ins. sent me to a specialist 4 weeks ago, because they want me back working full time. He sent me for xrays and an mri. Turns out, the I only fused at one level. I was sent to one of the best surgeons in the state. He confirmed that the fusion had failed. We discussed posterior surgery, but he said there was a 50-50 chance that I would either be the same, with less mobility, or worse. We agreed that there will be no surgery. I was wondering about something... I have not been happy with my pain management as in the effectiveness on my pain meds. I have not wanted to ask for anything stronger because PM said narcotics lead to addiction, although I never had a problem with all of the ones I was taking before going to see her. I have been reading the valium is effective as well as other narcotics. Does it make me sound like I just want a "fix" if I ask for these things, especially now that I know the reason for most of the pain is from failed acdf, and the new surgeon said that explains my complaints. My life is controlled by my pain and headaches. I am at wits end. I just need some relief, and I'm tired of watching my life pass by because I am to sore to participate. Any advise would be appreciated. I know some of you have been on a steady pain med. schedule and I'm wondering what has been working for you. Thanks

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    Old 03-22-2014, 09:14 PM   #2
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    Join Date: Mar 2014
    Location: Corona, California, USA
    Posts: 21
    Keriflys HB User
    Re: Failed acdf- and thoughts

    I always worry about how I am going to be treated about the pain meds too. It's really sad how we not only have to go through disabling pain and discomfort but on top of that an insensitive doctor sometimes. Urgent care physician assistants have been the worst for me to deal with. The last one I had to deal with I got so mad the way he was questioning me, and I only take norco 10 three times a day as prescribed!! Anyway I was in severe pain and told him that I had plenty of norco but it was not doing a dam thing for my pain, but the reason I came into the urgent care was because I was afraid that this could be the time when I become paralyzed!! And that's why I was there! It's very frustrating!!! But I think you should just research what you think might help, then tell the doctor you have been researching and would like to know what he thinks about the meds you came up with and maybe having a discussion about it will help. I think the doctors are scared to prescribe pain meds to anyone these days because they are afraid to get in trouble, well good for them, while we suffer everyday and they go home and enjoy their active lives not understanding for one darn minute what it's like to live with pain every single day of life. Sorry for the rant

    Old 03-22-2014, 11:34 PM   #3
    Senior Veteran
    Join Date: Jan 2002
    Posts: 2,365
    AnnD HB UserAnnD HB User
    Re: Failed acdf- and thoughts

    Just to let you know that you can not become addicted to pain meds when you are in such debilitating pain and this is going to be with you for the rest of your life. Please tell your pm doc that you do not have a quality of life right now and you need the help of narcotics. Gabapentin and those patches are helpful for some of your nerve pain but you will also need narcotics. Pain patients just are not getting fair treatment and be sure that you get a copy of all your surgeon reports especially the one that says your surgery has failed and give a copy to your pm doc. There are many medical professionals that just don't believe in narcotics but then they are not the ones in pain are they. I can't believe that they sent you through physcial therapy with failing surgeries. Take the Valium and anything else they might whan you to try but you need you pm doctor to understand you would like your life back and I suspect you are or will become depressed (another pill). Never be afraid of telling the truth when it comes to your pain or you will never get help. Meanwhile if you have insurance you might consider a spinal cord stimulator or pain pump implant. No one can live with the kind of pain you are in so just keep going back and the proof of your pain is in the report of the surgeon so always have a copy of that on hand. Your insurance doesn't sound very good if they already are not going to keep paying for your medications that are quite cheap in comparison to narcotics. I am soooo sorry for you but never think for a minute that you can become addicted as long it is for pain. Addiction by definition is taking a narcotic or any medicine when you don't need it. Your PM DOC is suppose to manage your pain not ignore it. Good luck!

    Old 03-23-2014, 07:38 AM   #4
    Join Date: Mar 2014
    Posts: 2
    pricey59 HB User
    Re: Failed acdf- and thoughts

    Ann it is not my insurance it is a workers comp claim which means they fight everything. Good sound advice on talking to PM. I do need my life back and what I wouldn't give for a good nights sleep. I am making an appt with PM on Monday so I hope things get better.

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