Discussions that mention cyclobenzaprine

Back Problems board

*transferred over from 'back sugery...help'*

I have a brother, who is 39. He had back surgery a year ago. He was cut open from the front and back in an 8 hour surgery and had plastic inserted between 2 discs that had lost cartilage and had steel screws placed into his discs to keep them in place.

Since then he has gone downhill. He has been on continuous medication and living with my parents who are crying all the time. He is an extreme pain and getting no answers from Dr's. Now, he is so messed up from the continuos medication that he hardly remembers where he is or what he has done and whenever he goes back to the Dr's, they give him more and say "Give it time". It has been a year and 3 months.

He can't even help himself anymore or think straight enough to demand improvement, so I am trying to seek a route to take to help. I think he has indeed become highly addicted to the meds. He has seen specialists, neurologists....name it, he has seen it. He goes back and forth with workmen's comp paying, then closing the case...waiting for it to reopen.

Both he and my parents cannot take much more. I am loosing my family. Does anyone have any advice or anything they can recommend????

He is currently on
Davocet...Valium...and Cyclobenzaprine.

Ok, I talked to my father and got more detailed information.
It started with liquid that had escaped between l-4 and l-5.

The procedure is basically known as a 360 Fusion. A disc was removed between the L-4 and L-5 and a metal piece known as a 'cage' was screwed into these two vertebras to pull them apart again with a gap of 5/8 of an inch. Bone was scraped and removed off of his hip to add to the metal to eventually grow around it. He was cut in the back and in the front for the procedure.

What I need is anyone at all, that has heard of this or knows someone who had this procedure if they were still experiencing the major problems and had it progressively get worse. What did you do? What needed to be done?

He has had numerous MRI's. It shows the screws still in place and the bone developing around them, but the pain my brother is experiencing is killing him. The meds are unreal and the meds were indeed prescribed by a specialist in pain management, so all that seems ok.

They are talking about an epideral and saying that it could possibly be scar tissue that is causing the pain. Again, this was done 1 year and 3 months ago.

Any help or advice is once again appreciated. I hope that the details help.

Thank you so much.

[This message has been edited by tinkrtoy (edited 04-27-2003).]
Hi Tinkrtoy :wave:

I apologize for not posting sooner, but I have been trying to get over pneumonia from the anesthesia on the partial hardware removal I had a few weeks ago.

Baxter sent me a thread indicating your problem with your brother and hopefully I can help. One thing I noticed on your post is your brother is taking Cyclobenzaprine (which is generic for Flexeril - muscle relaxant). My experience with Flexeril made me completely confused and incoherent (especially while taking pain medication). You might try to get his physician to try a different muscle relaxant. I am currently taking Skelexan and I do not have the side effects as I did with flexeril.

I did not have the 360 degree fusion so I cannot relate to this procedure. I had a L5/S1 posterior fusion with hardware (no BAK cages do to lack of disk space) 8 months ago. I always had difficulty with my right side of my spine post fusion but thought the first 6 months was normal post-op pain. After going joining a health club and began exercising on a stationary bicycle, treadmill, and swimming, I began noticing I was not only getting better but actually was getting worse. I went back to my back doctor and he gave me a steroid injection thinking it was trigger point pain but it actually made my back swell and hurt more. He then recommended me to a chiropractor to see if it was a facet joint problem. I was not very confident in chiro's but the best thing was to try every alternative available and if it does not work, the chiro could convince the doctor I had a hardware problem. After 2 weeks treatment from the chiro, I was not getting better so my chiro called my back doctor. I went to my appointment with the back doctor and at first he was confused because he said he never had a problem with his hardware. I asked if there were any tests which could be performed to check for any problems and he said an MRI would not be a good test because the image would come out black beacuse of the hardware. A CT scan might be a test be said they do not always reflect the problem. The only option was to perform an exploratory surgery thinking the rod was rubbing against the facet joint. He reviewed my xray again and said he could not really tell if I was totally fused because the hardware blocked the image and said he might have to do more fusion and insert larger screws if I was not fused. On March 27th, the doctor performed the exploratory surgery and found the top screw to be loose and the rod was rubbing against the facet joint. The doctor removed only the hardware on the right side because the left looked fine and would give me additional support. Note: Removal of the hardware is a very simple procedure which is only about a 45 minute surgery and recovery time is very short. When I returned to my doctor, he apologized for the hardware but he could not tell from the xrays the screw was loose. Also when he showed me the xray, you could see the fusion perfectly because the hardware was not blocking the image.

I apologize for the long post but felt you needed to hear my whole story. The only thing I can suggest is try to find a doctor who will listen to you. Over one year is to long to be in this kind of pain and something must be wrong. I did not read anything about his current symptoms. Does he continue to experience swelling?

I would be glad to talk to you but I am not sure this is allowed. If someone can let me know I will be glad to give you additional information.

Please let me know if this post helps you and if there is any additional information I can provide to you.

I hope your brother gets well soon [img]http://www.healthboards.com/ubb/t_up.gif[/img]