Discussions that mention duragesic

Back Problems board

I am a 43 year old male. I fell from a ladder in December 2001 and suffered a burst fracture with schmorl's' node of Lumbar 1.

Over the past 15 months they have tried everything possible to control my pain. Currently I wear a 100ug/h Duragesic patch changed every 48 hours supplemented with Lortab and Soma. My last hope of avoiding the knife was an epidural steroid injection into the break site. Unfortunately, it made my pain even worse.

So, next month my neurosurgeon will do a fusion to take away the load off L1 in an attempt to reduce my pain level. He intends to bridge L1 from T12 to L2, or if necessary, T11 to L3. I know this procedure is usually done for stabilization, not for an attempt at pain relief.

So, I was wondering if anyone here has had this operation and what were the results. What was the recovery period like and how bad is it immediately after the surgery? How is the mobility afterward long-term? Are the rods and pins removed once the bone fuses? How much are the activities restricted going forward (can you break those bone fuses)? Will I ever play golf again or more active sports like basketball; or riding a jetski or motorcycle? Most importantly, did it help reduce the pain in the long term?

Thank You
Thank you for the reply. Until my accident 15 months ago I never had as much as even a back ache in my life. Now I find myself on all this medicine and searching the Internet for anyone who has gone through what I am now going through. This seems like a wonderful board that I have stumbled upon.

I was reading the post about the effects of the medicine long term. My doctors had me on Lortab for about 7 months, then switched me to the Duragesic 100 uh/g patch because the Lortab apparently can do bad stuff to your body. I was still taking it for breakthrough pain but they recently switched me to something called Tramadol. They told me to take no more Lortab. I have to change the patch every 48 hrs instead of the recommended 72 hrs because I get no relief at all on the 3rd day. I get decent refief on the first day but little relief on the second day. I do not understand why they will not let me change the patch every day since I get such good relief on that first day. Seems that would be better for my body than having to supplement a lot with Lortab or Tramadol on the second day of the patch.

My wife will be with me after surgery so she can be my voice that first 24-48 hrs. It sounds like that is a tough period. I really dread that. I'm donating my own blood so I won't have to risk using the blood bank.

I'm still hoping someone out there who has had a fusion like I am about to undergo can shead some light on the longterm mobility, if there is any chance there will be a decrease in the amount of pain and hence medicine I would have to take on a long term basis, what kind of activities I might be able to enjoy in the future and what I should stay away from.

Also, that period right after the surgery while the bones that are inserted to make the fusion grow together - do you have to be very careful or does the hardware hold everything in place? My doctor thinks he can find enough bone from the bursted L1 and surrounding vertebrae to build the fusion without having to go to the hip. I wonder how likely it is that he will find enough bone there....

After everything is healed it sounds like the hardware can stay in unless it causes problems. But, just how strong are those little fusion bones. I would be very scared that I would pop one of them if I engaged in much of an activity.

As you can tell, this is all new for me and I have a million questions. Communicating with people who have been there, done that can hopefully ease my mind somewhat. My d-day is coming up soon (March 12th).

Thank all of you very much for the warm welcome. Hopefully I can be on the other side and give people like myself some advice, etc. one day.