Discussions that mention morphine

Back Problems board


Hello from Perth, Australia. I am writing on behalf of my mum, and we need some help now, as I am scared that she won't be able to last much longer. Three years ago a work place accident caused a severe circumferencial annular disk tear (L4/5). After the accident she had countless pain management procedures, such as spinal blocks, rhinozotomy, epidural blocks, caudal blocks, facet joint injections, sacroiliac injections, cortizone injections, countless anaesthetic injections and she was the first patient in Western Australia to receive the I.D.E.T. procedure. She has also had many discograms, myelograms, CT scans, MRI’s etc. Unfortunately, none of this helped with her pain levels.
She has had the usual round of prescription medications – fentanyl patches (normally used for terminally ill patients for pain relief), morphine liquid / tablets, MS Contin, amongst many others.
She has since had a spinal fusion of L4/5, using a carbon fibre cage with bone grafts from her hip. This was also unsuccessful in pain reduction and disability. This operation led to problems with her coccyx, which after numerous pain management procedures, was also partially removed. Prior to the fusion, there were no problems with her coccyx.
Recently results of a bone densitometry show a minimally traumatic fracture has occurred in L 1 – L 4.
I don't know what I can do to help, as many of her doctors believe that the pain is psycho-somatic, and if taken off medication, that it will magically disappear. They have taken her off the morphine tablets, and she is now only on panadine forte (between 12 - 16 a day) which partially reduces her chronic pain. She is also on a cocktail of other medication - depression, sleeping tablets, valium, etc.
We have also tried massage, physiotherapy, hydrotherapy, TENS machine, hot/cold packs etc and even marijuana (with her doctors consent). The only time she gets minimal relief is flat on her back, pillows under her knees, with numerous hot water bottles. Vodka is another useful item!!!!
I am worried that she has extreme suicidal ideations. If anyone out there can offer some insight into some other form of pain reduction or a new surgical procedure please let me know.
Catherine.