Discussions that mention percocet

Back Problems board


Hi,

I’ve been meaning to write this for a while and just haven’t found the time. My name is Beth, and I have been dealing with back pain straight for almost 3 years. Here is my story, in timeline fashion to streamline things. I also had an IDET procedure at L3/4 on 1/25/08, so after my story, I will talk about the procedure, so you can skip the story & go to that if that is what you’re interested in :)

2000 Fell off a horse and landed on a jump pole on my lower back. Had pain for about a week, then it effectively went away, but hurt so much when I rode horses that I had to quit riding. Otherwise, it was fine. I never saw a doctor. Pain was on the right side only.

2002 Out of nowhere that same pain returned for appx. 1 week. On pain scale it was low – maybe 4/10. I never saw a doctor.

2005 In march 2005 I was carrying concrete out of our back yard w/ my hubby. It was a large chunk, and I was holding it out in front of me. I took a bad step and felt it instantly. I was in extreme pain for about 4 weeks – 8 or 9/10. The pain was on my right side only, in the low back/buttock. I had my first MRI, which showed a bulging disc at L3/4 and a focal disc protrustion at L4/5. The bottom3 discs (L3-S1) were black. I was given Vicodin by my PCP, which I took as needed. I finally took 800mg of Advil several times per day, and that knocked the pain out.

The pain went away in early April 2005, but I had a flare-up in July 2005, which essentially lasted, at a much lower pain interval (maybe 5/10) through my next major incident, January 2006.

2006 In January 2006, as I was preparing for a trial at work (I’m a legal assistant), I lifted a box that was maybe 15 pounds. I was in pain instantly, at 9/10 in the same place – right sided low back/buttock. Since that day, my pain has never gone away. I had my second MRI in January 2006 which showed essentially the same thing as previous, with a few key differences. At L3/4 if showed a tear in the PLL (posterior longitudinal ligament) via HIZ. L4/5 stayed the same – small paracentral disc herniation lateralizing to the symptomatic right side. Through this time I continued to take Vicodin as needed.

In February 2006 my doctor recommended I try an epidural steroid injection (ESI), which I did. They did NOT use fleuroscopy; it was just “bend and stick.” The first one did not work, but they said I should come back for a second, which I did, which again provided no relief. It was at that point the doctor put me on Neurontin. Neurontin was a lifesaver for 2 weeks. It worked beautifully, and then just like that, stopped. So I asked to increase the dose, which we did. We eventually got up to 900mg/day, which was definitely helping, but not much. My pain was still easily a 7/10.

During the summer of 2006 I consulted a chiropractor. I saw him about 14 times. I had begun having a little bit of leg pain, and when he manipulated me it did help the leg pain, but never helped the back.

2006 In November 2006 I had a discogram in Annapolis, MD. I was sedated with Versed, so I don’t remember the procedure at all. But, the report showed 2 positive discs – L3/4 and L4/5 (no shocker there, based on previous MRI’s). It showed L3/4 had a massive annular tear and was leaking fluid onto the muscle bundle. L4/5 also had a big tear, and both (according to the doc) produced concordant pain. So I finally kind of knew what was going on. But what was to be done about it???

2007 By 2007 I was returning to my orthopedist and he didn’t have anything to tell me, except fusion, which I did not want (I’m only 27). He gave me the name of Dr. Yeung in Arizona, who does endoscopic discectomies. I sent him my records & films to review, which he did and said I would be a good candidate.

By June I had built a tolerance to Vicodin, and had to take 3 at a time to get any effect. So my doc switched me to Percocet. For a quick minute, 1 Percocet worked well. Then I had to take 2 to get relief. That seemed to be what worked for me for a while. I was also sleeping on the couch in the basement, because (1) I was sleeping terribly, maybe 5 hours/night, and (2) I would toss & turn so much trying to get comfortable I would wake my husband.

So on July 12 I flew with my hubby from Washington, D.C. to Phoenix, AZ and had the procedure done. The procedure itself was easy. The first 2 weeks post-procedure were painful with both normal pain AND surgical pain – I was VERY stiff walking & getting around. Dr. Yeung told me it could take 3 months to know if the procedure worked. Long story short, 3 months went by, and nothing changed – my normal pain was still there. I was still eating Percocet like candy to control my pain. I was also sent home with a TENS unit, which I used a lot. It felt great while on, but never changed anything after I took it off.

In November 2007 I had a new MRI (sitting), which my ortho thought showed a far lateral disc protrusion at L5/S1 (a disc that we knew wasn’t great, but thought was the least of my problems). So he recommended a foraminal nerve root block at that level, which I had done under sedation at the end of November. It did nothing.

By that time I had really built up a tolerance to Percocet. After the injection I was taking 4 at a time to get just 1-2 hours of relief. My ortho basically said I was screwed and there was nothing else to do. He also referred me to a new pain mgt. doc (I had tried 2 about a year earlier, but all they wanted to do was eitiher inject or use TENS therapy and a heating pad – I thought they were useless).

So, in December 2007 I saw Dr. D. Long story short, Dr. D is fabulous. I had always complained that when I would consult a new doc, I had so much history that I never felt anyone really paid attention or listened or questioned anything. Dr. D was in the room with me for 40 minutes. He read every report I brought and questioned things. He told me there were lots of options, both in medications and treatments. He started me on Avinza, 30mg/day (long-acting morphine), as well as Percocet for BTP. He also started me on Elavil, 25mg at bedtime, which, as soon as I started taking it, let me sleep 8 hours per night without waking up.

The Avinza at 30mg did not work at all, so we upped to 60mg. That didn’t work either, and we went to 90mg. That didn’t work either, so we upped to 120mg, which is what I am on now, which works OK, but not great.

2008 Dr. D wanted to perform 3-level foraminal injections at L3/4, L4/5, and L5/S1. We did that January 2, 2008. I got zero relief from it. We discussed my options, and decided that at this point, an IDET procedure was the best option. But since there are 3 potential discs involved, we didn’t know what disc to do it on. So for the sake of argument, we decided that L4/5 (the one Dr. Yeung operated on in July 2007) was not generating pain, and L5/S1 had lost some disc height, so Dr. D said it wasn’t a good candidate, b/c it could be hard to get the catheter in.

IDET PROCEDURE 1/25/08 STORY

So, by guessing & process of elimination, Dr. D performed an IDET procedure on 1/25/08 at L3/4. The procedure went fine. I was knocked out while he was inserting the catheter, so don’t remember that. Then they woke me up for the burn. There was a little glitch, and finally they determined that the catheter was faulty, so he had to re-insert another, then started the burn. It was pretty painful while they were fiddling with the catheter – the pain was on my left side (they inserted on the left) It took a while before I felt any of my normal pain, but about halfway through I did start to feel it at a low level. The level of pain increased throughout the rest of the procedure, but never got terrible, and I never had any leg pain (I had very little leg pain pre-procedure, or ever, so that’s not abnormal). Then that was it. When the burn was about done, they gave me another dose of Fentanyl through the IV, so that helped the pain. They removed the needle, which hurt a bit. I then went to recovery, where I only recovered for about 15 minutes, then got dressed, had some juice, went over discharge instructions, and left.

I was home by 12 noon after the procedure and laid in bed. Dr. D’s post-op instructions said the first 48-72 hours are the most important, and he said do all I can to lie down as much as possible, so basically I stayed in bed the rest of the day & night. I expected to feel worse than I did. There were periods of some pain, but really low intensity (5/10). I think I was expecting to feel what I felt post-SED, which was lots of pain and stiffness, so since I don’t feel that, I feel like I am feeling better. We’ll see how things fare long-term.

This morning (1/26), I woke up feeling great, got up and made a crumb cake. I then felt a little pain coming on, and took a Roxicet to catch it early. Needless to say, I’m feeling pretty good right now. The Roxicet makes me really sleepy though, and every time I take 2 (1 just doesn’t touch my pain) I fall asleep for 2 hours. I woke up still feeling good. I’ve seriously been doing nothing but laying in bed, and it’s funny how while you’re working you would die to be able to do this, but when you’re forced, it’s just not the same. I mean, a body can only lay in bed so long without getting pressure sores, so my upper back & buttocks are starting to get sore just from laying here, so I’ve tried to get up and stand up for a while just to switch things up. On the other hand, I want to move as little as possible, b/c I’m afraid of messing it up! I’ve been wearing my brace 24 hours a day, and can’t shower until tomorrow.

Current Meds, just FYI, though maybe that's for anothe forum:
Lyrica, 75 mg, 4x/day (nerve pain)
Avinza, 120 mg, 1x/day (pain)
Amitriptyline, 25 mg, 1x/day at bedtime (antidepressant/sleep aid)
Roxicodone, 15 mg, 3x/day (switched from Percocet just after IDET)

Every time I’ve searched for information on anything regarding back pain, I’ve found this site incredibly helpful, so I wanted to share my story. I will continue to keep you updated on my progress following the IDET. If you want to contact me, feel free to PM me. I am off of work all next week, returning on 2/4. I hope everyone is doing well and I wish everyone the best of pain relief!!!
Hi Beth - very interesting story. Glad you are feeling better. Just wanted to comment on a couple of things. Number 1: This board does not allow personal contact or being "PM"d. So even though many of us would love to contact each other on a more personal level to exchange details, etc., it can't be done here. Number two - wanted to make sure you are aware that Roxicodone is Percocet without the tylenol in it. So the only thing different now is that you aren't getting tylenol unless you are taking tylenol as seperate medications along with the Roxicodone. Keep feeling better - K'Mac
[QUOTE=Memere;3413635]Hi Beth - very interesting story. Glad you are feeling better. Just wanted to comment on a couple of things. Number 1: This board does not allow personal contact or being "PM"d. So even though many of us would love to contact each other on a more personal level to exchange details, etc., it can't be done here. Number two - wanted to make sure you are aware that Roxicodone is Percocet without the tylenol in it. So the only thing different now is that you aren't getting tylenol unless you are taking tylenol as seperate medications along with the Roxicodone. Keep feeling better - K'Mac

Hi K'Mac,

Thanks for clearing me up on the PM'ing - I just assumed that was a feature without investigating it :) That is unfortunate, but luckily we can chat through these messages sufficiently.

Also, I do know that the Roxicodone is the same med as the Percocet w/out Tylenol. My doc has been concerned about my Tylenol intake, b/c I had been taking 12 Perc's per day, which is really getting up there. So the Roxi's have two good things about them: (1) no Tylenol, and (2) increased strength (15mg) means I take less pills, which I think is good mentally :)

Nice to "meet" you and I look forward to "talking" to you again :)

-Beth