Discussions that mention vicodin

Back Problems board

I've been reading and I have some more questions. DDD - I've never been told I have this. I am over 60 and have lost a little over an inch in height. (I don't want to know how much over an inch, because I was short to begin with!). My bone density tests haven't been too bad, showing only some ostopenia. There is mild scoliosis. Does the loss in height mean there is some DDD, since that happens to everyone if they live long enough anyway? A few years ago I had pretty bad pains in my neck, but PT helped. The past couple of years, I've had a lot of severe sciatic pain. I've written my saga about that in a couple of other posts. I'm confused when asked about "how many levels" and some other things. I was just told Spinal Stenosis at L4 and L5. Is that one level? two levels?

After thinking about it, I remember having sciatica a few years ago, but it wasn't nearly this severe.

I read where someone was telling someone else that they shouldn't lift over 20#. I moved 3 years ago, and out of stubborness and necessity, I was doing a lot of lifting. When it hurt, out of stubborness, I jsut pushed on, and then soaked in a tub and took pain pills. Since then, more recently, I don't do a lot of lifting, but still buy 40# bags of dog food, and do what is "necessary".

I read that one should put off surgery as long as possible or avoid it. Then I read that one should have it before any permanent damage is done (which is what my orthopedic surgeon said). I've read that after age 60 there is an increased likelihood of having to have 2nd and 3rd surgeries.

Some days I can barely walk. Some days (weeks), I can't sit at my desk to do any work, and end up pacing the floor. Sitting hurts too much, and standing hurts too much, and pacing is the least of the evils. Then there will be a day or two when there is little pain. The dr says that's because inflamation level varies. (is that only related to arthritis, or inflamation surrounding the disks, or what?) When it's really bad, it also hurts too much to lie down, so I end up in a bathtub of warm water waiting for the pain pills to kick in. I can't take NSAID, but take prednisone every day, and take vicodin or percocet as needed. Oh, and 3000 mg of neurontin, divided 4 X a day.

I have numbness in my left foot (increased a lot by shingles)with a lot of weird sensations. I don't know how much is shingles and how much is the disk problem. I suspect it is mostly shingles, altho the ortho dr doesn't agree. The skin is hypersensitive, even though the foot is numb. It feels like there's a rope pulled tight between my big toe and the next one, then wrapped tightly around my foot just past the arch. Can anyone identify with these oddities?

The other foot is slightly numb, but it feels much different, without these odd sensations. Sometimes when walking, both legs start feeling "furry". (sounds strange I know, but I can't think how else to descibe it).

I know this is long, and I also just wrote some under "second opinions". I'm just trying to figure things out.

and still thinking that as long as I CAN put off surgery, and as long as I have some good days, I should put it off. I just wish I knew if putting it off is doing any permanent damage. And yes, I will get a second opinion. Probably several.


[This message has been edited by StillWater (edited 07-09-2003).]

[This message has been edited by StillWater (edited 07-09-2003).]