Discussions that mention vicodin

Back Problems board


I am 33, married, and up until last December very active. I was driving home one evening and both my upper back and lower back began burning. It kept getting worse and worse until it literally felt like something caught on fire in me. I spent a few days on the floor not thinking much of it. Thought it would go away...

I will skip ahead to not bore you with the details.

The MRI showed a large herniated disc between t6-7. Nothing in the lumbar. 2 NS and 2 Ortho Sugeons later, I still have had very little done for me. The cortisone shots helped. But I am still ruined. Currently, I have gotten my pain level somewhat under control, but I am still unable to do anythign in life that I enjoy. I am debating surgery.

I started 75 mg lyrica last week. I am also on a small dose (5 mg) of lexapro which also provides surprising relief, but I have to take it with Nexium as it tears up my guts. Since starting the lyrica, I have not taken a single Vicodin. Ultram makes me crazy. I told the doc to give me back the vicodin or I would be taking the .357 magnum pain cure. Guess he believed me.

So, I am now walking 3 miles a day, and have lost about 15 pounds. Can't do much else though. Can't even sit on the couch... have to lay on the floor. Did I mention I am 33? I am however still improving... but it is sooooooo slow. And improvement is measured by things like... I was able to sleep on my stomach last night and only woke up with a pain level of 2! Whew hoo! Where did my life go?

Next week I am scheduled to have dye shot into the discs. With my 80/20 insurance plan, all I have done is throw money at the doctors, and although they need to make payments on the new Mercedes, it is getting old. So, here is where I need the advice.

:confused: Question 1.) I have been told that this thing may heal on its own. After reading the long thread on thoracic injuries, that seems like a false hope to me. Has anyone ever gotten their life back by waiting?

:confused: Question 2.) I have been told by 1 doc he can't do anythign for me, and the other 2 told me they would crack my chest open and deflate my lung to fix it. BS! :nono: The fourth doc told me that he would go through the back, take part of my rib, and use it to fuse the vertebrae. 3 days in the hospital. I figure with my 80/20 that should be about 10g's. Could pay it, but it will be devestating. Willing to do it if it will give me back my life though. Any suggestions?

:confused: Question 3.) Been reading about a guy named Doctor Jho in Pittsburgh. Sent him my MRI and he says I am a candidate for his microsurgery. I would be out in a day and it is only a small cut. No fusion. Asked my other doc about it and his response was that microsurgeons have created a lot of parapalegics doing this. This is in a vascular watershed area and it is largely a frowned upon surgery by other NS's. Jho's called back and I shared this concern with them. They responded that other doc's don't know what they are doing, and Jho walks on water, yada, yada, yada. Have any of you dealt with him on a thoracic surgery? What happened?

I am willing to do just about anything or nothing. I just want to know that I am on the road to recovery, whatever that may be. Thanks for whatever help you can give me.

-john
Luther,

I dont have thorasic issues "yet" and hopefully will not. Yes, I too had read and was told it can heal on it's own and could take up to 2 years to do so. I gave it the time and also tried every conservative treatment around to which many cost me thousands of dollars out of my pocket, not covered by insurance. I avoided surgery as most of us do and it is a last resort. And the last resort can mean, you've had enough of the pain.

I had the discogram done and it is the test that discovered my problem. I have DDD with signs of degeneration at L4-L5 but also L5-S1 bulging disc. We all assumed it was the bulging disc causing the pain, but NOT! The dye was injected into the bulging disc 3 times and never caused any pain at all. Then they injected dye into the L4-L5 and I had horrible pain, much like I had been having only so much worse. That is a normal response for this test.

My doc gave me ZERO sedative during this treatment. He was well experienced in discograms and was as quick as he could be. But he prefers not to give any meds during this treatment so there is less mistake in diagnosing where the pain is coming from. I dont want to ever have to have this test done ever again, but would if needed. I have a high threshold of pain, and this just about killed me! I could not wait to get back to my room for them to give me some morophine to ease the pain! I think you need to know what to expect and I hope you don't experience as much pain as it caused me. But know that little bit of pain is worth it if it can rid you of the pain you have been living with all this time!

Ultram.. oh boy! Keep that stuff away from me and percoset too! Both of those make the puke my guts out! I take vicodin too and skelaxin for spasms.

I had a fusion done at L4-L5 just over two weeks ago. Things are going okay I think. I have had some residual leg pain, and am interested if Lyrica could help with that. He gave me prednisone medrol pak to see if that would help. It has, but not nearly enough and now that i am back down to not being on it, the pain is beginning to increase again. I will call him on Monday to get something new, which he said he would provide it the roids didnt work. So i appreciate your information on that. I have read others that have gotten good results from the Lyrica too.

All docs are different. I had one tell me that I had DDD and would have many years of agonizing pain and to "live with it". She was an ortho spine surgeon. I let her treat me for two years. Then after she told me that, I began my search and found the right doctor that I thought could best help me. I am confident I have chosen the right one. Time will tell.

You have 80/20 insurance. I hope you have an out of pocket maximum then coverage kicks in 100%. Go with with our instincts Luther. You know yourself and comfort zone. So choose a really good surgeon, which ever one will bring you some relief.

Let me know how your discogram goes. I will be thinking of you and know you will come through it just fine. :wave: