Discussions that mention vicodin

Back Problems board

first of all hi, i'm a new member here and i think i found a place that will be very helpful for me over the next few months or year. I dont really have anyone to talk to about my back problems and its great that there are so many helpful and informed people here that are unfortunatly going through what i am experiencing. I'm a 30 year old athletic and work obsessive male. I origionally injured my back when i was 17 in a car accident. Since then i have gotten into compedative weight lifting focusing on powerlifing (the more weight you can bench/squat the better). Well about 4 years ago i went to a doctor about my origional injury and he perscribed some vicodin. Well my back pain went away and i decided to take weight lifting as far as i could possibly go with it and got into powerlifitng since i felt little to no back pain from the meds. Well to make a long story short after competing across country for 3 years i eventually destory my l5-s1 disk. I have had 4 epidural shots which did nothing for the pain and actually caused my back to hurt much worse afterwards. I did have slight leg pain and it did help with that, however the real pain i have is in my lower back itself and not my legs. I then recently had a discogram done and 2 things resulted. I told the doctor that i had pain in my l4-l5 disk (which appears perfectly healthy in my MRI) and also on the l5-s1 disk. Anyone have any idea why i reported pain on this MRI good looking disk? .... do i really ahve a problem with this disk too? Also the l5/s1 disk leaked all the ink out of it after the discogram and the doctor concluded that i would be a good canidate for a back fusion. I really want to know what alternatives i could have other than a fusion? I'm super althletic and almost hyperactive in my personality and i know i will either injury myself after the surgury or will never be able to live the althletic lifestyle i enjoy now. Without pain pills i am a complete cripple.... the pain is so blinding that i cannot motivate myself to work, and even my legs feel weak. The pain is like someone punched me in the stomach while another person is shoving there knuckle into my spine from the other end. However with the pills i am able to work at almost full speed. HOWEVER, i'm sick of taking drugs, and feel like a addict for taking so many pills for so long, and also these pills are the reason why i injured myself worse. I live in Wisconsin and was interested in possibly any other surgury than a fusion. I want to keep my mobility and be even stronger in the future (but i will not lift weights anymore) but i do want to work outside without a potentially weakened back due to a fusion. I was looking into the artifical disk replacement thing, and also IDET. One final concern i had was that i am going to be getting married soon adn the doctor told me that the surgury could cause me to be sterile and have no children.... what do you guys think i should do? I'm really scared of the fusion and even more scared of being a addict for the rest of my life.

i guess i'm really interested in the artifical disk. I'm not sure why the other posters said that i'm not a good canidate for that procedure as i only have 1 bad disk (l5-s1). However on the disco i possibly incorrectly reported pain on the l4-l5 (is this somehow connected to the bad disk as well?). Also do you guys have any advice on rotating pain meds..or how to keep from getting tolerant or too addicted? I've been on 6 10mg vicodins a day for the past 3 years and obviously by now they do nothing and i'm super addicted (if i quit i get sick). Is there a healthier way of rotating to a new narcotic to keep my body unable from adapting and becoming tolerant to one drug? Am i going to die from taking these stupid pills for so long? I'm young and really just want my life back so so badly.
I wouldn't try to get off the vicodin until your back issue is resolved. You are on quite a bit, and you most likely will have to taper. They may be helping your pain more than you know. I can't wait to get off all the junk I'm on, especially the oxy - I have no appetite and a lot of anxiety. But alas, I can't until after surgery (which was postponed :mad: ) By that time I'll look like a walking (or crawling) stick. Take care and God bless