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joygrandma posted:
In 2007 I had a laminectomy and spinal fusion of L3-4-5 with metal rods. That helped, but the pain has gradually come back with lower back pain becoming severe with pain down my right leg and starting down my left. I see a physiatrist in the same clinic as my neurosurgeon, and also do some PT. All of them are well respected in our area. My dr. now and I am frustrated since none of the injections he has tried has lasted more than an hour or so. He is going to try one more on Wednesday and then probably send me back to my surgeon. I know the wisdom of second opinions, but when I'm dealing with the best in the area, I feel somehow that may not be feasible. My dr. now sees some arthrithis developing below the fusion and the bone scan showed a white spot above the fusion. All I really understand is that I am in pain. Most of the time if I sit or lie down I'm fine, but even that is beginning to hurt now, so I want to have something done. As far as medication, nothing seems to help -I've tried oxycodone, but it makes me stay awake and makes me itch, and doesn't really help the pain. Any ideas, anyone?
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bj1208 responded:
hi and welcome to the support group -

in all honesty you should take all your records and get a 2nd opinion (from outside of clinic where u go) - this way you will have another opinion of what is going on -

as for the med oxycodone, how long have you been on this - how long have you been on this? if it's been more than a month and you itch every time you take it then I would say that is a side effect (allergic reaction) and you should discuss this with your pain doctor.

there is something going on with your back and with what you have been thru it's best to get a 2nd opinion so that you know exactly what's going on. I would get one from either an ORTHOPEDIC SPINE SPECIALIST or NEUROSURGEON SPINE SPECIALIST (since your surgery was done by Neurosurgeon you may want to see an Orthopedic Spine Specialist).

Please note, surgery is no guarantee that it will work either by reducing and/or eliminating the pain, and/or correcting the spine problems. after my fusion (single fusion L5-S1) I felt great the first 3 months post op then after that my pains came back worse than before the surgery.

I hope this helps - please keep us posted - take care - Joy
 
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joygrandma replied to bj1208's response:
Thanks, Joy. My name is Joy, also - what a lovely name! I no longer take any pain meds. All of them so far have given me the same side effects, except fo gabapentin and MS Contin, and then I was a zombie, which was before my first surgery. I had an injection today, which was the first one that really hurt. It hurt down to my right ankle and was then numb for an hour or so. My doctor said he found some scar tissue when he did the injection. Could that be causing anything? How little I know. That was at 10:00 this morning and it is now 7:00 at night, and very little pain so far. I'm keeping my fingers crossed and praying a lot! I'll wait to see what happens. You also take care- Joy
 
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bj1208 replied to joygrandma's response:
hi Joy! what a "Joy" to meet another "Joy"

I, too, take gabapentin for the nerve damage in both my legs - this med has to be started out in small doses and slowly increased over a month or two until the therapeutic dose has been reached - I've been on this for 3 years now and it really helps a lot - I know if I miss a dose I can tell as it does start hurting. I take 3600mg daily - yep daily - I've had friends/family tell me they can't believe I walk around being on the meds i do take (60mg morphine sulfate 4times daily; 30mg oxycodone 4times daily) and muscle relaxers too - but I know when I first started taking all these they made me a zombie but after a while they don't do that -

some meds it does take a while to get used to the side effects but once you do and find the right one they do work well -

Yes scar tissue can hurt if it grows and rubs in certain areas - I have both scar tissue and arthritis and they both sure do hurt bad some days and other days don't feel it at all -

hope the shots work for you - I've had them for 4 years and have never received any relief -

keep us posted - take care - Joy
 
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Ari Ben-Yishay, MD responded:
My advice is that you see your surgeon, get his opinion, and then if surgery is recommended, get another opinion with another well trained spinal surgeon. prior to procedding. Cant give any further advice without an evaluation and look at the films. Good luck.
Dr Ben Yishay
 
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joygrandma replied to Ari Ben-Yishay, MD's response:
Thank you Dr. Ben-Yishay. That's about what I've decided to do, with maybe a visit to a pain clinic also. My family physician has highly recommended one. My pain is getting worse now, which has kind of surprised me. It seems to be part of the pain that goes down my leg that is worse, but it's higher than that. None of this makes sense, because now it is even inhibiting my sleep. Oh well, I know God has a plan for me; kind of wish he would tell me now what it is.
 
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joygrandma replied to joygrandma's response:
Next Thursday I have an MRI scheduled and then will see my neurosurgeon. There is no guarantee that he will even have a suggestion as far as surgery goes. But, I have decided since I have researched this clinic and found that it, and this particular neurosurgeon is one of the best in the country, I probably will not go for a second opinion. Right now I don't see the point. He has even advised the Packer (football) organization in the past. If surgery is not feasible, I will try another pain clinic. I 'd rather go the surgery route and not the drug route if I don't have to. This last week I've been on oxycodone, and I can't handle the side effects. Comments are welcome, and Joy, I am familiar with how to work up to the highest dose of gabapentin, but when the time came after the last surgery to "get off" my drugs, the gabapentin was the worst, while the morphine was the easiest! Like you say, everyone is different and react differently to everything. We'll see what the surgeon says!
 
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bj1208 replied to joygrandma's response:
good luck Joy and keep us posted -

take care - Joy
 
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joygrandma replied to bj1208's response:
Today I had my MRI and saw my surgeon. It was comforting to see the plaque on the wall that said he was one of the best surgeons in the United States! However, he said, "No surgery." He has referred me to a chiropractor! That was a surprise to me since I have six titanium bars in my back. But he said the biggest two problems I have is my SI joint and a very severe case of bursitis. If the chiropractor doesn't help in three weeks I return to my physiatrist and the surgeon will tell him exactly where to put an injection. He did promise that they would make sure I get better! So we will see.
 
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joygrandma replied to joygrandma's response:
So far the chiropractor has done two adjustments on my back, and I'm beginning to wish I had gone to him three years ago. I never would have gone to him without a referral from my surgeon! I will see him for four weeks/three to four times a week. The xray shows that above my fusion, my spine takes a left turn. He is trying to straighten that out, and I already feel a little better. I walked farther last night than I have in 2 years with little pain. I am pleased so far. I have learned that my neurosurgeon refers quite a few patients to this chiropractor. So far, so good! He does not promise full relief, because he cannot work in the area of the fusion, but he does think he can relieve a lot of my pain. I will keep you updated.


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