Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up
Includes Expert Content
It has been a long time since I was here....
avatar
tigermom48 posted:
I have had 2 back surgeries and I also have a Implanted Morphine Pump to help control the pain. This was done when everything else failed. In December, I had an operation to replace the pump with a newer one and bc the pump I had was 7 1/2 yrs old. They say it will only last 7 years so I was on borrowed time. This operation was the worse I ever had. My daughter(37) that lives with me had to call my older daughter(39) and my son(32) home to help care for me. My children kept in contact with my Neurosurgeon and Pain Doctor. They even took me to the ER and Pain Doctor. Noone knows why I was having dry heaves & diarrhea but it lasted for a week or so. Not a good way to lose weight! LOL I can make light of it now but not then.
Now I have numbness in left leg to tingling toes. I had and MRI done and the Pain Doctor said that I have a bulging disc that is pressing on a nerve. I am scheduled for an epidural in a few weeks. I am afraid that it will only mask the symptoms. I have prepared myself and my children for yet another operation if this happens or doesn't work.
zi have been in therapy for at least 15 yrs as my late committed suicide August 30th, 1995. On top of dealing with that, I now have this pinched nerve caused by bulging disc. I am not looking for sympathy but a "sounding board" as well.
Do I have reason to think that this will mask the pain? Has anyone had this problem of pinched nerve by bulging disc? If so, did you have an epidural and did it help? I have had epidurals in the past for herniated discs but ended up having surgery. I must admit that I have had enough to deal with the past 17 years and this certainly doesn't improve the record. Yes, I will have cheese with my "whine." If I don't laugh, I know that I will lose it.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and I will understand if noone answers.
Reply
 
avatar
Caprice_WebMD_Staff responded:
Hi Tigermom,

I don't have answers for you but I'm sure others will be chiming in. I just wanted to welcome you back here again, though I'm sorry for your need to be here and all you've been through. (((hugs)))
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.
~Joseph Campbell
 
avatar
77grace responded:
Hi tigermom48,
First of all welcome back!!I am fairly new to this site ,but not new to pain ,back and neck problems,Surgeries,and yes,Eepidurals!!!!
As i'm sure you must know ,the epidural is only a temporry fix,did they help your other problems???They did not help me and most of my back and neck problems are nerve related!I have tumors that grow on the nerves on my spine!All of my neck and lower back!Its not the same,I know but most of all I just want you to know I'm here if you need a sounding board!I have had pain problems for about 30 yrs!
Hang in there ,77grace
 
avatar
Peter Abaci, MD responded:
Tigermom,

As you mentioned, implantable pumps need to be replaced every several years because they run on a battery. In some cases, the catheter that runs into the spinal fluid needs to be replaced if, for example, a clot forms on the tip, but it sounds like in your case the original catheter was left alone and just the pump was replaced in the pocket site.

Because you experienced acute symptoms at the same time that this surgery took place to replace the pump, I want to bring up some things to consider that you can discuss with your doctors:

With any potential problem, an infection should always be ruled out. It doesn't sound like you had a fever or elevated white blood count, so I will assume there wasn't any evidence of an infection. If your nausea and diarrhea wasn't from an infection, then another thing to consider would be if these symptoms were from morphine withdrawal. If for some reason in changing the pump there was a time lag in the morphine continuing to infuse into your spinal fluid, then that could potentially lead to withdrawal symptoms which can make you feel quite sick.

As for the tingling and numbness in your left leg and toes, certainly a disc problem irritating a nerve is one potential source of these new symptoms. Another to consider could be the build-up of scar tissue or bone spurs from your other back surgeries. However, it is also advisable to consider whether any acute neurological symptoms you are experiencing could be related to the spinal catheter. A careful neurological assessment is important to get a better sense of what the numbness is related to beyond just the MRI findings. I think it is reasonable for you to talk to your doctors about some of these points.
 
avatar
tigermom48 replied to Caprice_WebMD_Staff's response:
Thank you, Caprice. Like I said,it has been something every year. It certainly gets to be "old." There are times that I want to sit and cry but that solves nothing. LOL Need to keep my sense of humor or I will totally lose it!
Mary
 
avatar
tigermom48 replied to 77grace's response:
Hi grace,
Sorry to hear all that is going on with you. It seems that back pain manages to make everything hurt! By the time the epidurals were done, most of the pain was gone but still needed them. Thank you for being here for me. It means a great deal to me.
Mary
 
avatar
tigermom48 replied to Peter Abaci, MD's response:
HI Dr.Abaci,
I appreciate your thoughts on what is going on with me. The cath was not replaced, only the pump. During the time that I was sick, like I said, my children were in contact with the Pain Doctor and the Neurologist. They took me to the ER where bloodwork was done and they checked for UTI. Only thing that came back was low potassium which was treated with "Horse Pills" LOL I was also seen by the Pain Doctor who checked to make sure the pump was running and it was.That is not saying how long it was running though.
In the past, his PA would fill the pump who was trained by the Pain Doctor and Medtronic. One time the PA got a small amount into the pump and the rest was in my system. I had the nausea and the diarrhea. Once again, was sent to the ER. I was admitted but felt better after a day or two. The night that I was released, I became very sick with the nausea and diarrhea. I as admitted to ICU and was there 3 days/nights. The Pain Doctor admitted to my oldest daughter that I could have died from this. Luckily my children didn't listen to me about going to the ER.
As I sit here, even though I have numbness, I feel the pain from sciatic nerve. I go for the epidural on 8/27. I do have pain med for break thru meds which I can take every 4 hours. I have done that in the past and looks like I will be taking again. I am lucky that my middle daughter is living with me bc she divorced her A-hole husband. I feel at times that I am a burden to my children, but they assure me that I am not.
I admit that I knew that my girls would help me but my son(Former Marine & now Correction Officer) was willing to come take care of me with loving care just like my girls. Please don't get me wrong, I know that my son loves me & is more than willing to take care of me. As he told the ER doctor, he was a "street doc"(EMT) and that I was getting better care at home.
Again, thank you for your reply.
Mary
 
avatar
ljsipe1 responded:
an epidural will only mask the problem. I recently had the surgery for a herniated disc that was pressing on the sciatic nerve. Pain was so intense that I was exceeding recommended dosages of pain medication just to be able to function. surgery is your only way out. It has been a month since my surgery and I don't have the pain down my leg any more but have quite a bit of pain in the surgery area.n I am hoping it dissipates in the next couple of months.
 
avatar
SamIndianapolis responded:
I have had this procedure and it's nothing to fear, you get a local while they do it and your fully aware of whats going on the first procedure helped for about 72 hours and then I went in for two more which did not help at all. I've been told some people have one and never need another. They probably didn't need it to begin with...

Unfortunatly, it will not help much if they don't fix the underlying issue, your back injury. Good Luck, Hope this helps... Sam
 
avatar
Ilbeityetanotherpainpatient responded:
I have had several epidural shots. The 1st one the pain doc hit the nerve. The others worked after 24 hrs but only for 3 days. Not worth it to me.
 
avatar
Arachsufferer replied to 77grace's response:
I don't believe epidurals are approved by the FDA for intradural use and there is always the chance of arachnoiditis if someone has one. I think epidurals are a risk that is NOT worth the relief. You can take a steroid dose pack and get about the same relief with less risk!
 
avatar
Ilbeityetanotherpainpatient replied to Arachsufferer's response:
Did you get Arachnoiditis from this? How did it happen? What does it feel like?

(only answer if you feel comfortable sharing-I'm curious) my pain got so much worse after these steroid shots, but oral steroids did nothing.
 
avatar
jozack001 responded:
They temporatily mask pain,but you still end up with pain.
I have had 45 already and still take morphine and norco to get
by.My doctor acts like if I don't get the nerve block,he won't
give me the pills.
I tried the nerve stimulater implant what a waste.He been nagging me for the morphine implant,but he does this in
his office,and Iam a heart paitent,If I conck out how he's
going to get me back.
 
avatar
annette030 responded:
Why would you think that another surgery would be useful? Most studies show that surgery is not the way to deal with pain, only with decreased function.

I have never had an epidural, so I don't know if that would help either. I would suggest you do your own research before having anything done for a spinal problem.

Take care, Annette
 
avatar
tigermom48 replied to ljsipe1's response:
I had the epidural done. The problem is that the bulging disc is on a nerve. No pain just numbness left leg and tingling toes. Of course as I knew, did not solve the problem. I have meds for breakthru pain as I have an Implanted Morphine Pump. I tried all that they wanted to do PT; Epidurals etc.The pump was done after I had 2 back surgeries for herniated discs. In fact, the pump was just replaced after 7 1/2 years. After getting home, is when I started with the dry heaves and diahrrea and my daughter called my son and my other daughter. Not something I want to go thru again!
Thank you so much for replying. Glad to hear that surgery worked for you!


Featuring Experts

Peter Abaci, MD , is certified in anesthesia and pain management by the American Board of Anesthesiology. Dr. Abaci received his undergraduate educat...More

Helpful Tips

I live in Arizona
If you drive in Arizona you can goto jail for DUI for any meds in your system, There are no buses where I live. I guess I will just sit ... More
Was this Helpful?
2 of 13 found this helpful

Related News

There was an error with this newsfeed

Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.