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Pain management

AFvetAAFvet Posts: 2
edited 09/22/2015 - 4:30 AM in Lower Back Pain
history: i have had numerous rhizotomies and nerve root block injections following being injured while in iraq in 2008. i am 30 years old. my doctors keep telling me that i need to have the fusion surgery but that it has limited results and will limit my rom. i have done my own research and there is little data about people having it done in the l5-s1 area (my problem area).

first, has anyone had the surgery? and what have your results been?
second, i am trying to switch up my medication. i have been on various doses of oxycodone, oxycontin, ms contin, and every non narcotic there is. i found that the oxycontin 20mg er worked best but the va does not prescribe it. does anyone have any recommendations for me to try something else? i have a federal job and cannot go the medical marijuana route or i would at least try it. (never smoked before) i take 800mg of motrin 3x a day and have for the last 6 years. so i am looking forward to getting off that if possible. i have weekly torodol shots that i love but sadly only works for about 12 hours.

any input would be greatly appreciated.

welcome to spine-health

one of the most important things that members can do is to provide the rest of the community with as much information about themselves as possible. it is so very difficult for anyone to respond when we do not have enough information to go on. this is not meant to indicate that you are doing anything wrong or violated any rule, we are just trying to be pro-active and get the information upfront so that people can start responding and your thread is more effective.

so many times we read about members who have different tests and they all come back negative. the more clues and information you provide, the better chances in finding out what is wrong, the fact that your test results are negative does not mean that you are fine and without any concerns. many times it takes several diagnostic tests and procedures to isolate a specific condition.

here are some questions that you should answer:
  • - when did this first start? . year, your age, etc
- was it the result of an accident or trauma?
- are there others in your family with similar medication conditions?
- what doctors have you seen? (orthopedic, neurosurgeon, spine specialist, etc)
  • . which doctor did you start with? ie primary care physician . who are you currently seeing?
- what conservative treatments have you had? which ones?
  • . physical therapy . ultrasound / tens unit . spinal injections . acupuncture . massage therapy
- what diagnostic tests have you had? and their results (mri, ctscan, xray, emg, etc)
  • . summarize the results, please do not post all details, we cannot analyze them . how many different tests have you had over the years? similar results?
- what medications are you currently using? (details, dosage, frequency, etc)
  • . name of medication . how long have you been using this? . results
- has surgery been discussed as an option? (if so, what kind)
- is there any nerve pain/damage associated?
- what is your doctor’s action plan for treating you?

providing answers to questions like this will give the member community here a better understanding
of your situation and make it easier to respond.

please take a look at our forum rules: forum rules

i also strongly suggest that you take a look at our faq (frequently asked questions) which can be found at the top of the forum menu tab or by going to faq there you will find much information that will
  • - help you better utilize the spine-health system- provide pointers on how to make your threads / posts- tips on how to create your avatar (your picture), posting images, etc- general pieces of valuable information

please remember that no one at spine-health is a formally trained medical professional.
everything that is posted here is based on personal experiences and perhaps additional research.
as such, no member is permitted to provide
  • - analysis or interpretation of any diagnostic test (ie mri, ctscan, xray, etc)- medical advice of any kind- recommendations in terms of medications, treatments, exercises, etc

what could be good for someone could spell disaster for another.
you should also consult your doctor to better understand your condition and the do’s and don’t’s.

it is very important that new members (or even seasoned members) provide others with details about their condition(s). it is virtually impossible to help another member when all the details we have are

i’ve had this for years, it hurts, i cant move my shoulder – what could this be, what treatment should i get?

diagnosing spinal problems can be very difficult. in many ways it’s like a game of clue. especially, when the diagnostic tests come back negative – no trouble found! then it’s up to the patient and the doctor to start digging deeper. the doctor is like a detective. they need clues to help them move along. so, you as the patient need to provide the doctor with all sorts of clues. that is like it is here. without having information about a condition, its impossible for anyone here to try to help.

specific comments :

personal opinion, not medical advice :

--- ron dilauro, spine-health system moderator : 09/22/15 10:30est

Adam pollock


  • area of the spine doesn't effect your range of movement as much as you think it might. That area of the spine is located in between your posterior pelvis and there isn't bending and twisting at that level as there is higher up in the lumbar spine. That particular segment doesn't rotate as higher areas do, so fusion at that level really doesn't effect your ability to bend or flex.
    As far as fusion goes, mine was done at a higher level . Fusion surgery isn't really done for pain relief as much as it is done to fix a mechanical problem in the spine, and the recovery process can be long and drawn out.
    I suggest a second and third opinion with at least two other surgeons to see if they agree with the one you have seen.
    As far as meds go, only your doctors should advise you on which medications they feel are best for your condition and medical history.
    What works for me may not work for you, so I would discuss options with your doctor.

  • sandi123 said:

    What works for me may not work for you, so I would discuss options with your doctor.
    Not only is effectiveness different between different people, but so are side effects which can play as important a role. Your Dr would be the one to have this conversation with.
    L5/S1 disk compressed, bulging disk, bilateral facet joint arthropathy, neural foramina narrowing

    Current med: Hydrocodone, 10/325 3x/day, Morphine,15mg 1x/day at bedtime
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  • Mrs Old LadyMMrs Old Lady Posts: 5
    edited 09/22/2015 - 9:42 AM
    I have the most problems in that area of my spine as well and my pm dr wants me to try the fusion surgery as well since I'm only thirty. I'm terrified! I have a two year old as well so I would really like to put off surgery a couple more years and do more research first. From the few that I have talked to fusion didn't work, or made them worse.
    2 Bulging Discs
    Annular Fissure
    Neurontin 300mg/2x
    Hydrocodone 10mg/4x
    Flexeril as needed
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