Very sorry about your pain. Sadly, you might have been able to avoid much of it.
1. Never allow a chiropractor to touch you once you have had spinal trauma, Chiropractors are NOT medical doctors. They do not attend medical school, a residency or fellowship. They are not allowed to prescribe medications and in most cases, have no hospital privileges. Nothing is more important than your health. Why trust it to someone who never went to medical school? If they don't have "MD" after their name, they can damage or paralyze you permanently.
2. Your chiro told you that " x-ray showed the disc above s1 slipped out. " Jbear, soft material like extruded discs do not visualize on an X-ray. That can only be seen with an MRI, myelogram or CAT-scan. Chiros believe that their patients don't know enough to challenge their BS. Do your own research and only trust your health to an MD.
3. Your chiro told you that the disc above S1 slipped out. But you already had that disc removed in your micro discectomy. That was L5-S1. Am I starting to make sense?
4. All recent research on spinal injections reveals that they simply are not efficacious. They don't work. When you filter out placebo effect, injections of simple saline work just as badly as steroids injections.
5.. A rhyzotomy (a.k.a. nerve root ablation) has a track record nearly as dismal as injections mentioned above. But don't take my word for it. Here is the most comprehensive research on all types of spinal interventions that I've ever seen: http://www.painphysicianjournal.com/2009/july/2009;12;699-802.pdf . Read it for yourself. You'll also see that the overall success rate for spine surgery is just over 60%.
6. No two people have exactly the same spinal anatomy or the same ability to tolerate chronic pain. But you should research everything that a medical doctor suggests on your own. You should also ask each physician to explain where they went to medical school, residency and fellowship and how many times they have successfully performed whatever procedure they recommend.
7. Many of us can reclaim our work and family lives with COMBINATIONS of medications, starting with long-acting drugs (Kadian, Oxycontin, Fentanyl Transdermal, etc.) AND short-acting (Hydrocodone, Oxycodone, Tramadol, etc.) medications for breakthrough pain. Add to this combination an anti-depressant, to inhibit the reuptake of Serotonin in the bloodstream. Serotonin is one of the body's own pain-fighting chemicals. Add an anti-inflammatory because almost all of us are plagued by inflammation. Those of us who have (as you do) referent pain, going into a hip, groin, arm or leg, should add an anti-convulsant (Lyrica, Neurontin, etc.).
Be open-minded about options. I can reduce my pain by 15-20% with biofeedback. Others claim efficacy with TENS, acupuncture, hypnosis, PT, kinesiotherapy, decompression, or a host of other options. If none of these help, see if you are a candidate for the spinal cord stimulator or the intrathecal infusion pump. You'll find all of these in a comprehensive pain management program.
First, I have exactly the same situation, except I've had four failed spine surgeries, not six.
I've been to two pain management programs and tried almost everything. The only treatment that helped (very slightly) was biofeedback. I can reduce my pain by about 15-20% with it.
Why don't you try the intrathecal infusion pump? Are you not a candidate for some reason?
Spine surgery today has an over all long-term (12-month) success rate of about 60% (lower if you've had spinal fusion). Surgeons will lie to your face and tell you that, "80% of my patients become pain-free and lead normal lives. Right! And these guys sleep at night?
People like us are called, "failed back surgery syndrome." Doctors want us like a bad case of gout. We're almost untreatable. And surgery has been a large part of the problem, rather than a solution. That's Doc. I love having all of that scar tissue. Thanks for gouging out a piece of my right S1 nerve root, resident. Appreciate that. I always wanted to retire at age 51, unable to sit or stand for more than a few minutes.
Hi Ally. Sorry about your pain. I know how you feel. My severe chronic pain started just after my 17th birthday.
1. Most importantly... NEVER allow a chiropractor to touch your cervical spine. Manipulation can easily transform your stenosis into full-blown disc herniations, requiring fusion. Chiropractors are not medical doctors. Most of them were unable to gain entrance into a medical school. Nothing is more important than your health. Why trust it to someone who is not a medical doctor? I've spent almost 40 years in orthopedic and neurosurgeon waiting rooms. By far, the most common complaint has been severe damage by chiropractors. If they don't have "MD" after their name, flee as fast as you can run.
2. Having "nerves burned" is a procedure called a rhyzotomy (a.k.a. "radio-frequency ablation"). This rather medieval procedure calls for large-diameter needles inserted deep into your spinal nerve roots, where electricity is employed to destroy the nerve root in the blind hope that a damaged or destroyed nerve root will stop sending pain signals to the brain. In many cases, like mine, the rhyzotomy increases pain permanently. Some people have urine and/or feces incontinence or partial paralysis after a rhyzotomy. The long-term success rate is about 60%, which considering the risks, seems far too low. But, that's up to you. Please ask your surgeon how many times she or he has performed this rhyzotomy before agreeing to have it done. Here is a link to the latest, greatest, most comprehensive research on ALL SPINAL INTERVENTIONS: http://www.painphysicianjournal.com/2009/july/2009;12;699-802.pdf . It's pretty technical. But it covers the viability of each intervention.
Headaches, including migraines, do not respond well to conventional pain medications. Be aware that they must be treated differently.
Finally, the best advice I can give you is to see a spine surgeon. A spine surgeon is an orthopedic surgeon or neurosurgeon who has completed a FELLOWSHIP in spine surgery. That's typically 3-4 years AFTER a residency. Please ask your specialist if she or he completed a fellowship in spine surgery; if not, find one who has. No one on the planet is as talented, experienced or able to implement the most advanced treatments as a spine surgeon. These extremely advanced physicians can often be located at or near teaching hospitals (universities). After nearly 40 years of chronic back and leg pain, 4 failed spine surgeries and two comprehensive pain management programs, I cannot more strongly emphasize the value of seeing a spine surgeon. They operate on celebrities and millionaires. If you don't need surgery, they'll tell you. They don't need more money.
Finally, obtain a referral to a comprehensive pain management program. I can reduce my pain by about 20% with BIOFEEDBACK alone. Note that recent research proves that injections of steroids and anesthetics have NO LONG TERM BENEFIT. Thus repeated iterations of injections will also fail, not to mention put you into danger of nerve root impingement. Most pain management options will fail. But some might offer benefit. If they offer a dozen or more treatment options, give it a try.
Suboxone and Nalaxone are medications that significantly reduce the ill effects caused by withdrawal from long-term opioid use. As long as you use either one as directed, you should have no trouble.View Thread
Forgive me, but it sounds like you are using opioid medications and you would rather not stop using them. Is that right?
As long as you are not using opioid medications to get high, rather than for chronic pain, it won't matter. If you have a medical condition that requires opioid medications, employers understand. You cannot be fired for using pain mediation, unless the job requires you to be a driver, pilot or machine operator. But you have been prescribed Suboxone, which is designed for the addicted patient requiring assistance with withdrawal. So, please rest assured that you have the best medication for withdrawal symptoms. Or, do you prefer not to use Suboxone and to remain on your opioid? Perhaps if you have that much chronic pain, this job is not the best option for you?View Thread
In this case, they're not sharing it with your insurance company or the local newspaper. If you can't trust your physicians and pharmacists, then I guess you can try to slug it out on your own. I have no problem with those two professions knowing my diagnosis. I trust their integrity.View Thread