I am trying to avoid fusion surgery as I am relatively young and know I still suffer lingering nerve all the same. I would love to hear any positive stories out there>?
YES! YES! YES! I had a severly broken back, with multiple herniated discs, nerve damage through out my back and legs with chronic pain for 6 years. I had gone to numerous orthos and other doctors who put me on all sorts of drugs from Dilaudid to Nuerontin to major muscle relaxers and nothing helped the pain. It just made me foggy, stoned or fat! I went to a neurologist and he took me off all of the other meds and put me on Topamax twice a day (once every 12hrs) and I have been pain free for 4 months now! It's unreal! I had mild side effects at first with some word loss and memory fog but its so much better now. I have adjusted to this medication and I love it! BUT I do know if I have missed a dose or two, my back will start to hurt again if I miss more than 2 doses.
I have been avoiding surgery at all cost for many years now! I got to an awesome massage therapist (not a spa, but an actual therapist) once every two weeks and it helps with the muscle and nerve damage more than any other therapy. I am back to running, walking and cardio that I LOVE! Good luck with it! I hope you give it a shot! Feel free to talk to me about it further.
Inpain gave you some great advice and tips. I just wanted to add (to inpain too) that whenever your spine is injured, orthopedic surgeons are sometimes not the best docs to see. They fix all types of fractures, not specializing in a certain area. Try to find one who did a Fellowship with spine specialists. I too have burst fractures @ L1 L2, 80% spinal cord compression, permanent nerve damage, the whole nine yards. But whatever you do, avoid surgery at all costs! Do whatever you have to to avoid this. Your back will never be the same. I have heard more bad than good stories about fusions than I care to hear about. Some surgeries are unavoidable. But please exhaust all procedures and meds before going under the knife. Have you tried the Radio Frequency Thermocoagulations? (RFT's) there are many new procedures and therapies you can try. But please start with a spine specialist, not an orthopedic surgeon.
I'm not saying there aren't excellent ones out there, but when your spine is involved, you want the best. What part of the spine is involved? If it's cervical, I am very familiar with that too. My hubby had a fractured neck, 2 other neck trauma's and is 5 months post op from his 3rd surgery. Even if you do have the surgery, you will most likely still need the medication. Please research as much as you can before deciding this life changing procedure. These are only my opinions and personal experiences.
I do wish you the best of luck,
I had nerve damage after surgery due to a surgeon leaving a fragment behind. I starting taking Gabapentin (Neurontin) and Cymbalta for the nerve pain. I was taken off of the Gabapentin and started on the Topamax. I started at a low dose of 25mg twice a day and titrated up 25mg a week, first at night, then the morning dose until I was at the therapeuic dose of 100mg twice a day. The side effects took time to get used to. I had a lot pins and needles/tingling in my hands and feet and even across the top of my head (which I still get but less often now). I have had a hard time with my appetite and have lost about 35 pounds so for. I had a very hard time with sensitivity of my teeth. This was a side effect that no one had really heard about. I had to get a prescription for special tooth paste from my dentist as the sensitivity was very difficult to tolerate. The Topomax did reduce my migraines as an aside which was great since it was not what I was taking it for.
I have had a reduction in the nerve pain in my leg which has been helpful in some functional activities and with sleeping. I can still trigger the nerve pain in my leg and it can still take time for it to calm but it has improved a fair degree on the Topomax. I hope you find relief with the Topomax and you are able to avoid surgery. I was not lucky but many people do have sucessful back surgeries. The reason you don't hear about them is because they are out there living their lives. In my 23 year career as a PT I met many, many people who had sucessful back surgeries so please don't let everyone on this site scare you if you really need surgery. Get a 2nd and 3rd opinion and see a neurosurgeon. Get recommendations from others. Good luck and get well!!!
inpain247 ... what cm or doseage are you taking please? would like to hear about that please. i was on celebrex, tramadol, now on gabapentin x300 3 times p/day, tramadol 37.5/325 mg tabs, x8 per day (2 x 4) most you can take a day, and diclofenac 50mg/6-21-10 every 8 hours, x3 per day, I'm seriously looking forward to medicinal marijuana (washington state) as these meds are 'not' masking my pain below level 8/9 and frequent spikes to 10 during each day... Rheumatoid Arthritis kicked in since January making things really really difficult to get up, move, etc. Original injury is 3 lower neck vertebrae herniations and 2 mid back and 1 lower back.
Maybe I'll ask about Topamax.
- Topamax Information for Consumers
- Topamax Information for Healthcare Professionals (includes dosage details)
- Side Effects of Topamax (detailed)
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