So, here is my question, I have been seeing this doc for my back for like 3 years, and he has been prescribing Norco 10/325s for that long until recentlly he finally agreed to give me Methadone 10s and I am allowed to take them 3 times a day, and on most days that is enough but some days I have breakthrough pain. I am going to a new doc tomorrow to get a second opinion, if anyone knows about this, first of all, I have severe arthritis in my back, I have Lumbar Spinal Stenosis, and I have ruptured a disc L5 S1, so my question is, do doctor's usually give you something like Percocet or Vicodin for the breakthrough pain, like I mean if I take my Methadone and I am still in pain would they give me something else to take for that pain. The doctor I was seeing told me to take Ibuprofen for the breakthrough pain, hello, if Ibuprofen took my pain away I would be taking that and not Methadone and to me if Methadone doesn't take care of all the pain then I am sure that Ibuprofen won't. So, was wondering if anyone out there has been in similiar position and what their doctor has done for them, just wondering what the norm is for this situation. Thanks
Methadone blocks opiates so percocet or any other opiate pain killer is useless. The usual thing they do is to raise your methadone. Break thru meds aren't supposed to be taken everyday, if that's the case then you don't have break thru pain, you have uncontrolled chronic pain. Break thru meds just perpetuate the inevitable and that's addiction. So try and get stabilized on the methadone and forget about the weak break thru meds that just raise your tolerance and don't work after awhile. Good luck...
I was just wondering, have you tried any other treatments for the stenosis and bulging disc? Is the bulge anterior or posterior? This could make a difference in your treatment. What worked best for me was the RFT's (Radio Frequency Thermocoagulation) The treatment gave me relief for nearly 5 months! THAT'S almost unheard of. It's a relatively easy procedure and it's very accurate, minimally invasive. It does involve injections but once that's over, the relief is almost instant. It all depends on where the problem is (facet, disc, fascia, etc) They numb the area, put a long needle in the exact spot (watching live on a monitor) and feed a thin tube through the needle to the site. They can use a variety of medications. They also use this procedure to zap the nerve roots. It sure beats the heck out of long term opiate use and/or surgery. Just an idea I thought you might want to bring up with the specialist. Good luck to you!
Thanks for answering so many questions sporter! First, since the bulge is on the side, should you ever decide to have it fixed surgically, it's a pretty easy one to get at. However!! If it's a 50-60% success rate, sorry I need higher rates than that before I go under the knife! You need to get some straight answers from knowledgeable spine doctors. I had been under the care of a spine surgeon for a "bad" disc @ L4-5. I too put off surgery for years. Then in September I had an accident and shattered my mid spine. L-1 was unrecognizable. It looked like a fireworks display on the MRI. The L-2 broke in to 4 to 5 pieces. But stayed relatively intact, however, unstable. Several bone fragments had entered the spinal canal and put tremendous pressure of the spinal cord. It damaged the nerve roots which caused the permanent nerve damage. I need additional surgery in a few months.
My surgeon, who is published, he's on the "who's who" of spine surgery, looked at my MRI and I saw fear in his face, just for a second, but it was there. He had rarely seen this type of fracture and was shocked that I was still able to move. Sorry to ramble, but surgery should always be the absolute last resort. Like itsmetoo had wondered, why the methodone? I understand you not wanting (or in your case) can't have surgery, but it seems you only want pain control. And by the sound of your question, it seems you were pushing for the methodone, not him. I'm not judging you but methodone is one HUGE leap in the scale of pain medication. I'm surprised a doctor is even willing to prescribe it. When you have the consultation, NUMBER 1, never let them make you feel rushed. Start right now, writing all your questions down and MAKE them answer each and every one. Starting with the bulge. Is it pointing outward or is it bulging in towards the spinal canal? If it's inward, is this causing the stenosis? (narrowing of the canal) If not, is the stenosis a degenerative disease? Something unrelated to the bulge? If another procedure is to be done, what area of the spine (exactly) are you treating? The facet? The disc itself? What about the Radio Frequency treatments? My point is, information is your best weapon! Be sure and go armed and ready.
I wish you the very best and hope you get your pain under control.
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