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springchicken
07-25-2014, 09:16 AM
Hi! I was hoping to get feedback on nerve pain medication-does it have similar side effects to narcotics? Hoping to hear your experiences. Debating whether or not it would be helpful for me or if I should just continue along with OTC meds.

Could muscle relaxers provide relief by calming down surrounding tissue?

Susie*Bee
07-25-2014, 02:50 PM
Although I have read that others had problems adjusting to neurontin/gabapentin, I had no problems with it and it helped my nerve problems-- I had developed excruciating leg pains about 3 weeks after my surgery and had to go back to see my surgeon and that is when I began my neurontin. I also took it in conjunction, for awhile, with valium/diazapam. Those, along with hydrocodone sure helped me feel much better (smile). Actually, I still experienced some pain, but it was livable, but the leg problem was gone. I think some others have had side effects to the neurontin that made them feel sick or not with it. I did not have that problem at all. The only problem I experienced that probably stemmed from my meds at one point was having the room spin around when I was lying down, and that went away after awhile. Best wishes.

loves to skate
07-25-2014, 07:02 PM
I have been taking Neurontin for 6 1/2 years for residual nerve pain and have had no problems. The only thing that it did other that helping immensely with the nerve pain was to help me sleep soundly for a few nights every time I upped the dosage. Good luck finding what is right for you.
Sally

walkingmom
07-25-2014, 07:17 PM
I took gabapentin (generic for neurotin) for a couple of months. I had followed the schedule of gradually increasing the dosage over a few days when I first started, but apparently it was too much for my system. I would just break down in tears for no reason. So I backed down slowly and restarted the process by spreading the increased dosages over a longer time. That seemed to work for me. The other side effect that I had is that I had great difficulty in reading and typing on the computer, because I would keep flipping words and spelling around as if I was dyslexic. Hope you find something that works for you.

Donna

springchicken
07-26-2014, 07:04 AM
Thank you so much for your feedback, ladies. It sounds like it would be worth pursuing for me.

susancook
07-26-2014, 03:07 PM
Spring chicken, where exactly is your pain and what does it feel like?

I was very sedated on Gabapentin. Some of the sedation might be due to the combination of Neurontin with he other meds that I take.

Finding the right combination of drugs at the right amount in a craps shoot! Then, when you figure that out, a month or so later, the pain changes.

Good luck!

Susan

springchicken
07-26-2014, 08:40 PM
Susan, I have a pain in the right lower lumbar that flares up into my right hip and then sometimes down my leg into my knee. It's a deep burning like I've been stabbed or something. Just the nerves and tissue waking up from my previously concave side. My left side, which used to be bad, is fine now.

Thanks for your message-I did hear the meds caused drowsiness. Maybe I would hold off on days I had to travel to office.

On a happy front, today I got my first massage since surgery. It was amazing and made me think maybe there's hope for me after all! Just having such little pain for the rest of the day was so encouraging. It was a "medical massage" with someone familiar with fusions.

susancook
07-26-2014, 09:41 PM
Susan, I have a pain in the right lower lumbar that flares up into my right hip and then sometimes down my leg into my knee. It's a deep burning like I've been stabbed or something. Just the nerves and tissue waking up from my previously concave side. My left side, which used to be bad, is fine now.

Thanks for your message-I did hear the meds caused drowsiness. Maybe I would hold off on days I had to travel to office.

On a happy front, today I got my first massage since surgery. It was amazing and made me think maybe there's hope for me after all! Just having such little pain for the rest of the day was so encouraging. It was a "medical massage" with someone familiar with fusions.

I have had 2 massages and obviously, the masseuse did not know anything about spinal fusion. I was in pain for 3 weeks. Never again!
Susan

springchicken
09-02-2014, 09:05 AM
Hi all-
I'm almost 8 months post op. Still have the nerve pain on my rt side. I still take Tylenol every day along with aspirin or 2 mg dilaudid (since I have them left over) about once a week. I feel like my very bad days are less frequent but I am never pain free. I am making some progress , though sitting remains difficult.

Just wondering... If I had a screw impinging on a nerve or something, I would be in severe pain all the time, right? Still hoping that this pain is normal. But I guess if when I go back for my one year appointment if I'm still the same I would get a more thorough test, like a ct scan?

jackieg412
09-02-2014, 12:05 PM
Hi. I understand that you have nerve pain on your side. Mine started when they added to the thoracic fusion. It was uncomfortable but not intense. I was on meds like gabapentin for years. Sometimes more or less it just varied. I just had part of my hardware out last Wednesday. I think it is better but not gone. I have reduced the nerve meds by one a day. The real test is when I am back on regular tasks. I had a lot of metal in one place and that was taken out on the left side but left in on the right. I did a lot of talking with the doctor and he did a ct scan before. He did say that it was hard to tell. I see him on Thursday and will ask more questions then. I waited over 3 years but yours is newer. I think the doctors want at least 2 years. I will let you know what he says on Thursday.

springchicken
09-02-2014, 01:53 PM
Hi Jackie,
Thanks for your reply-it's exactly the kind of info I was looking for. I read back over your earlier posts again...so you had this pain for three years since your surgery? Did you have earlier ct scans done with inconclusive results? I really hope your revision surgery gives you pain relief! It sounds promising if you are feeling a little better already.

I'm guessing I won't know for a long while if this is normal recovery pain or something else...

jackieg412
09-04-2014, 03:58 PM
Hi Spring, I saw the Dr today. We went over what was removed. The incision is about 14 inches long and that surprised me but I was told the vertebrae in the thoracic are spaced further apart. Well so far both of us are pleased with the outcome. The nerve pain is not gone but has moved further to the side. He said that was a good sign and it could take some time to heal completely. I was able to maintain activity on one less nerve pill a day. After more than 3 years on the meds I was told that was a good she sign.I hope it is going in right direction. I will keep you posted.

springchicken
09-05-2014, 07:29 AM
That does sound like a good sign, Jackie! I hope you will continue to feel better and better as time goes on! Definitely keep us posted.

springchicken
10-01-2014, 04:25 PM
Well it looks like I'll be getting an epidural (hopefully not too long from now) as a diagnostic and pain reliever. I'm relieved to finally be taken seriously about my pain and frustrated this process couldn't have been started months ago, but oh well.

I feel like my surgeon's PA wasn't really "hearing" me before when I tried to explain how localized my pain was. Now she is concerned so I'm happy that I finally insisted on describing in detail what was happening. Lesson learned on my part.

Chihuahua Mama
10-02-2014, 12:30 PM
Springchicken, I take Lyrica for nerve pain. Originally as my body was healing after surgery those nerves became alive after "sleeping" post surgery and it's helped my pain overall, so I'm still on it.

For some reason that is beyond me, they have classified it as a controlled substance. There are side effects - some experience memory loss, sedation (I take it at night) and some others that you should discuss with your doctor; but I've been on it for about 5 years. I'm at a high dose that I'm not liking so am going to tell dr. to lower the dose.

Originally, I was on mscontin and dilaudid alternately, and after some time, the narcotics created their own pain. It's a well known syndrome which is why I was always amping up. After a difficult withdrawal, I found I had almost no pain and what I did have Lyrica and rest and naproxen worked very well for me.

Research Lyrica - it's an alternative to gabapentin which never did one thing for me, but everyone is different. Just another point of view for you to consider. Best of luck!!

springchicken
10-10-2014, 11:46 AM
Thanks Chihuahua mama for your feedback! My doctor put me on gabapentin for now and prescribed a cream. Ill be anxious to see if it helps. Only added a second dose of gabapentin today so its too early to tell.

springchicken
10-14-2014, 09:58 AM
Going for MRI today...feeling anxious to get it over with and hopeful to be on a path to pain relief. Feel low lately and would like my old life back. I'd take the pain I was in before surgery over nerve pain but what can you do. Thinking of everyone reading this who is also struggling with pain and complications and sending healing thoughts your way...

tae_tap
10-14-2014, 10:38 AM
Good luck! Hope they can determine what the problem is.

Tamena

springchicken
10-15-2014, 04:10 PM
Thanks, Tamena! The radiologist report, which I've already seen, indicates a mild bulging disc at L5-S1. The pain doctor still needs to see the actual MRIs. Maybe the new alignment of the spine is causing the disc to compress a nerve or something. I have no idea but I'm hopeful an injection will help. Will wait to hear from him...

I'm going to post a journal article summary about bmp on another thread. I'm glad they found the source of your pain but so sorry that it will mean another procedure for you! I hope they can get you in quickly...

springchicken
10-24-2014, 05:55 AM
I'm getting a facet joint injection Nov 4-finally! The doctor is pretty confident it will help but I'm trying to manage my expectations... A little scared about it, but mostly hopeful. I avoided them before surgery but I think this is a different situation.