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Pain Management & Medication

Started by bmw1586 on 04/28/2010 11:50am

So question for the community... I am currently scheduled to have a spinal cord stimulator implant done on May 13th. In the interim, I have been seeing a very good pain Mgmt Doc. I have a personal aversion to using Morphine or Oxycodone just due to the stigma attached. However, I also understand the significant impact of high dose of Opiad medications that include acetamenaphen due to liver damage from the Tylenol. My Dr. & I have decided to approach my pain Mgmt by utilizing pure (specialty compounded) Hydrocone. Currently I am taking 20 mgs every 4 hours, but this is barely masking my pain. Curious if anyone might have been perscribed an RX at 30mg of Hydrocodone. I have heard there is a Vicoden 30 that was recently produced, but question is that is 30mg too high of a dose for Hydrocodone & if I should discuss switching to a different (less expensive since compounding might not be required) type of pain med like hyrdromorphone. Ulitimately, I am hoping that after the stimulator implant is put in, that I will be able to reduce my overall dependency on Narcatic Pain Meds, but for now, would like to hear what others have been taking/perscribed by their pain docs for the purpose of chronic pain mgmt. Without my meds, my pain stay at a constant 9-10. With it at 30mg, my pain is about a 3 - 4. Thanks for any advice. Regards

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i truely apologize for my post response...it was way out of line and completely unnecessary....i understand if u choose not to except my apology.. it was a knee-jerk reaction but that is no excuse...there are many ways i could have expressed my offense to the 'addiction' comments other than bashing...the other comments.... rather un-called for 'pop shots' i should say....i have no good explanation....those individuals did not deserve to be subjected to that, especially when following a thread for bmw out of concern and empathy....i'm sorry...i will never do that again...
my response to bmw on his comments of many people in this forum not having expert medical knowledge.....i am not in the medical field nor try to display my "intelligence" ....my info.... for example on the annular tears and addiction-dependency stuff was copied and pasted---i even listed the website so others if interested could research more on their own....that is part of my point...there is a world of info at our finger-tips for patients to research their issuses....and the patient forums are a great place to inquire what others have been through, what others suggest in a kinda been there done that perspective...people who have first-hand experince....an insight that dr's simply can not relate to personally unless they too had pain...i realize it is also a great place to learn and where people can share and recieve info from websites that u may have not otherwise known about...most of all it is a good place to vent to others who understand and do not get judged....however, it was my my opinion, that it's not helpful when someone cross-examins how much and what kinds of meds one chooses to take...to me, that was being judgemental...and to me, i felt it is being judge mental when someone says be careful that med is addictive...as if...all other kinds are not...seems that those comments could be taken as one judging u ----i guess on the basis that some meds more than others are more appealing on the 'streets'....hinting around in a nice way that u may be taking it for the wrong reasons...i don't know...maybe i took it the wrong way!!!!... i too have learned a lot from some forums....mostly i have learned and what has been suggested the most is that patients MUST educate themselves in order to recieve the best care ..so u do not need to have formal training to obtain medical info......the world of chronic non-cancer pain, as the dr's refer to, is slowly starting to fight back and swing the pendulum towards these patients who have had to be under-treated b/c of 'the war on prescription drugs' to be treated more adequately with evidence-based diagnosis....there are many medical websites for the con't education of dr's explaining the difference btw addiction and physical dependency...it is their effort to educate present dr's and medical students of the distinct difference and how to recognize the difference...they want the field of pain medicine to completely seperate the two terms...therefore, it was my knee-jerk frustrated reaction feeling that i don't want this movement to be slowed any further ---w/ comments on chronic pain forums using the term addiction and/or people constantly warning others about addiction to medicences that are made to treat pain---not made for junkies looking for their next high and during their efforts scare dr's and patients away from meds that are designed for us....BUT...like you asked i will not comment on your thread....AND I HOPE EVERYONE CONTINUES TO SUPPORT YOU HERE!
I HOPE U AND EVERYONE HERE GET the relief and treatment they need in order to have a better quality of life...and let's not let the med-seekers take over our meds that help us in providing some comfot while we try to treat our underlying causes...they should not dictate how dr's treat the ones who benefit medically!

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Hello Monk - And a special hello to all who have followed my post & progress. For a start, my surgery last Thursday went as well as could be expected. Very painful, as I have a significant sensitivty to pain. I do not have any updates at this time, as I have not had my unit programmed yet. Hoping for this Friday. Need to let the surgical pain subside first so that I can focus on where the coverage from the SCS is being applied to get the most benefit. Hope to be able to post again this weekend with results ( hopefully positive). All I can say is that given the amount of pain from the implant, I am afraid as is my surgeon that will never be able to endure a fusion. That said, hope the scs works. Keep your fingers crossed... I will keep you posted.

Monk - I know your intent is just to provide some relevent medical knowledge to the group that some &/or most of us do not have formal training in. Appreiciate that. However, this site & these threads are a way for those of us without a medical background can voice our pian & frustrations. When I see a response that I know is not valid or incorrect, I certainly do not make an effort to point out lack of formal education or understanding. Not everyone here has had the benefit of formal higher education in the medical field. I know I have not. I do have two BBA's from the University of North Texas, and do specialize in the area of Compensation & benefits for one of the largest CPG companies in the world. Thus, I do understand things like formularies, HIPPA, PHI, Conservative treatment protocals, etc., but would never bash ANYONE's post because they may be a bit misguided. The medical field is full of Dr's that are unwilling to truly listen to patient concerns, and quite frequently dismiss a lot of what we ask as "IDIOTIC QUESTIONS". Hence our friends frustrations which are rightfully so. That said, if you choose to "bash" some of the comments or concerns posted on this site, please I ask, do not do so on one of my threads. I am not hear for you to have an open forum to display your "intelligence" about medical facts, which is your right, please start your own thread.

My apologies to the group for this previous post as I feel it was one that may have factual information, but was delivered in such a noncompassionate way that I truly hope you continue to follow through with me on my SCS implant. Hope to share some good news with you soon. My heart goes out to you all.

Sincerely,

Brandon

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Brandon:

I agree with your comments on the previous post. Most of us do not have a medical background and are very simply using this forum to either vent, comment, or ask questions. We don't need to be judged!! I myself consider this site invaluable and feel I can relate to so much that is posted.

I hope when you get your SCS programmed it gives you some relief. Let us know how you're doing.

Pam

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ps...if anyone new to this thread is curious to what post we r talking about....i used the edit button to delete it and replaced it with the one u see above...it was a mean response and i didn't want to leave it on this thread or any thread for that matter....

and again ...sorry about that...really and truly....
i am also very young i feel for the many problems going on with my back...i'm 37 and stay at home mom with boy/girl 2 yr old twins....i love it...BUT my severe DDD, osteoarthritis, annular fissure tears, stenosis, with now pain moving up my mid, upper back, neck, hand and foot pain, with an upcoming appt with rhematologists to check for possible RA of spine or that ankolying spondyilists-thingamiggie and starting my diagnostic injections of medial nerve for rhizotomy tommorow...trying to put off the suggested double-fusion by neurosurgeon------ALL OF THAT stuff is really wearing me down physically and emotionally....AND JUDGING FROM MY INCENSITIVE POST I EDITED ...LOOKS LIKE THIS RELENTLESS PAIN IS BRINGING OUT THE WORST IN ME!!

sorry for taking it out here!

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Monk - Thank you for the clarification & apology to the group that is following this thread. Your refined explanation is an insight to all of us that you are in similar condition, and thus provides us the ability to afford you the same empathy & support that we have tried to give to each other. To Pam's point, this is the ONE avenue that I am aware of that I feel as though I can reach out to a community of sufffers like myself to look for guidedance, support, suggestions, or just a place to vent frustration. Lord knows I have a lot of that. I am a newlywed (less than a year), and thank god ever night that my wife is still by my side in the"fight" to help me get through this debilitating disease that has put so much pressure on our lives that I am surprised hat she has the courage to continue to be by my side. I rarely share the true nature of the feelings I am dealing with, as I am afraidthat it would be too much for her to bare.Thus, forums like this give each and all of us an opportunity to ask the questions that we cannot get answers too, or just vent some frustration with repect to our conditions & what we have to do just to make it another day. Like an alcoholic, I believe in taking it 1 day at a time. But somedays I just want to scream & cry, and ask, "why me"??? That said, I hope that you continue to participate in conversations on this community, and would look forward to following some of you own posts. This group is such an eclectic assembly of people from all walks of life. From the young, like the 23 year old I am following, to the Dr's that chime in from time to time, to the older that have been dealing with these issues longer than I have been alive. That is a WEALTH of knowledge at our fingertips to tap. So, Please do not feel "shunned" due to a knee-jerk response. I only ask that you think & hope that whatever you post & or respond to on these threads is beneficial is some way that might help someone in a time of need and uncertainty, and not let your emotions get the better of you to the point that you potentially offend. Good luck to you. I hope to hear from you again.

Sincerest Regards,

Brandon

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jorenee11

I use the lidoderm patch and they help for localized pain. When I had the sharp nerve pain down my leg they didn't really help for that. I do have a SCS and unfortunately for me it hasn't been effective. The tiral went pretty good but the surgery for the permanent took so long that it tweaked my nerves and everything felt the same and so the Dr just gave up and put it in. Goodle is our best friend, thats how I came across this site. It can help you find a spine clinic close to you, then ask around on sites like this for info on the location or doctor. Best of blessings to you.

bmw...surgery is over, hope it all went good and you were able to articulate to the dr. the location of the leads that help you the most. I ended up being given the ability to program mine since I had so much trouble. I assume you used Medtronic. How are you? Looking forward to a great story coming our way?

Blessings
Kindness

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g4iverson
We can all relate at some point in our journey with back issues of being treated like we were junkies trying to get a fix on pain drugs. It doesn't feel good I know. All I can say is be clear with yourself about it and keep communicating what you need. Though sometimes it takes 'a minute' you will find a doctor that 'listens' and will respond accordingly. Way back before my first surgery (which by the way...don't do enless you absolutely have to) It took awhile for them to get that it was a failed surgery and the pain not only didn't go away....it got worse. Just hang in there.

blessings
kindness

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To Monk81 - With respect toyour other post, the explanation on the pain fibers growing dueto the annular tears is spot on, and very useful. I did not even know this util I saw a neuro the Monday before my surgery. This is exactly the issue I have. And as the porting you provided so accuratelyput it, I have been told there is basically nothing they can do for me. I will follow up on the website you provided.

To the rest, I am still having quite a bit of surgical pain from the laminectomy done for the permanent SCS implant. However, I feel that it has dissipated enough that I have scheduled to have the device programmed this Friday. Hope you get back to all of you sometime this weekend. Take care, and god bless!!!

Brandon

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to bmw on annular tears---also fyi---i was told by neuro as well that the tears are very painful and very, very hard to treat---they do not no exactly what happens--but---dr told me yesterday that the chemical released from tears eventually dissipate (average 6 months) provided additional tears have not occured and/or present tear(s) worsen---soooo complicated and confusing especially as u read u will find many different types and grades of tears---but i know more now than i did before---but knowing more hasn't made pain any less....lol...well lol because after all the tears...whats left?? i'm no expert..but judging from my worsening of pain---don't think it has dissipated----and b/c i manage two 2 yr old toddlers---no time for body to recover----i guess---i don't know---i'm getting burnt out on trying to educate myself---maybe i should take a break and catch up on my reality tv shows while the kids nap---instead of researching....sigh...
good uck with implant
oh and one thing very interesting i learned via phone consult with the dr of the website i gave u---the procedure out there to help annulat tears---called IDET----he says VERY bad and many lawsuits brought up w/ dr's b/c of it---wow---my surgeon mentioned that to me a while ago----how would i ever had known this----oh well...

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I feel badly for everyone here for the type of thongs that they have deal with, and have to go thru. I know what it's like...Come this August 2010, it will be 22 years now that I've had live with and deal with so many of the same "issues" ...

I first injured my back, way back in Aug. 1988. I was 17 at the time, 3 weeks before my 18th. birthday. I used to do Tree Removal at the time. It only took lifting on a heavy object to crush the L4-L5 Disc, and cause slight bulging of the neighboring L3-L4 and L5-S1 discs above and below that area. It put me on the ground for 10-15 minutes when it happened, before I felt I could stand up again. I stayed home in bed 90% of the time for a week straight. I was told by many that it would probably go away after a little rest and time. By the time my week resting was over, I had felt better again...at the time. Tried going back to the same work, but it was less than an hour before the severe pain came back and built up every time I used my back for...anything. I kept trying for 3 more weeks, but I could barely walk by the end of each day. I tried changing to a light-duty job (In a department store), but even that was no help. I was only able to suffer it 2 years, since the pain steadily got worse over that time. I finally had to leave after that because I couldn't keep to a work schedule anymore. I have not been able to go back to anything since, and probably never will be able to, unless some miracle is discovered for this that actually works.

The real fun began when I started trying to see a Doc. about it. The first 2 I tried, only took X-Rays and CAT Scan(s), from which they said they could find no problems, and then they would give up and send me on my way. Finally, I got to another Doc. (Orthopedic. surgeon) who started the same way, but at least did not want to "dismiss" anything, because the first tests showed nothing. Finally, he decided to pursue it further, and did a Bone Scan and then requested an MRI. By early 1992, after the usual "denial" from Worker's Comp., and the subsequent hearing to get the WCL Judge to order them to approve the MRI, it got done.

I had the MRI done at an Imaging center in my area, and when it was done, they gave me the "hard copies" (MRI Film on a sheet similar to an X-ray, just much more detailed). While waiting for my Appt. date to bring them to my Dr., I took a look at them. Soon as I held them up to a light to view them, I could see the problem(s) myself immediately. Everything looked normal in the non-affected areas....nice white "squares" for bones, nice white "rectangles" in between for Discs. Then at L3-L4 and L5-S1 there are rectangles with slightly dark/blackened rounded edges.....

...And at L4-L5 there was just this squashed, mangled-looking black "thing", instead of a "nice white rectangle". (You could make a replica model by simply taking a piece of black Play-Doh, shape it into a Disc...them pound on it in the driveway with a sledge-hammer a few times.....Instant replica). To Confirm the L4-L5 Disc as bad, a Discogram (Dye injected into Disc to show problem and trigger pain in the correct area(s). From the very start, when the needle started to go thru my side, I was in the worst pain I'd ever felt to that date. So much, that they actually HAD to prick a nerve directly with the needle on the way to the disc so I could feel the difference in "sensations" (They said they needed to be sure the pain I was already having was just from the needle itself, and was NOT because they were already hitting nerves) . Now THAT was the WORST PAIN EVER.

Then came the surgeries (July 1992, Aug.1993)....

1st. was the Anterior Spinal Fusion and complete removal of the L4-L5 Disc. Bone graft (scallop) from hip used for fusion. Within 3-6 months after the surgery, the fusion had collapsed, resulting in the 2nd.- Posterior Spinal Fusion with Instrumentation (2 Stainless Steel Rods, cross support, and 6 screws.2 each into L4, L5, and S1 bones). It was a nightmare each time I woke up after those surgeries, and the whole 5 days each time in the hospital. Just when you start to think you've felt the worst, something like this comes along to set that bar higher. The Patient Controlled Pain machine (PCA) was always useless no matter how much I'd hit that button, I'd have to call a nurse instead who'd come every few hours and give a shot of Demerol on top of it. It was the only time I ever could sleep the while time there, and only the couple hours until it wore off. By that time, I couldn't usually sleep in a bed, because I'd wake up in worse pain. Has never mattered mattress type or (even with leg/body pillows) . Hospital beds were the worst for me, and probably caused 1/2 of the agony spending the whole time in one...

The 2nd. Fusion DID fuse properly, due to the rods implanted for stability, and a clam-shell brace for 1 yr... BUT....Within weeks, as the agony from the surgeries finally started to wear off, the back pain would being coming back...AGAIN Within 3-6 months after the 2nd. surgery, I was not only having ALL of the old pain back again....Plus some "new and Improved" types. More sharp type pains in the back area than I had before. New, shooting/stabbing type pain thru my hip and down the right legs to the knees. As back pain would increase, so would frequency and severity of those shooting/stabbing type pains. (Think of having a red-hot knitting needle shoved thru and down the center of your leg, it might feel similar...).

By late '93, early '94 my Orthoped. Doc. could do no more, and sent me to Pain Management. Most people here already know all the different things and procedures PM Docs. do....2 different types of PT, no effect or just made things worse. Multiple attempts of the various Injection/s, Nerve Blocks, etc . Whole array of pain/muscle relaxant/anti-depression/sleep/laxative/Anti-Inflams. etc. meds. TENS unit, and so on. The whole shootin' match, so to speak. Implanted Morphine Pump and/or SCS were considered.....but due to neg. effects of previous surgeries already, the wide spread area needed to cover, Very high Natural tolerance/adaptation to most meds., and my age (Multiple surgeries would be needed thru life for battery changes, etc), it was decided by all that they should only be last resort, if my meds. no longer help at all sometime later on.

Ultimately, the ONLY thing(s) that ever had ANY noticeable effect, have been the strong meds. I'm on now since 1993/1994...Fentanyl 100 MCG/Hr. every 48 Hrs., and Roxicodone 5Mg. Tabs for breakthru pain. If I stay laid in my recliner, and take it easy all day, I sometimes get "good" days (usually same day as starting a new patch) and pain is 6-7. Often 7-8 on the 2nd day of a patch, even when taking it easy. And 8-10+ ANY time I have to do something, regardless of what activity it is, and even if just a few minutes most times. Example:.... If I just go to the market for an hour for my monthly shopping, simply walking thru the market for that time, and the bending from getting in/out of a vehicle will be enough that I can barely walk by the time I get home an hour later. And then it's a full 24 hr. day in the recliner before I begin to get back to "normal". My recliner (laid back at least a bit) is the only thing I can stay in or sleep for any length of time. I cannot lay on ANY flat surface or bed comfortably, regardless of firmness/softness, etc. Last time I could was at least 7-8 years ago, and still not often.

Finally, all that is just the "Clinical" half of the whole ordeal. It would take even longer to go thru all the personal or "Daily Life" related effects....and how virtually every aspect of it eventually gets destroyed, ruined, or becomes barely or non-existent. After so many years, I've adapted to as much as I can, or can worry about.

But I AM terrified about the possibility of reaching 65 like this now. Workers Comp. gets to drop out (No more coverage, or benefits, period), and SSD would "normally" take over automatically w/Medicare and switch to SS Retirement (though remaining costs after Medicare plus it's premium would start to hit me...something I'd never be able to afford even NOW). And I'm not even sure if I'd be able to get/do anything from SS Retirement.....It generally requires 10 years worth of working "Credits", vs. the 5 years SSD requires. I was BARELY over 5 yrs. "Credit" and able to get SSD. Unless they have special exemption for people with early-life Permanent disability....otherwise I think I'll have to hope I kick the bucket before then, or utilize a DIY metho...at least once the money runs out, then once the cred. cards get maxxed out, and finally the last of the meds get used up (That I would have had to sell and trade everything own, just to afford for just 1 month)..

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Wow - How to follow after the above. I did promise an update though when I started this thread. So, after two week post op I am going in for my first check up today. I can tellyou that the surgical pain isstill there, but begining to subside a bit. The SCS hasgiven me the ability to get around without the use of my cane for over a week now, and I am able to sleep through the night if I run it continuously. All in all I think things are progressing well. Still on the same med dose, but hopefully within the next 2 weeks or so, I plan to try and start reducing that. Due to the fact that I have been in chronic pain for quite a long timenow, I have developed a hyper sensitivity to even the smallest pain. My surgeon now believe, as he told my wife, that he does not thing I would ever be able to with stand a full ALIF procedure & recovery. So, if this (the SCS) does not get me back to some semblence of a normal quality of life, I am afraid it is pain mgmt with medication for the rest of my life until technology comes up withsoemthing better. Feel like it is still a 50/50 shot at this point. Just have to wait and see. Talk to y'all soon. Best wishes!
Brandoon

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Brandon:

I'm glad you updated us. I hope the SCS ultimately helps. It does sound as though you are doing better though since you can now walk without a cane.

We have something in common. I think somewhere you said you live in Dallas. I live in Houston! Small world, huh.

Take care of yourself.

Pam

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Brandon,

I'm tickled with joy for you and your wife! So far so good, and will get much better, right? Thank you for the updates, it sure makes us smile!

Wendi

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Thank you both Pam & Wendi. Yes, I do feel as though this IS progress. While the recharging & wires, and such can be a bit confusing & cumbersome, I do feel this is definetly a step in the right direction. I am also absolutely positive at this point that the ALIF would not have solved my problems, and likely would have put me in worse shape than I was before the implant procedure. Who knows what technology will bring us in the future. Hopefully a better set of options than we currently have. All I can say is that my wife & I were able to get out of the house together for the first time today, and I was able to drive the car in little pain the entire time. Just planning to keep hope alive, and start my core strengthening PT here in the next month or so.

And Pam, yes it is a small world. I live just north of Dallas in a suburb, Plano/Frisco. Gotta love Texas and all this heat we get. Glad the cold is finally behind us now. On the cold days, I could barely get out of bed. Like being 33 & having the arthritis of an 80 yr old. Gonna hop of the computer now & spend some time with my wonderful wife. Happy holidays to all. Stay pain free as possible, and I will surely keep you posted as my condition improves (fingers crossed)!!!!

Thanks all,

Brandon

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Hello to all, Hope no one is suffering to much today, have a couple of questions and wanted to update all on my progress, not!! Starting my 4th week on OPANA ER 15mg, and going in on the first of June for I am sure will be my third nerve block. As usual very painful for the first 2 days, migraine , insomnia, and as usual after the 7th or 8th day back to my normal numb stiff log of a leg that I drag along. I am sure this will probably be my last visit with this pain management Dr. as I keep a pain diary and give to him every 2 weeks, with the same story.
Questions for all, any one else on OPANA ER 15mg, if so do you find your self going to sleep any time you sit down for more than 5 or 10 mins. and they are suppose to last for 12 hours, find that for me it is more like 6 to 8 if i am lucky. thus taking more Norco, or Percoset 5/325.
Secondly last visit took in all my previous pain management reports from 3 years prior to my PLIF of L4/L5+L5/S1fusion done on 6/23/2009. So I read him the conclusion from ProScan Imaging, located at The Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, OH. where the NFLs Cincinnati Bengals get all there MRI;s CT scans etc done.
The conclusion of that report follows which I had him read: Patient has Trilevel degenerative disc disease as detailed above with grade 1 spodylolisthesis of L5 on S1. Nerve root clumping, kinking, and corkscrewing at the L4-5 level consistent with Arachnoiditis. Please see body of report for level-by-level description . So my question to him and any one else was and is Was the ARACHNOIDITIS healed and or removed in my surgery of last year. He was baffeled looked confused, and asked me if I had a Mylo gram prior to seeing him? Which of course I did, and the conclusion was no apparent nerve damage, so again I ask am I wrong in assuming that there is no cure for Arachnoiditis and that it is degenerative, ie will continue to get worse as I age?
Here is the answer from Spine Universe, by Dr Edgar Dawson: Copy and pasted!!
Arachnoiditis
Photo of Edgar G. Dawson, MD
Edgar G. Dawson, MD
Mary Claire Walsh
SpineUniverse Staff Writer

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Arachnoiditis is a debilitating condition characterized by severe stinging and burning pain and neurologic problems. It is caused by an inflammation of the arachnoid lining—one of the 3 linings that surround the brain and spinal cord. This inflammation causes constant irritation, scarring, and binding of nerve roots and blood vessels.

The predominant symptom of arachnoiditis is chronic and persistent pain in the lower back, lower limbs or, in severe cases, throughout the entire body. Other symptoms may include:

* Tingling, numbness, or weakness in the legs
* Bizarre sensations such as insects crawling on the skin or water trickling down the leg
* Severe shooting pain (which some liken to an electric shock sensation)
* Muscle cramps, spasms, and uncontrollable twitching
* Bladder, bowel, and/or sexual dysfunction

If the disease progresses, symptoms may become more severe or even permanent. This disorder can be very debilitating, as the pain is constant and intractable. Most people with arachnoiditis are unable to work and have significant disability.

Causes of Arachnoiditis
There are 3 main causes of arachnoiditis:

* Trauma/surgery-induced
Arachnoiditis has long been recognized as a rare complication of spinal surgery (particularly after multiple or complex surgeries) or trauma to the spine. Other similar causes include multiple lumbar punctures (especially if there is a "bloody tap" with bleeding into the spinal fluid), advanced spinal stenosis, or chronic degenerative disc disease.
* Chemically-induced
In recent years, myelograms have come under scrutiny as being a possible cause of this condition. A myelogram is a diagnostic test in which a radiographic contrast media (dye) is injected into the area surrounding the spinal cord and nerves. This dye is then visible on x-rays, CT, or MRI scans and used by physicians to diagnose spinal conditions. There is now a concern that exposure (especially repeated exposure) to some of the dyes used in myelograms may cause arachnoiditis. Similarly, there is concern that the preservatives found in epidural steroid injections may cause arachnoiditis, especially if the medication accidentally enters the cerebral spinal fluid.
* Infection-induced
Arachnoiditis can also be caused by certain infections that affect the spine such as viral and fungal meningitis or tuberculosis.

Treatment
There is no cure for arachnoiditis. Treatment options are geared toward pain relief and are similar to treatments for other chronic pain conditions. Some examples include the following:

* Pain medications such as NSAIDs, corticosteroids (orally or injected), anti-spasm drugs, anti-convulsants (to help with the burning pain), and in some cases, narcotic pain relievers. Some of these medications may be administered through an intrathecal pump which, when implanted under the skin, can administer medication directly to the spinal cord.
* Physical therapy such as hydrotherapy, massage, and hot/cold therapy.
* Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) is a treatment in which a painless electrical current is sent to specific nerves through electrode patches that are placed on the skin. The mild electrical current generates heat that serves to relieve stiffness, improve mobility, and relieve pain.
* Spinal cord stimulator is a device that transmits an electrical signal to the spinal cord for pain relief.

Surgery is not recommended for arachnoiditis because it only causes more scar tissue to develop and exposes the already irritated spinal cord to more trauma.

Living with Arachnoiditis
Unfortunately, this condition can cause serious disability. It is never easy to live with chronic pain. Not only does it adversely affect your body, it can also cause mental stress as well. Sufferers of arachnoiditis are encouraged to join support groups or find other therapeutic outlets for stress. Treatment methods should be focused on pain relief and maintaining quality of life. More research is needed about this and other chronic pain conditions so that someday a cure may be found.
Posted on: 11/30/02 | Updated on: 12/10/09

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So the reason I have this constant numbness and pain in my right leg is either I had a infection like FUNGAL MENINGITIS, OR TB. which i am pretty sure I have not had either, or there is a pretty good chance that all these Epidural steroid injections, myelograms etc that I have been getting for the last 8 years are the cause of all my problems.
Sorry for all the rambling, it is just so frustrating that I seek out treatment so that I can try to continue working, as there is no way I will be able to support myself on Disability, think I can draw approximately $1700 a month, living in Saint Louis City I will be able to pay the rent and get a bike that I won't be able to ride, I do have an older car, but no way would i be able to insure it, would probably have to steal internet service, put up a antennae so I can watch the local news 3 times a day, and get in line at the soup kitchen which there are less and less of.
I will be 55 in July and feel like 80, have been on every drug except HGH in the last 8 years, so needless to say the 10 mg hydrcodone they give me has very little effect, [tolerence] so I know what works for me. All the drugs that quoting my DR. says ""you have to have Cancer for that""those are what work well enough to keep my job and somewhat a social life, like walking to and from my car, or standing while doing dishes, maybe go see a concert!!! I know that there are people that fake this kind of injuries so they can get pills to sell on the street, but dam it, I won't even give some one I work with a aspirin, just because you don't know what they take, or if the aspirin you give them causes them to bleed out from a small cut!!
Well I guess I have vented enough; thanks to all who take the time to post on here, that old saying is very true, ""Misery Loves Company""and I do not mean any disrespect; we are all in this together in one way or the other, and it is good to have nice people that can emphasize with each other, because not all of us have a husband or wife or a significant other that we can turn to when we are desperately in need of understanding. So I again thank each and every one of you for being you and taking time out to post on this forum, no matter how bad it gets know that you are not alone, and I feel like I know some of you very well just from reading your posts! So if you ever need a friend to vent to and the forums not enough feel free to drop me a e mail any time, I know you all know what I am saying; when no matter what you do is enough and the Darkness seems to be winning, together we can fight it away, maybe not forever but long enough to breath again and know we are not alone!!
God Bless to you All!!!

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Banjo,

Big HUGS from all of us! You vent when you need to hon! We do feel your pain and frustrations. There are quite a few of us who suffer from arachnoidosis and yes it pisses us off that we have it and that pain mgmt won't acknowledged it. Hopes and prayers are with you!

Wendi

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Just curious. Did you proceed with the stimulator implant? I have fusions at C 3-4-5-6-7 with post dura leak at C 3-4 with nerve damage , and I had an implant placed in my neck year and a half ago. I can't tolerate pain medicine at all, so this was my only option. I do still have to take ultram and flexeril, but the stimulator has saved my life, for now.

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