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10 Replies
toots2889 - August 25

Hi all! Well as some of you already know, Ive really been having a hard time of it. My back has been really bad with severe pain. I had my doc order me up some more physical therapy, which has helped alittle. I also went to see a orthopedic surgeon and he ordered the MRI. Ive had problems with back most of my life with a herinated disc at c4&5 and L5, but no nerve impingement. Well the nerves in my low back at L5 are now being pinched off. Now i need to decide what i want to do. They said i could have surgery, or try an epidural steroid injection there and see if that works. Ive had over a dozen steroid injections already in my back, to the point i became immune. Just had one in my shoulder that lasted about a month and thats it. Dont really want surgery either, as im afraid i'll be in worse shape than i am now! Looking for your opinions to help me decide what to do. Thanks in advance for any feed back you can give me.


Stacey373 - August 25

Hi Toots! Wow! That's a hard one!

From what I understand and was told by several people on this forum when I first started getting on that steroids are one of the worse things you can put in your body with fibromyalgia. I'm not exactly sure why or what it does to you, but it's definitely NOT good for us. So I hope you re-think the injections and whether or not they are worth it.

As for getting the surgery....I guess that depends on how much pain you are willing to live with. I assume at some point the pain will get SO BAD that you will do anything to get rid of it...even if that means having the surgery.

My Mom had a lot of back problems and she put off the surgery for years. It finally got to the point she couldn't take it anymore and she had the surgery done. If it helps....she does feel ALOT better. it did take her a long time to get better and back to doing normal things...but in the end she said she wished she had done it years before instead of putting it off.

I don't know if any of this helps you...Good Luck and Take Care, Stacey :o)


Fantod - August 25

toots2889 - Has anyone mentioned radio frequency rhiztomy to you? I would certainly investigate that option before having surgery. Basically it burns the impinged nerves and cuts off the pain signal. A lot less invasive than the alternative. Since the injections are not working that would be next option in my opinion.

Also, get a second and maybe third opinion before you decide on anything. Take care.


Fantod - August 25

toots2889 - You will also have to factor in the possible complications the surgery may have on the FMS. I had foot surgery last fall and that was a huge concern for me. I cam through it fine until I went off of the pain meds (Darvocet). Then the FMS really kicked in and I was in a fetal position for a day. I was in so much pain, I could not reason how to stop or alleviate some of the discomfort. If you do the surgery route, make sure your chart says FMS all over it. Make sure that your arms are not extended away from your body or you are in some unnatural position for any length of time. Also, you will require pain meds for a longer period of time and have to step down from them gradually. The latter was my mistake. I went cold turkey and the payback was unbelievable. Food for thought. F


toots2889 - August 25

Thanks for the posts Fantod & Stacey. Your fears are the same fears i have. Im afraid if i do the surgery-im gonna be in worse shape than i am now. Then, theirs the epidural steroid concerns like Stacy said. Having them going in there with a needle by my nerves, scares me to death. Its like a spinal tap, from what ive read on it. Im really thinking that im better off putting it off as long as i can, and go with pain meds for now like ive been doing. Then if it starts getting to bad then consider the surgery. Fantod-the procedure your talking about Ive already researched before and John Hopkins doesnt agree with this procedure so my doc wasnt all that for it.

I have a dr. appt. with my family dr. who i trust fully. I will see what he thinks about it and go from there. I also requested a copy of the MRI results so i can get another opinion.


axxie - August 26

Hey there Toots2889

Gees, sounds like you have decision to make, if you happened to have exhausted everything else and the only thing is an operation, then I would go with it, in good conscious. But, prior to giving the go ahead, ask for a referal to a ortho surgeon, just to cover your basis. There's nothing wrong with going for a second or third opinion.

I have had some friends who went and got operated and came out of ahead of the game, and for them also it was not an easy fit. Then went through alot of emotional what ifs but at the end, they both had a good raport with the ortho surgeon and it worked out well for both of them. Actually, they are in a better place for it, as their pain has been really low, relative to what it was prior to the operation.

If you have confidence with the ortho surgeon and that you have exhausted your option limits, then decision has already been taken, the next thing is booking and going ahead with the operation.

You have exhausted all other medical options, then I think it's an easy thing to commit, the way I see it, is, you either come out with pain relief or you come out with the same pain.

If you just happened to be afraid of surgery, think about everyone else who go for operations, they too had the fear, but overcame it.

I have had over 8 operations and I still get ijibiji, but I came out fine everytime. Everyday millions of people get operated and you only hear about the 1 in 12 million surgery that went wrong. Why not applaude the team of doctors who keep you alive while under and applaude the surgeon for tweaking your body to function better.

I say, after all this, go for it.


toots2889 - August 30

I have decided to go with the Epidural Steroid Injection. My dr. and I discussed it and think this is the best option for me. I will think about doing surgery when im so bad that i cant take it anymore. I go for the shot tom. and im nervouse but i know it will be fine. I have noticed something weired though that i wanted to run past you guys to see what you thought. The dr. has me on an anti-inflammatory Naproxen for my back. Since taking this daily the swelling in hands and feet have gone down, and my ears arent bothering me! What would be the reason for this?


Stacey373 - August 30

Hi Toots! Naproxen is specifically for I'm guessing that would be why the swelling in your hands and feet are going down. As for it helping your ears...I have no idea...unless that is also some sort of swelling problem. If I'm not mistaken, I believe Naproxen is the generic name for Aleve, so it's also a mild pain reliever.

I'm glad that you came to a decision with your back. I don't blame you for waiting to do can all be pretty scary. I hope your procedure goes well tomorrow...I'll be thinking of you. let us know how you are doing...Take Care, Stacey :o)


Marilyn - September 3

I sure wish I could get an MRI. My pcp diagnosed me with FM a few years ago, and he's convinced it is what I have. It wasn't until I joined this site that I accepted that diagnosis.

But I still want an MRI in case it's something else, and he simply will not do it. Doesn't want to expose me to being "nuked" he said. But I can't help wondering if it isn't the insurance company setting the limits.

I figure if it IS something else then I'm being deprived of the proper care.


axxie - September 4

I just can't figure out these doctors, putting you on naproxen or Aleve, it's a mild form of pain management, at best, takes care of the inflammation. You would think that the good doctor would give something that was more durable such as 24 hour medicine with some deretative of opiods that would make better sense to me. Ask him to give you Raliva comes in strenght of 100 to 300. Sure you can get hook on those, but if you respect the medication, have a good head on your shoulder I'm sure you won't become an addict.

The steriods are a happy medium to some, but no all can say that it works. In good days, it works just fine, but wait till winter comes around, and see how far you are going to get with a steriod shot. They don't respond very well to cold weather. I had many of them for many years, and found that in the spring to fall the sterioids work well, come winter, all hell breaks loose with your body. Continue to take your aleve at least it takes away the inflammation.

As for the operation, I guess it really depends on how you feel and how much pain you can take.


toots2889 - September 4

Ok. The Epidural shot was very painful, and im still hurting some from it, but not to bad. I should know soon if its gonna work or not. Nothing is going right for me right now and its fustrating me. My pool therapist that ive been working with and who totally understands me, is leaving. As if thats not bad enough, my pool options are also changing. I can only get in 2 times in the next month and they changed the times that are available. Now its 5pm-7pm on Thursdays or Friday mornings 7am-10am. Who wants to go in the pool at these hours! I have kids to get off to school and sports after school. What to do? Whine.....



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