Wanted: Orthopedic/Pain Specialist in Ohio
I suffer from multiple conditions that cause chronic pain in my lower back and neck. These include several ruptured discs, sciatica, degenerative disc disease, arthritis, canal stenosis, scoliosis, and others. My family doctor treated my pain for nearly 20 years with a combination of chiropractic treatments, physical therapy referrals, narcotics, and muscle relaxers.
In April of 2007, he changed my medication from 7.5mg of Percocet four times a day to 20mg of oxycontin three times a day. A year later, when my pain continued to worsen, he referred me to an orthopedist.
I continued to see my family doctor and the orthopedist each month through November of 2008. The plan was for the prescription-writing responsibilities to be transferred to my family doctor once the orthopedist found the proper mix of medication. Note: The orthopedic doctor spent only about 5 minutes with me on two separate visits. All other appointments were with his LPN. When I refer to "the orthopedist," I am referring to his LPN.
The orthopedist, my family doctor, and I agreed on a treatment plan. My pain would be treated with medication until my insurance company approved skin reduction surgery and a panniculectomy (I am a gastric bypass patient). If I still experienced the same level of pain after the skin reduction and panniculectomy, or if the insurance company denied the appeal, I would undergo spinal cortisone injections.
Due to my body size, previous injections had failed. I have had nine injections in the past, and none of the doctors were able to inject in the correct location. However, all of these were "blind" injections without the use of an x-ray during the injections.
During my regular monthly appointments with my family doctor, we discussed my progress with the orthopedist. I told my family doctor that the medication he had been prescribing was more effective than the medication the orthopedist was prescribing. During the first few months I was under the orthopedist's care, while she experimented with different medication mixes, I was completely incapacitated much of the time. My family doctor continued to prescribe oxycontin as a supplement to the medication prescribed by the orthopedist.
By July of 2007, I was still experiencing pain, but to a much lesser degree. The orthopedist said that her goal was to achieve 65 percent pain relief, and this was the best she could do. When I informed my family doctor, he continued to prescribe oxycontin, but at a lower dose. However, I stopped filling his prescriptions in July.
In November, I was scheduled to have a rectal surgery to remove hemorrhoids, fissures, and fistulas. When I informed the orthopedist, she said that because of my body's tolerance to narcotics and my body size, the surgery would cause so much pain it would be unbearable. I asked her if she could prescribe some additional medication so that I could function after the rectal surgery, but she refused.