45 year old having problems with scoliosis, back pain after standing for few minutes and being afraid of medication addiction.

I have scoliosis . I have Harrington rods since 1984. I have a double curve that is fused on the top , or the thoracic area only. My lumbar curve has no rod or fusion. My ortho surgeon said he did it that way to allow more flexibility . He said if he corrected the top , the bottom would straighten out automatically . My curves were both fifty five degrees or so when I had the surgery. After the surgery my curves were around the twenty degree range. I am a retired hairstylist on disability due to severe back pain and sciatica in my left leg , sometimes my right has been hurting also. I know my pain derives from the work I did for too many years, I have also had two corpectomy surgeries on my Cspine .I have had a microdiskectomy on my lumbar spine and some bone spurs trimmed down . Had a large one on L5 . My problem is my lumbar area is in agony after standing for five min or less. When I am resting I have the nerve pain in my left leg so bad I want to cry. It\'s twenty four seven . I take pain meds , I was on hydrocodone for seven years. I weaned off those after I read about the dangers of Tylenol. Also the addiction , physical part was hard on me . I was off everything except Cymbalta for about one and a half years, but this dec I went to a pain doc and he prescribed oxycodone . This is like a miracle to have no pain in my leg , but i don\'t want to get addicted to them . Also , the pain comes back tenfold when the drugs wear off. It\'s driving me crazy living in this pain. It\'s been building since 1997 , and at times I contemplate suicide just to get away from it. I miss my career so much , it was my life and my identity , I am very depressed at this point in my life . I am only forty five yrs old, I have to find a way to live in this crooked old body.
  • Posted By:
  • 'Tracey Rhodes' on
  • 06/17/2014
  • 2451
  • 1 Answer

Answered By:

  • Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI, DA
  • Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI, DA

Your pain is caused by scoliosis and post surgical scar tissue pinching the spinal nerve. Your pain is also caused by muscle spasm on both side of vertebral column. Most of back pain is caused by facet joint Arthropathy, which is caused by scoliosis, surgery and vertebral column mal-alignment. You are in severe pain, which would respond to opioids. Opioids also causes dependence and addiction. You may not be having addiction personality but long term opioid therapy will cause tolerance and resistance to opioid therapy. Eventually your pain relief will be dependent on opioid dosage. You will be consuming lots of opioid pills, even though you are not a opioid addict, but your behavior will be judged as opioid addict by professional and relatives.


You should consider cortisone injection for radicular pain and facet joint nerve ablation for facet joint pain. You could get up to 50% or more pain relief.  Remaining pain can be treated with non-opioid medication or regular massage therapy. There are other choices like intrathecal pain medications delivered by pump and spinal cord stimulator.

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