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Pain Management Question

Started by Clwalker64 on 01/14/2018 9:29pm

I have been going to the same pain management clinic for the last 8 years for chronic neck issues. My initial issue involved bulging/impingement at C4-6. My pain was managed adequately until October of 2013 when I had an ACDF at C4-6. This resolved my pain for awhile but then I started having pain again. A repeat MRI was done and I was told some bone spurs had developed so I resumed treatment in the same areas. Over the last few years, I have had 2 rhizotomies and several injections from C4-7 with minimal improvement. By late 2016, my pain remained unresolved so I decided to return to my surgeon. He did some additional testing and determined I now had issues at C2-3. His recommendation was periodic facet joint injections in that area. When I told him about the other treatment I had received he told me that if anyone recommended treatment at any other levels besides C2-3, they “only wanted my money”. I returned to my pain management clinic and began having facet injections at C2-3 every 3 to 4 months with good success. Then things changed...

Since I have been going to this clinic, they have prescribed me 3 10/325 Norco per day. About 2 years ago, that was raised from 3 to 4 without me even asking for the increase. I have never failed a drug test and never requested an early refill...ever.

My most recent C2-3 facet injection was in July of 2017. Shortly after that, I tore a tendon in my right shoulder. I went to the clinic for an injection in the shoulder in August which was unsuccessful. An MRI in September confirmed a full thickness tear and I was advised to see an orthopedist. I had tendon repair surgery in October. The pain was intense and caused me to put my neck treatment on hold. However, because I have a pain contract with my clinic, I returned to them in December for a med refill. That visit is the reason for my post...

I saw a doctor who was relatively new at the clinic. He was very abusive and told me that he wanted to provide me with some long term relief to my neck pain by doing a rhizotomy at C3-7. I told him that 1) my current issues were primarily in my right shoulder and 2) I don’t have issues at C3-7. At that point, he told me that I was a “slave to Norco” and that if I did not agree to the recommended treatment they would not be able to provide med refills. I told him I would think it over. Interestingly, they scheduled another refill appointment in 30 days and sent me on my way..

I have a real problem with this treatment for a number of reasons. I don’t believe anyone should ever be spoken to that way, particularly when it was my treatment at your clinic that turned me into “slave to Norco”. The recommended treatment is inappropriate and the attitude is unacceptable. I do plan to keep my next appointment because I plan to let this doctor know exactly what I think of him before permanently ending my association with the clinic. I am considering reporting the doctor and/or the clinic to the medical board or possibly seeing an attorney so others do not experience similar treatment.

Any opinions are welcome..

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2 Responses


Hi, Clwalker64--thank you for sharing your story with us. We are so sorry to hear about how you were treated. All patients deserve respect, and you always have a voice in your care.

We would like to share some resources we think you will be interested in as you search for a new health care provider.

First, we'd like to share this article with you, as you may relate to some of the "red flags" noted:( Signs It’s Time to Find a New Spine Specialist )

Secondly, this resource might be helpful as you work with a new pain management team:
( Questions You Should Ask About Pain and Pain Treatment )

Lastly, we'd like to share our doctor finder tool with you. It includes reputable spine specialists near you: https://www.spineuniverse.com/locate/spe...

We wish you the very best as you seek out a new pain management team!


Slave to a few Norcos a day?! That IS abusive. Do you know how much those docs make off of ONE injection?? Look it up. Seriously. Sounds like HE may be a slave to the all mighty dollar despite any benefits to his patients.