Thank you for your concern. About 10 years ago I started having ankle and foot swelling and pain down my left leg. Since I was teaching 3 college classes every other day, on the days I would teach I would limp back to my office after a long day on my feet. On the days I did not teach I would largely stay home on my couch. After a lot of searching, and more doctors than I can count, it was discovered that I had scoliosis, spinal stenosis and also some issue with my feet from 25 years of dancing on point (toe shoes). I went to an adult spine doctor who dealt with adult scoliosis and I was told that the only thing that could be done was surgery to insert a rod in my back from just below the waist to my neck. After a lot of advice, I decided this was not a surgery I was willing to have because it might not help and in fact, might cause more pain in the long run. I also did not like the doctor as I felt he was all too anxious to cut on me.
I had my left ankle fused and a year later after it was clear it had fused properly (so they say), I had the screws removed and also some tendons repaired. But the tendons in my right lower leg are like string cheese in that they are torn vertically rather than horizontally so it is quite difficult to repair them. It is possible to remove them but I have not moved forward on that approach as yet. I have done more physical therapy than I can remember and for a while hydrocodone helped me. I have cut my hydrocodone way down and am taking something called belbuca now which is a small tab that you put in your mouth twice a day and wait for it to dissolve. It worked really well on my nerve pain at first but it is not working so well now and I am at the maximum dose. Throughout all of this I have never been offered anything stronger than hydrocodone. I guess this is good but sometimes I think there is a little too much emphasis on the abuse of meds and not enough emphasis on the good they could do. I cut my hydrocodone in half in one week and had been taking it over ten years so I don't think I am an abuser by any means. I also take Tumeric and a drug called Zipsor which is an anti-inflammatory that I don't think is going to be covered any longer unless my doctor appeals it. I also take Gabapentin for nerve pain.
The funny thing is that my pain does not disrupt my sleep and never has. I am thankful for that. Sorry you had to have that happen to you. Sleep is so important in order to manage the pain when I am awake. I know that because when I don't sleep well, the pain bothers me more the next day. I have tried injections, chiroopractic, PT, and a host of things I cannot recall. My current pain doctor is now moving into functional medicine which is not helping me much at all. I still go to them because I like him but you mostly see the PA and all the people working for him now are not really trained in pain management. I go every month or two, get my Rx/s and try to figure out on my own what I can do to manage it. I am doing some things to my house right now and once that is done, I am going to have to figure out a new plan of attack..
I am interested, if you are willing, in hearing how you managed to improve your pain situation. I don't want to pry of course and maybe you have talked about it on the chronic pain discussion page. I actually first found Mayo Clinic Connect when I visited the Chronic Pain Page. I only came to Women's Health when I had the bladder prolapse and noticed how many other people had prolapse. It was nice in a way to have something that could actually be fixed, unlike my pain situation. And also nice to be able to help a few people with their decisions regarding prolapse and other women's health issues I had dealt with.