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Chronic pain

Big decision this week

3 replies

MrsAvocet · 22/11/2021 20:43

I've got an outpatient appointment this week when I need to decide whether to have fairly major surgery or not. I've got a combination of pretty severe arthritis and neuropathic pain, some of which is a result of previous failed surgery so it's not an easy decision. I know the operation won't help the neuropathic element but the arthritic pain can potentially be vastly improved. On one hand I'm at the end of my tether with the pain, but on the other my last surgery was such a disaster I am not keen on having more and I'm really worried about the neuropathic pain getting worse. There's also a long recovery period in which things are likely to get worse before they get better which doesnt't appeal. But nor does staying as I am for the rest of my life!
Not sure why I'm posting really, I know nobody can make the decision for me, but I don't think people without chronic pain can understand the dilemma. Everyone in my real life is very blasé and doesn't really "get" why I'm worried. Guess I just want some sympathy really!

OP posts:

Akire · 22/11/2021 22:20

I get it. We spent most of time worrying if we are feeling worse because have done XYZ or not done XYZ it’s not easy decision to make. We are the ones feel like it’s our fault if things goes wrong and the Condition is worse and there will not be much sympathy when if it does.
Can no one saying what are odds of nerve pain getting worse are? Would arthritis op give you more movement at least so might be in same or more pain but you be less limited daily life?


fairycakesandtea7 · 23/11/2021 08:11

Hi! I am the same as you, I have arthritis and neuropathic pain and had to decide whether to have surgery for my arthritis or not. It was major surgery and like you I was tired of having surgery and worried about my nerve pain getting worse.
In my experience, my operation has helped with my arthritis pain in that area (I still have arthritis elsewhere unfortunately). It has not made my nerve pain worse which is also good.
Are you under different specialities/consultants for both the arthritis and nerve pain?


MrsAvocet · 23/11/2021 12:13

Thanks for replying both. It's good to hear your experience fairycakes
Unfortunately I've had quite conflicting opinions on the risks v benefits of the surgery from 2 different consultants. One was very cautious and suggested I would be better off just accepting the current situation and the second more or less told me I was an idiot for worrying and I should get the surgery done asap. This week's appointment is a third opinion. Hoping I will get a more balanced view. I've had a strong recommendation from a friend who has relevant professional experience so am travelling somewhere quite a way from home to see this surgeon.
It's all further complicated by the fact that there's a legal case grumbling on in the background which adds stress.
If it works, I should be more mobile, for longer, which obviously would be good, but I suffer a lot from the nerve pain at night and have been through all the usual treatments for that with no success so I know that there's no real treatment options left if that gets worse. The length of recovery is off putting too. I've been through so much in the last few years. I just don't know if i have the energy for another long period of non weight bearing etc. But on the other hand I am sick of the limitations that I am currently living with. I do force myself to keep as active as posssible but particularly over the winter, everything is a struggle.
Ultimately it may just come down to a gut feeling I suppose - whether I feel I can trust the new Consultant or not. I've got kind of sceptical over the years!

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