Pain Concern
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spinal stenosis pain

I have been suffering from spinal stenosis for over 12 months, at the moment I am trying to dull the pain using pregabalin and morphine.. with the pain I suffer sometimes it is difficult to understand why I cannot get surgery, how long does it take on the NHS to get remedial surgery. Does the fact that I am 72 years old mean I will not be considered for surgery as it would be a waste of NHS funds because of my age ?????

13 Replies

It will depend on the cause of the stenosis as to whether there is a surgical solution that can be offered. Not all spine issues can be fixed with surgery so it depends what the problem is.

Also spine surgery comes with considerable risk of making things worse, so like all surgical procedures they have to weight up the potential benefits vs the risk. Whether age is one of the factors that influences this in your case I don’t know, but it must be a factor at some point if only because increased age makes surgery more risky and recovery more difficult.

I had 2 surgeries (at age 47) to relieve pressure on my spinal cord and it has been a very long and difficult recovery.



The problem with my spine is that the gap going down the spine has closed over the nerves and is causing restrictions within the nerves.. At worst I will lose lower body use in time so,,, if I can get any help with surgery, it can only help...Any relief is better than none


Have they said surgery is an option at all?

Have you seen a consultant or is the GP not referring you on?

If it’s the GP then keep on at them until they give in!


Yes surgery has been discussed, just have to wait for the neurologist to do his tests , THEN depending on the results the future of my pain will be decided.


Ah ok, well hopefully your age won’t make any difference to your eligibility for surgery. You would hope it would be a purely medical decision...

And if that surgeon says there’s nothing they can do you could always ask for a second opinion?


Your bone matter covering the nerves and discs can be addressed. To resolve my cervical issue after an accident, a laminectomy (removal of part of the lamina bone) was done, along with a discectomy (removal of the disc) and fusion was needed. Bone was removed from my hip and placed where the disc was removed and over time grew and fused solidly No residual pain after 30 years.

A friend who is in his 60s is holding off on your type of issue as he is a mountain climber who doesn't want to give up the time it takes to recover. But he said when the pain gets bad enough, he'll have the surgery done......bone to be removed like you. Best wishes with success in your care.


Hi Jim45 sorry its taken a while to get back to you. I have been on Oramorph for 12yrs and would have still been taking around 40mls a day untill i went to see a Dr Paine ( yes thats his name ) at Salford Royal Hospital 2yrs ago. he is a surgeon and consultant.

He explained to me that as my adhesions were attached to my bowels and after the operations Id had over the years to try to release them they became worse, I had 2 major ops in 2014 to try again to release them and the pain wasnt stopping so they upped my morphine dosage and put me on MST as well. Dr Paine explained to me that the nerve endings in my abdomen were causing a lot of the pain and that morphine only made things worse, so i asked him to take me off the oramorph asap but was informed that as i had been on it so long i would have to be weaned off it very slowly.

I am now nearly off it but it has been hard at times,but taking the MST twice a day has been helping, I am now with mind matters health team that are for chronic pain and fatigue and they have been great i now am dealing with my pain and being unable to sleep or relax in a different way. I am still taking my MST 60mg twice a day but i am coping a little better, and as I cannot be operated on again unless it was life threatening this is how it has to be. I'm sorry if this doesnt help you but please think about it


I had cervical stenosis six years ago And need surgery urgently to relieve the pressure on the nervous system. The surgery on my neck was successful but left me with neuropathic pain in my hands for which no medication I have tried has given me any relief. I tried morphine patches but they made my skin itch unbearably. My neck is also very fragile so I am limited physically now. Fortunately I live in France where the health service is excellent. Without surgery I would have been in a wheelchair no doubt.


I would suggest a second opinion with a neurosurgeon. They specialize in spine issues. I'm 62, have lumbar spinal stenosis and severe sciatica. Have had lumbar decompression surgery last yr and total knee replacement this Feb. Sciatica still as bad as before. :( Yesterday had my first caudal epidural nerve block. Praying it helps! Good luck to you ;)


Best of luck, hope it works for you ..


I have read about horrible situations after surgery. I would just warn you to try everything else before you do this. The pain could be much worse after surgery.

There are other meds that are stronger than what you are taking that may be a better idea before you play about with your back. Wish you well.


My friend was your age when he was recommended for surgery and he had very good results without waiting a long time. Epidurals for pain were tried first with marginal relief. But he was on Medicare in the US. I am sorry you have to wait so long. My best wishes to you that your wait is shortened. x


Hi, I have fibromyalgia, pain, exhaustion all over, hard to sit up in a chair at all on many days.

I have nerve pain in my lower back. There is 'only' a bulging disc and funny facet joints there to explain the pain besides osteoarthritis and Fibro. Non operable. Eleven years of very bad pain in back.

Gabapentin seems to do probably nothing much to help. Morphine is the only drug which seems to help, that and keeping constantly moving about to ignore the pain which of course not possible .

When I moved here four years ago the new GP lowered my Oramorph dose and won't let me increase it, 10 mg tablet am and pm, and up to four five spoons (five most) of Oramorph for 'break 'through pain.

Our bodies get used to Morphine so I need more but not allowed.

What has begun to help Me a bit are spine injections which cause the nerves to die back for a while. I had three lots of cortisone injected over a year first. It helped very little. GP tried to discourage me, did not give any spine injections good press.

Then...Radio Frequ nay Injections.

I chose to go on and have another three sets of spine injections over another year. They helped briefly, did not take away all pain, but this third one has done better, definately improvement until the nerves regenerate. These last three were injections where a radio frequency current is sent down the needle to fry the nerve a bit. RADIO FREQUENCY INJECTIONS.

I don't know about the NHS situation cos I was lucky to have private health cover which pays for some treatments.

I still hurt all over but the low back pain has improved a bit. Enough now to make it worth it. Before these I could not sit on settee and watch tv, talk, without a scalding hot water bottle at my back.

I hope you are in less pain and much good luck.


My GP did not make me aware of any of these treatments, I found them for myself on the Internet.


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