IF you have a pool or lake available, I have a helpful comment. Have him "hang" in deep water, using an innertube, noodle etc. It will help, but might take a couple of weeks. Also, it will "tell" if he has ruptured it again. Was pain any better after surgery, but worsened later? My last surgery was HARD to come by, as scar tissue blocked view of herniation on an MRI. Have him request a MYELOGRAM, if he hasn't yet had one!
Welcome to the Pain Mangement Forum. I am sorry to hear about your husbands increased pain. Unfortunately sometimes spinal surgery is not as successful as planned. The structure is very intricate and repairs can be difficult. Nerves can be damaged or become severely inflamed even in the best of circumstances and even by the best of surgeons. Unfortunately it is not all that uncommon. I agree with his decision to not have a spinal cord stimulator, though others have found releif with the device.
I think an electromyogram (EMG) is a good choice at this time. It is a good diagnostic exam. It measures the electrical impulses of muscles at rest and during contraction and can confirm or deny nerve damage.
I understand his discouragement. Dealing with chronic pain (CP) can can be depressing, cause anxiety, sleepless nights, disruption of our lives and so much more. It does not sound as if his pain is being successfully treated. There are medications available that can help ease the horrid CP. Is he taking Neurontin/Gabapentin or a similar medication to treat the nerve pain? Antidepressants can enhance the pain medications and also help with CP. Long acting opiates and short acting opiates for break through pain can be prescribed. If he feels the medications are "messing with his mind" he may not be on the right medication. It does take time for the system to adjust to opiates. Sometimes what works for one person does not work well for another. He may need some trial and error to determine which meds will work best. I urge him to discuss this with his PCP or surgeon.
If his PCP or surgeon is unwilling to better treat his pain than I suggest that he request a referral to a PMP. There are Pain Mangement Physicians (PMP) and PM therapists that can help return some normalcy to his life.
He is lucky to have you, a wife that is concerned and understanding. Many CP sufferers do not have that. Continue to support and encourage him. Search for solutions with him as he does not have to feel this way. Most CP patients will never be pain free. I know I will never achieve freedom from this challenging pain. It's difficult to accept but acceptance is part of the journey through chronic pain.
Please share with us the results of his EMG. I will be interested in hearing how he is doing and how we can help. We are a supportive community and here for you and him if you need us. Please keep in touch and don't forget to take care of yourself too. I'll look forward to your next post.
has he had injections directly into the pain area, of cortisteroids? theres another injection forget what its called but its suposed to block pain receptors from direct area its injected to for several months,,or so I think.