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Getting Worried Now

JoyJJoy Posts: 560
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:25 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I posted in a previous thread that I was having trouble with my knee (well, behind the knee mostly). Now the pain is radiating below and above the knee, even to my butt. I'm having to take more pain pills now than I was for a while, but even that doesn't take care of the pain. I've also got muscle spasms on the side of my back. How often can you take meds like flexeril? Right now I take 2 a day, one morning and one pm. The pills are 10 mg. Wonder what the max. is for taking this? Also, I'm taking two hydrocodone-APAP 5-500 tablets every 6 hours as needed. Not sure what the max. is on those either.

If I stay off my feet and just stay in the bed, the pain subsides. I'm 5 months post-op and don't want to stay in the bed! I've been off the leg as much as possible for the last week and it just isn't getting any better. I'll call my doc tomorrow. Hope he doesn't want an MRI because the cost for that will come out of my pocket...new insurance with a $5,000 deductible that only started in Sept.

I'm really bummed out today...I was doing so great until the last week.

Anyway, thanks for putting up with the whining! :''( :''(


  • The best thing to do is talk to your doc about it. If it is a problem related to your fusion, it needs to be looked at and what's worse ... permanent nerve damage or paying the deductible for an MRI. You can't spend all your time in bed. The doc may be able to shed some light on all this for you without an MRI too.

  • Yeah, I'm going to call him tomorrow and see what he thinks. Of course, if I have to have an MRI, then I will do it. I certainly don't want to risk the chance of permanent nerve damage.

    After the surgery, he told my family that I do have other issues that will have to be addressed further down the road, but he didn't elaborate on this to me. Hopefully, it's not another disk in trouble. He did tell me that I have arthritis, too.
  • I am so sorry you are having all this pain again. Especially when you were doing so well. Help me remember - did it originally start after sitting too long? It kind of sounds like you have really kicked up some nerve action somewhere - is that what it feels like? But I am glad you are going to call your doc tomorrow.

    Does the Flexeril help the muscle spasms? Have you been going to PT and maybe aggravated something? PT often starts up all kinds of weird pains for me. (I will say that Flexeril did nothing for me except make me stupid - I got lots better results from Valium for muscle spasms)

    I hope someone with MUCH more knowledge than I responds to your post - but wanted you to know I was thinking of you.

  • Narcotics won't help with nerve pain... Unfortunately.

    I used to take 10mg Flexeril three times a day per order of my surgeon. Valium also works better for me, which is why I take that right now. Flexeril still did work somewhat, though. 10mgs of Valium is muchhhh better.
  • I am sorry you are having so much trouble now..I take skelaxin.. the script reads 3 times a day (so every 8 hours). What do the directions say for flexeril? That would give you the max per day, I guess. I copied this from RX list for you: (but I would check with your doctor.)


    For most patients, the recommended dose of FLEXERIL is 5 mg three times a day. Based on individual patient response, the dose may be increased to 10 mg three times a day. Use of FLEXERIL for periods longer than two or three weeks is not recommended. (see INDICATIONS AND USAGE).

    Less frequent dosing should be considered for hepatically impaired or elderly patients (see PRECAUTIONS, Impaired Hepatic Function, and Use in the Elderly).

    You are doing the right thing calling the doctor..it sucks about the insurance.
    Keep us posted.
  • I appreciate so much your opinions. And, yeah, it does feel more like nerve pain than anything else. Maybe he could change the flexeril to valium. I'd try anything right now.
  • I LOVE your new avatar! It's fun to switch them now and then, huh? At least it gives us something else to do. :))( :))(
  • Joy, sorry you are feeling so crumby. Do get that checked out. Are you having any redness or swelling around your knee? I know it is kinda late for the blood clot thing but that always comes to my mind with back of the knee pain. While hydrocodone can be taken every 4 hours, you should only have max 4000 mg of acetaminophen per 24 hours. That is why some docs order Norco so you can take it more often. Perhaps some nerve pain meds are in order. Try the ice and heat and get lots of rest. I hope you feel better soon.
    >:D< Cali-Sue
  • So how many mg of acetaminophen are in each tablet? All it says on the bottle is Hydrocodone-APAP 5-500. Sounds like Greek to me! When I called him the first of the week, he did increase the Neurotin. I now take it 3 times a day (300 mg/capsule).
  • Hi Joy, the acetaminophen is the 500mg. That is why some prefer Norco because it only has 325mg. The hydrocodone is 5 mg, and it can be taken safely in higher doses. I was on 2 Norco 10 mg post-op. Where I work we only use norco, no vicodin anymore, because of the risk of acetaminophen overdose. So you should only take yours every 6 hours at the most. If you need it more often, you could ask to have it changed to norco. Good-luck, Sue
  • I think the 500 (in 5/500) is the acetaminophen. but since I am not totally sure about that you might check with your pharmacist.

    The avatar - I guess you can tell I have a "beach" thing.
  • I forgot the real reason for my last post - be sure to keep us posted on your knee after you talk to your doc tomorrow - OK?

    (My mother is coming tomorrow for Thanksgiving and while doing other things I keep remembering things I need to clean/do before tomorrow - hence, my memory lapse! If I don't clean she will start cleaning - and while she does still clean much better than I ever will, I don't want her to work the whole time she is here! She is 84 and VERY active but I don't want her to wear herself out doing work!)
  • I am so sorry you are still having pain. It sounds like it is nerve pain maybe sciatica.
    Are you having PT? And are you using heat packs on your back?
    Please let us know what the Dr says when you speal to him today? tomorrow (get stuck with the time difference)

    Big hugs and blessings Sara O:)
  • Your Dr could change your meds( hydrocodone)to 10/500 so that you don't have as much as the acetaminophen.It would cut the acetaminophen in half and you would only be getting 2000mg a day as opposed to 4000 with the 5/500~while doubling the hydrocodone.because you would only need to take one.Also,it saves money at the pharmacy.
  • Sorry to hear about the leg pain post fusion. I have also been having your pain and I am about 2 weeks post-op. I go to the surgeon to have the staples removed tomorrow and I will ask him about the leg pain. I cannot sleep much, I wake after only a few hours of sleep. My pain is in my buttock and travels down to my knee and calf. I am only taking percocet because thats all I have. I will let you know what he says. I hope we all get better.
  • Waking after only a few hours of sleep seems to be very common in the first few weeks after surgery. For me, as soon as I quit taking the pain meds (I took hydrocodone) I was able to sleep again. Not sure if percocet as the same effect or not.

    That early post-surgery leg and buttock pain seems to be pretty common, too. Valium helped me a lot with that - much more than the pain meds. That pain got much better after the first month - ice helped a great deal, also.

    I know you are glad to be getting the staples out!
  • Did you get to talk to the Dr yet about this?????

    Please let us know how things are as I have been thinking about you.
    Blessings Sara O:)
  • >:D< >:D< Thanks! No, I haven't called him yet. It's beginning to calm down now a bit. I went shopping for grandkids yesterday and it hurt like the }:) but I rested it good when I got home. Today it's not too bad. I just have to remember to not turn my knee a certain way. I'm thinking I might have twisted it the wrong way.

    Thanks again for thinking about me. How are you doing today?
  • So glad your knee is getting better! And that you got to go shopping! That is good news. It is good to get some of that done before Thanksgiving. Were the stores already crowded?
  • No, the stores were not crowded at all! I like to get the toys before Black Friday because the selection is so much better. After Friday, it takes the stores so long to get in new stock and I DO NOT like to shop when it's crowded! Yep, I feel better knowing I got the kids what they wanted. Between October and December 31, I have birthdays for all 3 of my children and 2 grandchildren. Wish they could have planned things a little differently! Went to the 5-year old's party last night (just a family get-together). He was adorable and silly...just your average 5-yr. old boy! Love him to pieces.
  • I'm sorry about this.

    My first surgery saw me with terrible knee pain.
    I changed my shoes to super soft bouncy soled ones and it really helped.

    I just think that the extra stress fronm the fusion was passing thro my knees causing more pain and I had to cmpensate that by my shoes.

    I hope it mends soon. xx
  • I too have been having pain behind my knees all the way down to my foot and up to my butt. It's been getting worse since about 4 months post op. My pain seems to be more nerve (sciatic) pain and I have an appt Friday to get CT results and find out why 5 months post op, I am still in a lot of pain. My right leg keeps going numb or else I get the pins and needles feeling in addition to the pain the runs down my whole leg. I take Klonopin daily anyway for anxiety which is similar to valium but my dose isn't strong enough because I still become extremely irratible and anxiety flares up pretty easy especially in public. Being in constant pain does not help.
  • I know what you mean - we have 3 grandchildren with birthdays within 3 weeks of Christmas. I feel sorry for them, too, as there birthdays often seem to get less hoopla because of all the holiday stuff going on - though we try hard to keep that from interfering.

    My intention was to get all the gift buying done by now but since I haven't I will rely on the Internet to get it done. Not as much fun but necessary this year.
  • I am so please to hear that things are improving even slowly.
    What is Black Friday -sounds pretty eveil to me especially ifit has to do with shopping.

    I am madly making Christmas gift and getting some cooking out of the way. I made the plum pudding today and mince pie filling so my place smells of brandy and I will sleep well tonight :))(
    This is the first week since MAy that I haven't had a medical appointment and I am hoping to start at the gym next week so am making the most of this one and some extra time.
    Big hugs Sara O:)
  • Where the name came from, I cannot tell you. Most of the stores in the States have really, really big pre-Christmas sales where the doors to a lot of stores open as early as 4 a.m. I've never been and don't plan on going, but it is really popular...I think even a tradition to some.

    Umm..I think I can smell the stuff you're cooking. So glad you had a vacation week from appts!

    I was in your Country about 5 years ago. We went to Cairns (I think I spelled it right). My then son-in-law was a speaker at a conference and I was invited to go along with them to babysit my grandson. What a beautiful, clean place. We went to the Great Barrier Reef and the Rain Forest. I was so taken with how friendly the people were! I would love to go back, but would do so only in first class or on really good medication where I could sleep the whole way. Truly a wonderful place!
  • Sara, it is so fun on here to meet people from other countries. I never thought about someone not knowing about black Friday :))( It is the day after Thanksgiving and on Thanksgiving the paper is chock full of sales adds, so everyone plans their shopathon. The stores seem to open earlier every year. Many are opening at 4 AM. People sometimes camp out in line the night before even to get things like $300 laptops or other great deals. It is totally crazy with shoppers going nuts. I usually skip it myself as I am not a morning person and it is just too crazy. But this year I am going out with my sisterinlaws to shop. I am going more to visit then actually shop, as they are coming in from Arizona and Washington and I haven't seen them in a long time. It will be fun. :) Cali-Sue
  • is some sick marketing tool to get people like me out to shop for more stuff than I need!!! I have been out at 4am to shop but not this year as I am only 2 weeks out of sugery and I won't chance the crowd just for the heck of it. As far as your knee pain Joy, I have it too and my surgeon had me get a shot to calm the nerves down. I was seeing him for my 2 week check-up and I got my staples out...Wow I am glad thats over with, I hated those things. The shot in my back calmed down my leg/knee pain and I slept through the night. You NEED to call the doctor to rule out any nerve issue. Happy Thanksgiving to All...
  • Sara -

    I think Black Friday is so named because it is the day that historically takes retailers from being "in the red" to "in the black" in terms of profit. So having people spend lots of money on that day is very important to stores. At least, that is my understanding of why it is so named.

  • I keep meaning to ask if your back is fused yet?
  • When I went for my 4-month checkup, he said the xray showed "white puffy" stuff which was the beginning of fusion. I don't go back again until after the first of the year. We'll have to wait and see. Thanks for asking.
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