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Discomfort when sleeping - how long?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:26 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I know that everyone heals differently, etc., etc., but how long does it normally take for the discomfort (while lying in bed)to subside? I'm 4 weeks post-op from a one-level PLIF (L5-S1) and I believe this to be the worst part of my recovery.

I hope to return to work tomorrow (after visiting with the NS) and it would be nice to start getting some quality sleep. Right now I switch positions so often during the night, and with each rollover I endure pain getting resituated. My discomfort comes from rolling from side to side and it appears to be more in the location of the hardware than muscle pain. I take one Oxycodone before bed, but it really doesn't seem to help much. Please tell me that this pain will go away down the road. I can tolerate this better knowing that the pain will subside!!

Thanks for your feedback. :)


  • It's going to take a while I'm afraid. Sleep disruption is one of the most hated parts of fusion surgery. It was months after surgery before I could sleep a full night.

    Talk to your doctor about a sleep aid and try to ween away from the pain killers. The narcotics will mess with your sleep as time goes on. Some people have problems with Ambien and use something like Lunesta for sleep.

    Good luck!
    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • Hi,
    I honestly can't remember how long it took, but it will get better. I also had PLIF of L5-S1, but I had mine back in Sept. I have hydrocodone for pain medicine and unlike a lot of people it wires me up, so I don't get a restful sleep when taking it.
    Back to work after only 4 weeks post op, WOW that is awesome! As I said I had my surgery Sept. 15 and my ns told me I would be out of work at least 3 months, but then I have a very physical job. I was planning on going back to work this coming Wednesday, but unfortunately that is not going to happen.
    Good luck to you on your journey to recovery, and it will get better.
  • I'll talk to the doctor about a sleep aid. I'm up for anything that might help. I'm also thinking about trying to sleep in the recliner tonight. I've read a lot about others using the recliner during the day, etc. so I going to try this. My problem is that I've never been a back sleeper, and it's been hard not to roll onto my tummy. There's a great zero gravity chair that I would love to get. It is supposed to take the pressure off the spine when sitting. Unfortunately, it is costly.

  • Do you have a recliner? I found that to be my saving grace when I would have bad nights. Also, I finally consented to a sleep aid, Ambien. While I don't work outside the home, I was still mentally worthless from lack of sleep. And even exhausted, if I took a nap during the day, it would make it even harder to sleep at night. Vicious cycle.

    We also purchased a new bed just prior and still absolutely love it. Jamison brand, the new ones the Marriott hotel put in their remodels. We slept on one in Colorado and went on the hunt. Do not purchase them straight from the Marriot hotel website, though - yikes! I think proper bed support is essential and well worth the investment.

    Hope you get some rest soon!

  • and I sleep like a baby BUT I take Lunesta, and we bought a new mattress a couple months ago that has been a dream for my recovery.
    When I do wake in the am I am in ALOT of pain tho because I sleep thru one of my percocet doses.

    Hope you find a sleep aid that helps you, I have been taking Lunesta for a couple years & it has been great w/ little side effects.
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