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Lower Spinal Fusion 3 weeks Ago-Pain Medication Question

lmacleanllmaclean Posts: 16
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:29 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
First of all this is a great forum for information and support. I have posted questions a couple of times and I want to thank everyone who answered. I had Interbody lower level fusion on L5-S1 (one level) on 2/27. The surgery went well and was not as painful as I anticiapated. I am recovering well at home. I currently take 5 mg oxycodone about every 4-6 hours, but at night I also take 5mg of Valium and sometimes 10 mg Oxy. I am sleeping great which I am thankful for. I am walking about 2 miles a day. I just had the staples removed on Thursday and asked for more oxycodone. There is a worldwide shortage I was told so they gave me Lortab. My question is how long on average do most stay on pain medication. Also, is Lortab similiar to Oxycodon?


  • Hi I am having a lower spine fusion at the L5-S1 level with a laminectomy. It sounds like you had a similiar surgery. Can I just ask how it went and how the time in the hospital went? The pain after and how you are doing? It sounds like you are doing pretty well. I am so scared about how much pain I will be in after. But I guess it cannot be any worse than the pain I am having right now, right?
  • Hello lmaclean - I was on oxycodone for about 3 weeks post op (ALIF L5-S1 on Jan 21st). I weaned myself off and at this time, I take only acetaminophen for aches.

    By week 3, I was also walking about 2 miles a day (same as you), but I was sleeping okay without meds (yes, very lucky, I know!) Hope this helps.
  • I am not sure what a laminectomy is, but I had decompression with pedicle screw fixation. I had a titanium cage as well. I had donated 60% of my liver to my husband 2 years ago and that was a very painful surgery so I was also scared to death about this one. They had a hard time getting my pain under control with the last surgery. I woke up in a lot of pain in recovery. I talked to my neurosurgeon about this and he said he would give me extra pain medication at the end of surgery. I am not sure what it was, but it worked. I woke up with tolerable pain. Surgery was about 4 hours and I was in recovery for 2 hours. I was on a morphine pump until the next morning. I then went to 15 mg of oxycodone and 2 tylenol every 4-6 hours. I could get morphine in between if I wanted...which I did for the 1st day after surgery. You need to really ask for the pain medication and do not be afraid to ask for more to keep you comfortable. It really was not as bad as I thought. I had surgery on Thursday and went home Sunday morning. Please feel free to ask anymore questions that may help you.
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