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Pain Meds

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:30 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi everyone I am 5 weeks postop from a l5-s1 fusion and decompression. I feel pretty good right now, but am still on pain meds. Is it ok to still be on pain meds 5 weeks after surgery? Right after surgery I was taking percocet 7.5 2 pills every 4 hours and I am currently taking one every six hours. I was just curious if this is normal and not too much. I start pt in one week. Any input would be greatly appreciated.


  • Well, I've been on pain meds for 3 years straight, before and after both back surgeries. Unfortunately some of us have intractable pain and have to take these meds in order to function. It isn't unusual to be on meds after 5 months either. We all heal at different rates but some doctors will yank you off after only a month or maybe ship you off to pain mgt. In other words, it's okay. Nerves may take up to 2 years to heal if they do. I have permanent nerve damage on one leg and I take Cymbalta for it. Are you going to PT? What is your surgeon's plan of action if you still have problems after 6 months? I do hope things turn around for you and you recover fully from this surgery, and I believe you still have time to heal. Take care
  • I am only 5 weeks out so I do not know what is planned if not beter at 6 months. I start pt in one week. I have an appointmant with the surgen on may 13. I am nervous and excited at the same time. I hope that there is obvious fusion starting.
  • Hello Hunter,
    I am over 1 year micro-D and take 2 vicodin per day. I have been in pain all year. Even had a nerve ablation in Nov. because they told me it was my facet joints. I planted some flowers on Sunday and I could hardly walk Monday. I can hardly move or bend,. I am going to a new Doc. as soon as my approval goes thru.

    So I guess the answer to your question ...if your surgery took care of the problem then you will heal and stop the pain meds. But if it didn't take care of the problem (like mine didn't) then I guess you still take pain meds in order to function until you find out the real problem and the surgeon fixes it.... Unfortunately mine is still there.

  • I weaned myself off after a week. It took 2 more weeks but I did it. I hope you all have decreased pain and can eventually be pain free. Take it Easy and Best Wishes
  • I think I understand your question. Yes, it is perfectly normal to take pain meds at 5 weeks. Some surgeons are a bit stingy with the meds -- it all depends on their training and attitude. I think it is becoming more common for doctors to better understand pain and to be more tolerant in giving pain meds to their patients. But it does really vary from surgeon to surgeon.

    I had a one level fusion at L4-5 15 months ago. I took lots of pain meds for the first eight weeks. I took them around the clock, setting an alarm to take the dosage during the night, as I had been told not to let the pain get ahead of the medication. Your body heals better when it is not also struggling to deal with pain. There is no reason to rush the process. Your body heals at its own pace and nothing can be done to rush it along. Pain medication is an important part of this process. Do as your surgeon suggests and as your body indicates.

    At ten weeks, I was feeling better and stopped the pain meds. I continued taking Lyrica and celebrex which had been prescribed for me at about 6 weeks.

    I did not start PT as early as you will be doing. Again, each surgeon has his own attitude toward PT and its "usefulness"!! You may find that you will need to keep on your pain meds as you start PT.

    Do not be concerned about what others are doing. We all heal at different rates and have a variety of tolerances to pain. Each of our issues are different. Do as your doctor recommends. He knows you best and what procedures he used in your surgery.

    Good luck to you. I hope you continue healing at a good pace and are feeling well soon.

    xx Gwennie
  • I just had 2nd microD, I take still take lortab as needed. I agree that pain meds distribution differs depending on your doc.

    I still have about 7 pills left from the 2 prescriptions (20 pills each) that I got before the 1st surgery.

    During my last appt., the nurse practioner advised me to get a refill "just in case of an emergency". I am due for my 2nd postOp visit next week; I am sitting on the fence whether to ask for another prescription. I sure do want to be off the pain med.

    Take of yourself.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,842
    post surgery.. As long as you are still in pain, you should be taking the pain medications that your doctor prescribed for you and the amounts indicated.
    Just dont exceed the doses. If you feel that it is not helping you enough, contact your doctor and discuss this
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
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