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Medrol Dospak

tammypttammyp Posts: 49
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:31 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi all
I had a TLIF 5 weeks ago with 1 level fusion.
After the surgeon got into surgery he found that i had a mild form of spina bifida and that most of what they thought was herniated disk material causing my problems was years of adhesions and scar tissue build up all around the nerves at L5 s1 and L4. It took the Dr 3 extra hours just to eliminate the scar tissue and adhsions. He said my left nerve was very enlarged. I was in the hospital 5 days.
Any i am having worse pain in my left leg and foot that i did pre surgery.I have been taking Dilaudid,tramadol and valium.He gave me a Medrol dospack at 3 weeks and it worked very well for about 4 days.I am about 2 weeks out from taking that and my foot is just getting worse than ever.
My questions are
How long before i can take another Dospak?
And given all the trauma my nerves went through during surgery should i still be having elevated pain at this point?
My backs feels pretty good and my right leg feels much better but i am concerned that the left leg seems to be getting worse.
Any Thoughts?


  • Are a wonderful anti-inflammatory agent, and also helped my pain better than anything. BUT they are very bad for you medically, they will actually prevent a fusion from happening, cause osteoporosis, high blood pressure, diabetes, mood swings; there are even rare reports of aseptic necrosis of the hip from a medrol dose pack. So don't press your doctor for more than they will recommend. The most I have ever heard is 3 per year, like steroid injections.
    Nerve pain can take a while to resolve, your surgeon needs to answer those questions but I bet they hedge "may be gone tomorrow, may take months, may never go away - we can't predict".
  • He gave me 2 Dospacs and he said take the second as needed. But i doubt he meant this soon.
  • Welcome to the board.

    I have take one pack on top of the first one. Sometimes when it seems to be working but you are still in pain, they will let you take the second pack right away.

    Just call your surgeon's office. They will be able to give you an answer. Obviously, they are trying to get the inflammation to go down. Are you using ice on your lower back?
  • If you don't use a bone growth stimulator right now, you may want to ask your doctor to see if he would recommend one now since you are having to use steroids. That can possibly help the gone grow while you are having to take the medication.

    I had to do a Medrol pack as well post surgery and I fused ok. They are just very careful with it.

    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • Before my surgeries I had a PCP Doctor that just kept giving me dose pack after dose pack. He got me an MRI over a year ago, which he said showed a "mild bulge". So every few months I would go to him, complaining of sciatic pain every time it flared up, and he'd just say "here's a med. dose pack...try phy. therapy again".
    Needless to say I gained at least 25 lbs., had trouble sleeping, mood swings...you name it. Thank God my Wife loves me because between the pain and the side effects I was a real A**hole.
    Anyway a year later I finally got to see a surgeon who saw my year old MRI and said "Surgery only option". I had the first surgery done and felt no sciatic pain in my leg and was extatic! A week later... I felt more pain than before the surgery and had an emergancy MRI which showed I reruptured the disc (which is degenerative anyway) so I was back in surgery a second time in less than 3 weeks.
    Now here I am about 10 weeks since the last surgery, in pain, facing a fusion, no pain meds, just a Lyrica sample, and yes...another mederol dose pack.
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