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Swelling and pain

Sweetpotatoe57SSweetpotatoe57 Posts: 97
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:33 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I have been doing a medrol pak for swelling after back surgery. As the swelling has gone down, and I did not realize just how much swelling was there, the pain has increased. Has anyone experienced this? I have seen many improvements in the 4 days on the medrol pak, but muscles seem to be hurting more. It has been 6 months since my surgery. Someone suggested that as the swelling has gone down, the pressure is off, and hence the pain? Any thoughts out there? sweetpotatoe57


  • Is it possible that what you were experiencing prior to the Medrol Dose Pak, was overshadowing the pain you are currently feeling?

    I know that sometimes once the acute pain is taken away, all the underlying aches and pain tend to suddenly jump to the surface.

  • sorry pain is returning...hope it improves
    heres my thought on your situation. i think they take you down slow as you get to end of the 6 days of doses. they dont just stop you abruptly. so with you taking less steroid dose the pain comes back. not 100% sure as web site didnt give dose of each day
  • I've just finished my second medrol dose pak since surgery. I think you probably still have issues going on inside that aren't apparent as far as swelling, but they are still causing your tissues to hurt. Are you icing as well? I can't live without my ice pack. It's my best friend. I hope I won't have to take the steroids again. They really make me feel crappy.


    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • I experienced the same thing, where my pain increased as the swelling decreased. I think this is partly due to the swollen tissues acting somewhat like a back brace, restricting movement. As the swelling goes down, your weakened back muscles re-gain their ability for movement. Since you haven't used those muscles in a while, any movement will be painful, even micro-movement. Stretching and exercise can help with this.

    At 11 months, I still have pain which my surgeon attributes to fatigued muscles.
  • Thanks for all your comments! I have to agree with you Mark! Yesterday, the swelling was gone, I could sit again, and my muscles could stretch better. I also use Ice at least 3 times a day, but I do feel the muscle weakness. My husband cannot believe how much swelling there actually was. I hate the steroids, and I figured they would make me swell, but with all the swelling going down, I actually lost 7 lbs in 5 days. It was just fluid in the tissues. I really hope this works. I take my last pill today. The first couple of days on the dose pak were crappy, but the last few days have been OK. The pain level decreased also, and I found my range of motion with my muscles improved. So, I now have renewed hope! I asked my Neurosurgeon for a Dose Pak back in April, and he said "NO", and the PM Dr. just checked me over, and said how great everything looked with my surgery, and he thought I just needed the "FROSTING ON THE CAKE"!! So, I see him again in 2 weeks, and if all stays the same, I am good to go, if not, he said he will think about a ESI, but really didn't want to do one, only if necessary. Thanks everyone, sweetpotatoe57
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