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post-op confusion and pain

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:34 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi! I had an L5-S1 microdiscectomy this past Tuesday. When I got home Wed., I was pretty much pain free (due to liberal pharmaceuticals, I imagine), so after resting a while, I would go for a little walk around the block, then rest, then walk,etc, just like the post op instructions said. The next morning I woke up in realy bad pain, slept very little even with pain meds. The following day (Friday), I woke with pain but better, and did the walk/rest routine again. This morning I am in excruciating pain; can barely stand or walk or sit. Will this improve? Am I supposed to just lay in bed for weeks? I don't want to get stiff! Before operation, I had bad pain in hip and legs but at least I could walk a little!


  • O:) Sending you a little angel to watch over you while you recuperate. :)

    I haven't had surgery but I'm sure you'll receive some information from others on this site who have had the same procedure. :? Just from reading posts here, I can tell you that post-op pain varies with the individual and just because you're in a lot of pain now (which I know is just miserable)does not mean you will have to endure this level of pain for much longer.

    Usually a call to the doctor's office to speak with the nurse, PA or the doc, if available, will help calm your fears about the pain you're experiencing. Icing seems to be the method of choice for dulling pain post op so I'd recommend that if you aren't already doing it.

    I just have a bulging disk and have had pain for almost a year now (from extreme to tolerable) and some days walking seems to have a good result and other days Not So Much.

    I know you're a little bummed by the results right now but much too soon to assume the worse outcome.

    Try to get as comfy as possible, hope you have someone to pamper you a little right now, listen to some calming music or light a scented candle -- just something to help you relax so as not to increase your pain levels.

    I know things will improve so take care,

  • thanks for the well wishes and words of advice! It is so confusing and I hate being unable to control my body...feel like a prisoner of my pain.

    I have iced/moist heat, Ben Gay back patches, prescription pain meds and otc combined.....just now at 7 pm starting to get a little relief.

    i'll try to keep positive....thanks
  • Often after surgery, our expectations get in the way of our recovery. Even though a micro surgery is "easier," it is still major surgery and you will not recover overnight.

    Perhaps you are trying to do a little too much too soon. It is important to walk after surgery, but perhaps you are trying to go too far, are taking too large a stride or are walking too fast. Try varying these factors and see if it makes any difference.

    Are you in more pain than you were prior to surgery? Is it a different kind of pain or in a different location?

    Keep taking your meds as prescribed by your surgeon, and keep using ice. Drink lots of fluids and remember to avoid all activities that involve bending, twisting, reaching, pushing or pulling. Do not lift anything heavier than a gallon of milk...avoid riding in cars for a little while...and everything in moderation. If the walking is making your pain worse, back off for a couple days.

    Come here often with your questions and/or comments. We're here to help if we can.

    xx Gwennie
  • I understand what you means about being in too much pain to walk, but you don't want to lose mobility. Its sounds like you need to verify with the surgeon that this much pain post-op "is within normal limits" from that procedure, or is its something that you need to worry about. If its normal for that procedure then it sounds like a little better pain management is in order. I don't think being able to walk some is an unrealistic expectation; its not like you want to walk miles now.
    Surgery is another major trauma - I don't know if you ever had a car accident, but you typically don't hurt real bad the first day - its on about day 3 that all the nerves wake up, reactive muscle spasm etc. kick in.
    Hope you feel better soon!
  • call your doc and let them know about your pain levels. Perhaps you should start out with one walk around the block a day, then when you feel stronger, go up to two, then three, etc. When I first came home from the hospital, I wasn't supposed to walk without crutches. I barely could make it half-way around the block. After that realization, I'd go a quarter of the way, then turn around and come back. Once I got my cane, it was a lot easier to get around, but I still (nearly nine months later) can't walk all that far. My back muscles just tense up and I get so stiff I can barely move until I come home and rest. I do work every day now, but I'm a long time in healing.


    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
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