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Epidurals for spinal surgery, anyone?

JenGJJenG Posts: 232
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:34 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I've been reading about people's surgical experiences for a few months now and so far I have not read of anyone else whose pain was managed by epidural for the first few days after surgery.

I woke up uncomfortable but in no pain. I had an epidural in my thoracic area and another in my lumbar area. Surgery was Tuesday, they took out the epidurals on the Friday. I didn't feel any pain until the Monday.

My doctor sets his needles before closing, which apparently gets a better result. Some insert them after closing. I have to say, my doc. did a good job on me.

After the epidurals wore off, I was given oral meds, Oxycontin twice daily and Endone with paracetamol every 4 hours. The paracetamol apparently makes the Endone work in a different way.

There were days when I was hanging out for my next pill and sometimes I had to resort to morphine injections. They were fabulous, within 10 minutes I had no pain at all. They lasted about 4 hours. Some days, I wished I could have kept my epidurals.


  • WOW!
    I love your docs innovative approach. Why should anyone suffer pain after surgery? You are very fortunate to have had a doc that thinks in this way. Well done you.

    Take Care
    John B
  • Thanks John. I do consider myself extremely fortunate. I see my surgeon Wednesday for the final hurdle...to find out whether I'm fusing or not.

    Perhaps epidurals are only used in scoliosis surgery, though I have only heard of one other instance where epidurals were used in that type of surgery. For me, they were excellent and wondered if it's just a new idea for spinal surgery. Seems to make sense.

    I was just interested to know if anybody else was given epidurals.
  • I think epidurals are a FANTASTIC idea!

    I had a block for my shoulder surgery and it was awesome - zero pain for those first 24 hours.

    I asked the NS if there was any 'spinal' version of that block when I had my fusion, he just kind of laughed. Now I can go back and let him know about this! Thanks for the post!!! I sure hope it's possible - I know I've still got some surgeries ahead of me.
  • Hi Saltz. From my own experience, I would highly recommend it. Good luck!
  • For the first couple of days after my lumbar laminectomy I had a continuous diamorphine (heroin) epidural with boluses whenever I needed them, and it worked really well. I wish I could get that kind of pain relief now!
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