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Trouble sleeping

51LKB551LKB Posts: 17
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:37 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Had 3-level ACDF with plating on 9/23. Since the surgery, the pain during the day has improved and I have regained some strength in my hands and arms. However, I just cannot sleep comfortably! I have tried the recliner, and many types of pillows but I cannot sleep for more than an hour or two at a time without either pain or discomfort. I have stopped taking the Percocet, because of the side effects. I have an appointment this thursday with my Neurosurgeon. Any suggestions as to what help I should ask him for?
I am longing to go back to work at least part time soon, so that I don't lose my mind, but I certainly cannot do that if I cannot sleep. I hate for night to come...it is miserable.
Any suggestions anyone?



  • I have not had the same procedure as you...I had a PLIF. But, I do understand the way post surgery sleeping is so difficult! I hate to say it, but I relied on my valium for spasms, as well as to lull me to sleep for the first few weeks! I am sure the NS will be able to offer some solutions. I still have discomfort when sleeping and rolling over. I guess another factor causing the discomfort is that we now have hardware in our bodies. I am keenly aware of my lack of movement at the level I had fused and this affects how I sleep. It's difficult for me because I tend to sleep on my tummy! Not good after my surgery!

    Is your pain level very uncomfortable? I had to lay off the Percocet very early on due to side-effects, as well. I take Tylenol and occasionally a valium for spasms.

    I know my surgery was not nearly as invasive as yours... but I hope you get some answers, I did not want to leave you hanging here with no replies!

    Take care,

  • I've found a glass of milk warmed by the microwave release tryptophan which can make you sleepy. I also try chamomile or sleepytime tea first as well as relaxation methods. Otherwise I take serax which knocks me out. Your Doctor may recommend something else that may be just for you though. Good luck. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Thanks for the reply and for understanding. Pain at night is pretty intense it seems. Not as bad as it was during the week after surgery, but bad enough to keep me from being able to sleep. Tylenol works for the pain during the day, but at night it is not sufficient.
    Your suggestions are helpful. Will see what neuro says tomorrow.
    Oh what I would give for a good night's sleep!
  • That's why I still rely on Tylenol PM!

    Although - for those first few months I used Melatonin that I got at Walmart, it's an OTC herb supplement. My nurse suggested I use it for 3 months as it also helps with depression.
  • I know the no sleeping feeling. I also had a acdf but mine was 10/16/09. I have tried everything with position movement and I finally exhausted myself into sleep. The one thing I find comfy for me is slighty sleeping on my side next to a secure object ( my husband). When he snores or breathes heavy the rhythm puts me to sleep. Goodluck with this! I hatetaking pills and warm milk so I deal with how I can. Again goodluck!
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