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Now What???

dapopo315ddapopo315 Posts: 40
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:39 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Well I broke down & called the doctor this morning. The past 2 weeks, my lower back right around my incision, has been killing me. It is the stabbing pain that I had mentioned in one of my previous posts. It's not shooting down my legs or anything. (thank goodness) There's no specific time when the pain hits. I could be sitting & just tweek the right way, or walking, but mostly it happens when I stand up. When the pain hits it makes both my legs buckle & sucks the air right out of me.

Last night I cried myself to sleep because I was in so much pain. My pain medication that I've been taking does not help this stabbing pain at all. (Percoset 5/325)

Had my Open TLIF on October 14 & have been doing exactly what the doctor said to do. Absolutely no BLT & just keep walking. The past 2 weeks I've been hurting so bad that I haven't been able to walk as much as I should be.

I'm sitting here waiting for a return call from my doctor. I told his office that I was in so much pain last night I almost went to the ER. I've been alternating ice & heat, trying to stay positive.


  • I'm so sorry you're having such a horrible time! I hope your doc gets back with you soon. If they don't, go to the ER if the pain's that intolerable! There is no reason for a person who's had back surgery to be in pain with all the different ways of controlling it out there!

    Let us know how you're doing, I hope this pain ends soon for you.
  • The doctor just called me back, he said what I'm experiencing is "pissed off muscles". When I asked why all of a sudden I would be experiencing this at 7 weeks post op, he said that it was normal. He explained that he had to cut through all the muscles in my back to get to the spine. Now the muscles are just fighting back because they are mad.

    He called in a prescription for some steroids to help with the inflammation I still have. Said I should take 2 Aleve in the morning & 2 at night. He also said I should continue taking my Percocet at well for the pain.

    Has anyone else experienced this? If so, how long did it last? What worked best to relieve your pain?

    Thank you
  • I flared up all the time while trying to recover from my TLIF too. My surgeon said to give things time to heal because your nerves, muscles, soft tissues, etc underwent the trauma of this type of surgery. I took the Medrol dose packs when things got really bad, and even Toradol which is contraindicated when you are trying to fuse. I think it's horrible for you liver and kidneys too and you can only take the pill form of Toradol for short periods of time.

    You are still early in your recovery. The best case scenario would be if you completely heal by around 6 months. Or it can take a year, and up to 18 months for the nerves to heal. I understand you concern when your pain spikes up. We all worry about something going wrong or developing new problems and this is common. It never hurts to call your doctor if you have any concerns about your pain or if you have new symptoms. Your surgeon needs to be informed of your progress or any problems all the time. I hope you feel better after taking the steroids too. Take care
  • Oh I'm so sorry you're in so much pain. I totally know what you're going through. You may want to ask him if ice or heat would work best, and then try that in conjunction with the pain meds. If you don't feel up to walking, then don't! No need to push yourself. I hope by the time you read this you're feeling better.
  • Surgery wise, I am a "neckie", but in 2002 I had emergency surgery (cut hip to hip) to remove a 3+ lb tumor in my abdomen. About 5 or 6 weeks later I had searing pain and spasms. My surgeon pretty much told me the same thing! Part of it too for me was the muscle angle as I had strong stomach muscles at the time, and the muscles finally "healing"... Until my last fusion and its issues, I flew helicopters, and up until the last time I flew - I would get "pulling" like Charlie horses as I accelerated for take off!

    Once you get past this stage, you might get "spasm" like Charlie-horses as well. Short lived fortunately. I sure hope this passes soon. I know it hurts. Hoping you are feeling better soon. Take care.

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • That really stinks. I can understand what he's saying. I thought we weren't supposed to take NSAIDs after a fusion? Aleve is an NSAID. Also, can he change your med to oxycodone (percocet without the tylenol in it)? Seems you have a lot of stuff you're taking that can eventually damage your liver (tylenol is awful), plus the steroids and the NSAIDs. I don't want to be an alarmist -- all this is probably fine short-term, but if you're going to be on your pain meds for a long time (as I am) you probably want to leave out the unnecessary stuff.


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