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Post surgery Meds

kitkat0928kkitkat0928 Posts: 5
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:41 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I have been lurking here on and off for a while. This forum helped me become well informed about potential treatments for my back pain. I appreciate reading everyone else's experiences!
I had a TLIF at L5-S1 at the end of June 2009. I had been in increasing amounts of pain until I simply couldn't function. While I'm not sure I could have ever been fully prepared for the amount of pain involved in the fusion (for the first two days after surgery, I just cried....that was with the morphine pump!), I am so glad I had it done. Within a matter of weeks, I was functioning better than I had prior to surgery. I pushed myself and was back at work in 4 weeks. I still am very careful about bending, lifting, and twisting, but am able to function pretty well. My body still lets me know if I'm overdoing it...and I have learned to listen!
Post op, I was taking neurontin, Robaxin, and Hydrocode 10/500. The neurontin didn't do anything for me, so I stopped taking that with my surgeon's okay pretty quickly. I am now 7 months post op. I weaned myself off the Robaxin completely about a month ago and have transitioned to 7.5/500 Hydrocodone 3 times a day. I had an appt with my surgeon today (got rescheduled for tomorrow morning) and knew I would run out of meds last Saturday. I thought I'd be fine for a couple of days without, so I didn't call for a refill. Clearly, I was overconfident. I am in a lot of pain. I have a good friend who had a fusion at the same level I did a year prior and she said she was taking meds regularly for about 9 months. I am curious....at what point did others who have had fusions stop taking pain medication regularly?



  • Hi Kitkat!Wow,it sounds like you are very brave and determined to be well!I had a spinal fusion 2 years ago,and one 5 weeks ago.I took Hydrocodone about 6 months after the surgery.I didn't have nerve problems,so that is the only medicine I took.I can tell you I could have used it longer,but the dr. really didn't want me on it any longer.I know there are other spineys who can help you better than I-I just want to welcome you,and let me know how you are doing-Jeannie
  • for the welcome and sharing your experience.
    I am determined to be well! I am confident that I am doing pretty well and am looking forward to being narcotic free in the near future!
  • I do very poorly on medications (I throw up, big-time) - I am NOT the standard here, just one example.

    I was done with the Roxicodone within 3-4 weeks post-op. I stretched out the Robaxin rx for 3 months (supposed to have been a 3 week supply) but I did get a Valium muscle-relaxer rx at that 3 month mark due to some muscle spasms I was still having. That bottle lasted a long long time as well.

    Since then I do take Tylenol PM to get past the daily aches and pains long enough to fall asleep.

    After my recent hardware removal I stopped the Roxicodone within 2 days of my hospital release, the Robaxin within 1 week. I've not started with the Tylenol PM yet, I'm usually SO exhausted from going back to work so soon post-op that I fall into bed and get a good 4 hours of sleep right of the bat. Four hours is about it though. Wish it was more, but the Tylenol PM won't help me get more than the 4 hours and I can't take it in the middle of the night because it'll last past my wake-up time.

    Anyway - like I said, not your typical post-op medication story. Maybe if my stomach tolerated things better it would be different. As it is I'll take pain over nausea almost any day.
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