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Still on pain meds.

terryberrytterryberry Posts: 3
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:43 AM in Recovering from Surgery
So many people that post here are off all pain meds within weeks of their fusion. I will soon be at the sixth month since two level fusion L3-5. Still taking Norco twice daily. Is this unusual?


  • I don't think it's unusual; it depends on the person's healing rate, type of surgery, and the severity of their condition(s).

    Before I had my fusion on L4-S1, I was already on 25mcg of the Fentanyl patch. It was increased to 50mcg post op, and I was on Norco and Valium 10mg. Unfortunately the pain grew worse and several months later the Fentanyl was increased to 100mcg. I was switched to MS Contin, Oxycontin, and Methadone. Today I have a pain pump because of the chronic back pain and nerve damage and there are many members here in a similar situations.

    You are still early in the recovery process and sometimes it can take up to a year to completely heal. The nerves can take up to 2 years. Personally I think that you are doing good if you only take 2 Norcos a day. Just give your body some time and it seems that you're headed in a good direction.

    It isn't unusual for some to have some residual pain after they have healed, and it might be minor enough to only need medicine once in a while and it also doesn't stop a person's normal activity. Spine surgery is so different than other ones and it does not fully guarantee that it will relieve all of the pain. Take care
  • its not unusual to still be taking meds,,, recovery is generally 10-35 mos - studies have shown people with spine surgery have healed within that range & yes everyone IS different, dif procedure, dif positioning, dif aftercare, etc......... some dont even get any relief from surgery,,,,
    you are just lucky that you have a dr that will prescribe something ,,, those who arent taking any, for the most part, have been cut off due to the feds watching prescriptions so closely & drs not wanting to be responsible for addiction,,,
    take care in this lengthly recovery my friend -
    so many ups & downs, but hang in there, you've gone this far
    04/09 posterior cervical foraminotomy C5-6,C6-7
    horseriding accident
  • laminectomy i am still on Oxycontin ,,so no a few months post surgery is not a problem i know many people that are still on strong medication many years post surgery if you are still in pain then go to your doctor and ask for another type of pain killers
  • Hey TerryBerry,

    I am just shy of the 6 month post fusion mark. I am still on medications for pain. Not sure if scar tissue or nerve damage is the culprit because I am not at least 1 yr post surgery. My surgeon is skeptical of it being anything other than the healing process. I am now in a Pain Mgt program.

    To me it souds like you are doing fine. We all heal differently.

    Best Wishes,
  • Your surgery was a bit behind me as I can remember. What type of pain are you having? You had L4/L5 fusion I believe. Is it back pain or nerve pain? Is it the same as pre surgery? Just wondering, nerve pain in my right leg pain is much the same as presurgery. Don't know if the nerve is damaged or what. I'm not too bad if I sit or lay down but walking gets it going? Has your doctor suggested any injections?
  • I still need 60mg Codeine some nights to sleep. I am 7 months post op one level fusion. I think that if you need it you should take it. Also I think you know when you don't need it. I had a rough patch about a month ago and needed it daytime too. It does go in cycles. Don't feel bad.
  • Hi thenade,

    Since I am at under a year, my surgeon gives no support to the fact that I still have pain. This pain is different than presurgery pain, mostly in lower back and rt hip, rt inside thigh. I am in pm now, the NP thinks trigger pt inj might help. Had 5 last week and there is no change. I was sure to hold judgement until the limited amount of streoids had time to show some effect.

    I feel like I am starting all over. Trying not to be bummed and just move on and accept the pain as a daily part of my life.

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