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Post-Op Pain

hotcoffee29hhotcoffee29 Posts: 327
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:43 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi Folks,

I got home last night from the hospital after my laminectomy/foraminotomy and facetectomy at L5-S1.

My surgeon told me everything looked great before he closed me up, my nerves are free and clear, lots of room around the nerve and he removed all scar tissue so I should have full resolve of all my symptoms.

Unfortunately I tested positive for being colonized with MRSA, assuming I got it from when my son was hospitalized last year.............so I was on antibiotics, and nasal antibiotics and special soap during my isolation in the hospital.

I did not have the severe urinary issues like last time so no cathetar, however I am in so much more pain this time around~ The surgeon went through the ame incision, but my bandage is much bigger, I can't remove it for a week, it appears to have been bleeding as I see it through the banadge and its extremely swollen, and very painful. I have no fever so I doubt its infected, but why is it hurting so much worse than the last time if its in the same place???

I have no pain in my legs, no numbness, legs feel great, once I get help up, I can walk without a walker, not too far but I can walk, whats getting me down the most is this surgical pain.

I am allergic to most pain meds so there isn't much I can take, I got morphine every 2 hours in my IV at the hospital, now I have demerol every 5-6 hours and its not helping. I cannot get up or down by myself, I know its oly been a few days but this pain is more than I bargained for.

Just felt like crying a little, I am sure it will pass and I will feel better within a few days,

Thanks for listening,


  • Sandra,

    I am sorry you are having so much pain. Surgical pain is truly awful. I would think the incision it's self is causing much of the pain. Going through the same incision from previous surgery generally involves cutting into a lot of scar tissue which has no nerves itself but is very bound to skin, etc. I had a very difficult time with my incision after 3 surgeries through the same site. Hopefully your surgeon can make a pain med adjustment to get you more comfortable. Keep us posted! On another note, I am glad you are being well treated for the MRSA. That is a scary "virus" "bacteria"!!

  • Traci,

    I assume it is the surgical site of the incision that is giving me all the pain. I didn't realize by cutting through the same spot would make it so much more painful. The meds are not helping too much right now bcause every movement I make is like being stabbed, but I will remain positive and hope that in a few days It will have subsided a bit.

    Thanks again,
  • Howdy, and congrats on your arrival to the other side! Sorry to hear you are hurting more than you figured. I am guessing here of course, but aside from the fact we all will hurt with the "regular" first time type incision, you're on the second go! You also mentioned that they did remove a bunch of scar tissue? From what little I understand of the fibrous formation of it, that probably added more trauma to the surrounding tissue and muscle than would have a first time surgery?

    Allergies to meds bite. I have discovered myself over the years allergies - more so to NSAIDS, but allergies none the less. As long as it isn't infected, I guess it is a good time if you can to baby yourself, rest and heal. Please keep us posted on how your doing. Take care..support *hug*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Hope you get some relief from your pain soon.

    Glad you are being treated for the MRSA. My hospital is testing every fusion patient 2 weeks before the patient has surgery by nasal swab, and treating with the nasal onitment like you are being treated if they test positive...so glad they caught that for you!

  • Glad you are home safe and sound and that your pain and numbness in the legs is gone. Hooray! And no walker needed, that's awesome. One of the things I found with repeatedly going through the same incision site, is that it could hurt a bit more. Also I found that I always tend to get reminded about the difference between surgical pain and the chronic nerve pain that the surgery was for. It's kind of funny to wake up and be so relieved that the pre surgery pain is gone, only to be smacked back to reality with the surgical pain when the good meds wear off.

    As was mentioned, if your pain meds aren't hacking it for you, don't hesitate to call your docs office and let him know.

    Welcome home. Rest and heal up.


  • Glad you are home again now, but sorry that you are having so much pain. Hopefully, you will be able to get that under control soon, and the infection will be dealt with. Then you can continue your recovery without any further complications.

    Do let us know how you progress - we are here to support you.
    A very gentle cyber hug :-)
  • Thankyou!
    Brenda, you are right about the removal of scar tissue, its funny though, the scar tissue was mainly on my right side but all my pain is on my left side!! I believe there was just more scraping all around to make sure my nerves were free and clear. Last July I had a laminectomy and a diskectomy so this was my second go around.

    My doctor told me this would be easy compared to my last surgery and he could have me back to work in a week, now I can't even see him until almost 2 weeks post-op, and unless I have a marked improvement in the coming days there is no way i can go back to work in a weeks time!!!

    Lisa - I am glad they found the MRSA, I'd rather be treated than run the risk that it gets into my wound. I had no idea i was colonized. My son was hospitalized last year for almost a week he was so ill with MRSA, so that has to be how i picked it up.

    I appreciate all the support and *hugs,
  • I have always been amazed at how surgeons paint such a rosy picture! My second surgery, by surgeon told me I'd go back after a "couple" of weeks when it was several months.

    This time, I was released for driving at my first post op following my fusion!

    It sounds like from an anatomical point of view, your surgery was a success and there is plenty of room for the nerves. Those nerves have to be pretty ticked off, being trapped, them manipulated free and "put" back.

    Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day! Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers for a complete and speedy recovery! gentle post op cyber hugs! xxx Shari
  • helped me feel so much better. I knew it would be painful after surgery but I guess this amount of surgical pain just surprised me.

    Overall I think the results are very good and the surgery will be a success, I am very positive about that.

    I just iced my back to see if it would help reduce some of the inflammation and pain, it did help a little. Whenever I move or try to, it feels like my back is being ripped apart and I am quite sure its not and I felt nothing like that last time.

    I will call my doctor on Monday if I am not getting relief by then, like you said "C", this is surgical pain, this is not my pre-op pain, its so different.

    All your kind words of support are truly appreciated, I will keep you all posted.

    Sandra xx
  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    I totally understand. My L3-S1 fusion was done through my old incision and thus much scar tissue (with a side incision as well just above my hip).

    If the pain is still bad call your doctor. There are some forms or oral morphine that may help if that's one of the medications you find you can take. Even if it's just a 2 week supply and then you can reassess pain level.
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • Hi there...I had 2 surgeries through the same incision. The incision was a bit more sore for a few days but then actually healed much more quickly. They did use special nerve monitoring b/c they were concerned about going through the scar tissue and what not.

    As for heading back more quickly after 2nd surgery - that surprises me. I thought I would head back quicker but my surgeon quickly told me...NO, he wanted me out longer b/c it was a 2nd surgery. He said my body needed more time to recover and that I needed to focus on me.

    Make sure you let him know if you don't feel ready. My doctor allowed me back sooner than he wanted only b/c I could work remotely and reduced hours.

    I hope they can help with the pain a bit more for you but it's tough if you are allergic to stuff. I did find tylenol in general helped me but if you are allergic, that won't help.
  • What kind of problems do you have when taking narcotics? Narcotics causes nausea for me, and also causes itching, so I have to take other medications to counteract those side effects sometimes.

  • to pain meds for me is mostly nausea, headaches, dizziness, but one time after a dental procedure I was given Vicodin and I had a seizure, so I have not tried it again. It was many years ago but the doctor tells me allergic reaction like that don't change so they keep me away from everything in the vocodin family.

    I had morphine in my IV every 2 hours in the hospital and I had no adverse reactions to it, Last time the demerol helped with my pain and it wasn't horrible. This go around the pain is so much more severe, it goes way up my back.

    I know there has been some drainage through my incision, but I can't take the dressing off until Friday so I can't tell if its looking normal or not. I keep taking my temp, and let that be my guide incase its getting infected.

    I am still trying to understand the whole MRSA thing, am I at risk of infecting my own wound? Can I still get MRSA in my wound, this truly scares me.

    If things have not changed by Monday I will definately be putting a call in to the doctor, because this just doesn't feel right to me.

    Have a blessed Sunday everyone!!

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