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What Phase of Pain are you in?

dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,865
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:44 AM in Recovering from Surgery
Having been through many surgeries and just having one about two months ago, it reminded me about how it was before, during and after surgery.

Prior Pain
This is the pain that doesnt give up. It is constantly in your face making your miserable. You cant sleep that well, your daily functions get impacted and you are just looking for relief. All the pain medications, therapies, etc just dont seem to do what you want it to.

Surgical Pain
Now that your surgery is done, hopefully the exact pain that you had prior to surgery is corrected. But right now, its hard to distinguish, because the post surgical pain is so acute right now. Thats about all you can think about. But hopefully this pain should only last about a month.

Post Pain
Your surgical pain is gone and now you deal with the aftermath. Did the surgery take care of the problems you had prior? You are probably in physical therapy of some sort, so there is additional pain/soreness, so maybe you are not quite sure what and where the pain is.

Post Pain Plus
Ok, you have had all your physical therapy, you are doing what exercises you are suppose to do, you are adhering to all restrictions and limitations. SO, how do you feel?
Is the original pain gone? Is it the same?

I believe everyone would agree that in the Post Pain Plus timeframe there shouldn't be any pain that caused you to have the surgery in the first place. You may not fell 100%, but you are doing so much better than before. Now, all you need to look forward to is keeping up doing the right things to regain strength and stamina. Will you be the same as before? Probably not. Can you be better, even if it means some life changes? You bet you can.

For those of you who have had surgeries, think about the different phases I mentioned above and see if you can relate to them or if you have different views, tell us about it.

Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com


  • I guess I'm in the prior to surgery phase but I haven't given up on treatments.

    Latest surgery was Oct. pre surgery pain was going away then bam something happened. It isn't bad enough to warrant the risk of surgery but it is causing me to be miserable.

    I am pain limbo...waiting to see if a SCS will work...I have pain all the time not controlled well by meds. It affects my sleep and quality of life. I am trying to not give up hope that something will work.

  • sunny1966ssunny1966 VIRGINIAPosts: 1,385
    Great topic Ron. It helps those of us contemplating surgery. I hope you are healing well and doing much better than before.

    (Still stuck with prior pain)
  • i am in the first level that you mentioned .and its very bad at the moment .and to make things worse i have been bumped to the 2 July before i see the surgeon .
  • I like the categories you've chosen. I am in phase 3 at the moment, "Post Pain."

    The Prior Pain was exactly and precisely as you described it. (Ruptured L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1). Pain pills were no longer doing much more than help me to zone out where I at least didn't care about the pain anymore.

    The Surgical Pain was the worst, most acute, Level 10 pain I've ever experienced and I ended up in the ER a few hours after being sent home after a L5/S1 microdiscectomy on May 26, 2010.

    Now, I am Post Pain and I definitely can tell that to some degree the surgery did what it was supposed to do. The pain in my left leg has mostly subsided. I have more low back pain now than anything else. I also have new numb places in my left calf (the back of it) and the bottom of my left foot and last three toes. At various times during each day, that foot feels either freezing cold or burning hot. Also, I have a restless feeling in the calf and ankle and foot that is driving me crazy! Sometimes, they feel tender, like they are lightly sunburned.

    Mostly I just feel depressed all the time.

    Looking forward to Phase 4. Trying to follow my NS instructions to the letter and forcing myself to stay still though it feels like I'm being lazy (except when I take my walks every two hours); rolling like a log in and out of bed; no lifting, bending twisting, etc.
  • I think I have post op surgical pain? I am not sure, all I know is that I thought that after 2 weeks I would feel better? I am very stubborn! The pain meds don't help much...........
  • Good topic for thought and discussion. I am in the Post Pain Plus group. My surgery was Feb this year and did PT which didn't attain good results for me. Walking/standing upright caused muscle spasms and horrible muscular pain. My surgeon has sent me to rehab to learn how to retrain my muscles to recognise my injury is now fixed.The comment about learning to make changes to accept our physical differences is so true. We can work hard to gain stamina and strength and where we end up and what we make of our lives is a mix of mental and physical. Hopefully after rehab the physical state will help me re-shape life to be well balanced and allow me clarity to move forward. These are just my thoughts but thanks for a great topic and the chance to write what my hopes for the future will bring. Hugs n' Loves - Paula
  • I'm in between. I still have some of the pain that was supposed to be fixed. Plus I now have new pains that may have been the result of the surgery.

    I am coming to acceptance that I will never be free from back problems. Hopefully this next surgery will give me some pain free time but some day I will feel that old pain again. Such is life....
  • Most of my pre-surgical symptoms (C6/7) returned around week 7 post op. Then my (rare - darn it!!) L2/3/4 - L2/3 nerve roots) stupid spine joined the club. If I behave, it stays around a 4 thanks to Lyrica - neck same. Thoracic, nothing helps, that sits (I HATE scales) around 6 steady - burning! Since Lyrica controls a lot not counting the thoracic, life isn't that bad?

    Thanks to Neuropathy, surgeries on hold to "try" and figure what the Neuropathy is caused by - yeah, good luck huh? I have my hubby, and my pool, so life is "not too bad?" :)

    Brenda... *Group HUGZ!* :)
    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Good thread...

    My original pain is gone. Yipeee!

    But now I have pain on the opposite leg. I am assuming it is still the same disc. I haven't seen a surgeon about the new symptom because the pain is manageable with ibuprofen which I take daily. I am at a limbo about when to go see someone. Now? If I went now, I can already hear the recommendation: another MRI, X-rays, possible fusion.

    I think I will wait this one out.
  • dilauro said:
    Having been through many surgeries and just having one about two months ago, it reminded me about how it was before, during and after surgery.

    Hi Ron!

    2 yrs ago I had my first spinal surgery. May 17th this year I had my second. Both surgeries were to take pressure off nerve roots. The first (4 lvl cervical laminectomy...ended up being 2 lvl) did not take away my arm pain at all. The second, so far did not take away my leg pain.

    In both cases I ended up with the original pain plus new pain that has not gone away at the surgical sites. Having said that I also have Fibromyalgia pretty bad. I don't always know which pain is which.

    Always great to hear from ya, Ron.
  • Having my fusion a little over 3 years ago, I'd say 90% of my pre surgery problems have been resolved. I am left with permanant nerve damage as a result of CES (Cauda Equina Syndrome). I still have trouble standing in one place and a nagging Sciatica but its something I can live with.

    Emergency surgery in March of 2006 for spinal infection of L 2 and L 3. During surgery, discovered I had Cauda Equina Syndrome. Spine became unstable after surgery and had 360 fusion with 10 pedicle screws, plates and rods in April of 2007.
  • Surgical Pain
    Now that your surgery is done, hopefully the exact pain that you had prior to surgery is corrected. But right now, its hard to distinguish, because the post surgical pain is so acute right now. Thats about all you can think about. But hopefully this pain should only last about a month.

    I am at this stage. Not in a way that I can't distinguish post op from pre op pain. The pre op pain is DEFINATELY gone. I Have surgical pain. I had an episode couple weeks after surgery.(surgery was on June 9th of this yr) I had excruciating pain going from my right foot all the way up my calf and thigh. They sent me to see if I had a blood clot. No clot. Thank goodness. I was so scared about that. The dr. decided to put me back on my neurontin. He figured it was some kind of nerve thing going on. He put me on 600mgs 3 times a day. You know with Neurontin tho, you have to work your way up from 1 to 2. Well, I found that I only needed 1. So I take 300mgs 3 times a day. That's much better than prior to surgery. I still have a little ache in my foot and leg but not like it was. Dr. said he woud order an MRI if I needed one. He said it was too soon after surgery to have one tho cuz it probably wouldn't show anything at this point. I see him on the 29th of this month. On that day I will get an x ray before I see him. I pray really hard that my fusion is healing properly. Oh I don't want to see that it isn't healing right. I will be so upset. :''(

    Anyway, that's where I am pain wise. I am better than I was before surgery. But still in surgical pain. I hope and pray the leg and foot pain goes away as well.

    Here's wishing everyone a pain free evening. ;) >:D<
  • I had a tfil fusion done JUne 7th with screws rods and cage. Spent 1 1/2 days in hospital. Woke up with all pre surgery symptoms gone, but surgery site was 10 plus on pain scale. Was up and walking 9 hours after surgery. Was put on Oxycotin and Percocets for pain and Baclofin for spazms. Went off all pain pills 5 days after surgery for first time in 2 years. No problems there, in fact Doctor was amazed that I have more mobility now then before.
    At 2 week mark was put on a bone generator and old pain came back almost immediatly, subsided after a couple days. Now 5 weeks out and have sciatia both cheeks and numbness in left calf that sometimes feels cold, that numbness most days also has a severe burning feeling with it. Has anyone else had similar problem and did it go away with time?
  • As usual lol but for sure in a good way. I suppose I could say "Post Pain Plus" but I hesitate as I have no pain in, near, or because of the surgery or issues that led me to surgery. I'm "one of the lucky ones".

    Just like to pop in from time to time to be that little success story everyone hopes for :)
  • After reading these definitions, it appears I am in Prior Pain and Post Pain.

    Once we can tame my issues from the waist down, I look forward to graduating up to Post Pain Plus... in addition to a "good" versus "fair" prognosis. :)

    I will get there... I just need some more time and lots of patience! TGFX... "thank God for Xanax" and a marvy psychiatrist.

    Have no doubts... I'll get 'er done. :)

    Hugs and love to all,

    Tammy :)

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