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How long on pain meds after fusion surgery?

grjtggrjt Posts: 9
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:50 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Iam 7 weeks post op from a 3 level fusion.Pain is much less but meds still needed some.I take percocet.


  • Hubby took no pain meds at all after coming home from his lumbar fusion. However, from reading the posts on this board, I think he was among the very
    few and the very lucky.
  • Each person has a differant pain tolerace,as for me i have a very high pain tolerane,my first surgrey i only used the pain pump 2 to 3 times and then no more pain meds,but for this one it could be a differant story.
  • Low pain tolerance here! I don't like hurting, consequently I about wore the paint off the pain pump button I had in the hospital..Haha. Seriously, once I got home, I did take Percocet once a day till the bottle ran out. About a month I guess. Never took anything after that. Recently, my NS prescribed Lyrica for persistent pain, but I'm hesitant to take, and haven't. The pain isn't that bad and I don't really want to mask a symptom that may be trying to tell me something.

  • I took percocet initially and then changed to Norco fairly consistently for about a month then was able to wean down to only taking it at night. Mainly because once I got in bed my legs would ache so much and have pain in my hips (not so much for my back). If I could have only taken ibuprofen or could have soaked in the tub I would have been able to get rid of them more quickly. After my 8 week appoint, I was allowed to take a bath which helped SOOOOO much! Now I think I'm addicted to my baths (but I guess that's better than the meds, right!) I still need a muscle relaxer most nights as I get very stiff. Haven't taken "pain meds" for about a month now. (now 11 weeks post surgery.

  • 5 1/2 weeks post complex 360 fusion with corpectomy I am on the meds I was on before surgery plus 2 15 mg roxycodone a day. After 3 years of meds, I'm understandably a bit tolerant.

    But the difference is that now I am pretty comfortable with the meds as long as I listen to my body. Before surgery, I was in moderate pain most of the time, even with the meds.
  • It can be from one week to years post-op, everyone has different experiences.
  • I had alif on nov 1 st and im still on my meds 5 mg oxycodone 2 every 8 hrs and a muscle relaxer lyrica and i couldn't do it without my meds....had Alif on l4/l5 but still have problems at l5/s1 as well and c4/c/5 c/6 so its for multti things!....everyone is different and i was told it can take up to 18 months be pain free its been almost 3 months and im not in pt yet till next month!!! hope this helped

  • I'm four years post op and take Lortab 7.5 PRN. My pain is pretty much event driven. If I'm overly active, playing golf or have to pick up a heavy person (EMS) then I'm usually hitting the meds.

    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • oxycodone pretty consistently for about 18 months after surgery. I had a three-level fusion. I still have a prescription, and I still take it occasionally after doing a lot of physical work or sometimes even just from being out in the cold too long (those rods HURT when they get cold). However, I'd say I probably take 4-5 a month now instead of each day.

    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • Amen on the cold weather pain!
    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • Totally in agreement the Cold HURTS and NE has been hit with so much snow and really cold weather!!


    spondylolisthesis at L4-5; stenosis,
    Lumbar surgeries 1999 L4-L5
    Lumbar staph infection 1999-2000"
    Meningitis x5 in 1999-2001
    Brain shunt 2000"
    Brain shunt removed 20001"
    ALIF/PLIF fusion 8/5/09
    Failed fusion and Failed Hardware
    PLIF Fusion scheduled for 10/29/10
  • Used the pain pump in the hospital quite a bit. Did not do well with the Oxy. 5 nights in the hospital, did use the Oxy the first 3 days at home. After that, an occasional valium for the muscles, otherwise just Tylenol. L5/S1 fusion.

  • The rainy weather bothers me more than the cold. I guess everyone is different. I would much rather it be 10 degrees and snowing than 40 degrees and raining. Of course in northeast ohio we get too much of both.
    4 level posterolateral fusion L2-S1 with rods and screws and cadaver bone. Spondylolisthesis, spinal stenosis, scoliosis, sciatica, DDD, facet disease and arthritis. September 2002
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,832
    Phase I
    Consists of the time you leave the hospital and probably until the time your surgeon discharges you. That varies, but in many cases its 2 months. I know for my previous surgeries, my surgeon wrote the prescriptions for all my pain medications up to the 2 month mark

    Phase II
    After your surgeon discharges you, you might then be under the care of your PCP or in many situations, a Pain Management doctor or a Physiatrist. Those doctors will review your situation to determine if you need to continue with pain medications and to what extent.

    For many of us, there really isnt any change between phases. For me, there was no difference between Phases I and II. Same pain medications. However, since I have multiple spinal issues and have been a chronic pain patient for more years than I wish to remember, I am always on some level of narcotic pain medications.

    The best answer is something that you will know when the time happens.
    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
  • 4 days after surgery I dropped everything except tylenol for a short period. I have been pain free for over 3 years.
  • Sorry I double posted, maybe still on drugs huh??
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