I had a posterior C1/C2 fusion with wires on April 6th (so about 7 weeks ago) and was wondering how long is realistic before I will no longer need pain medications. I have been steadily decreasing the amount of pain medication (norco) I take daily. Pre and post-surgery I was also taking at least one muscle relaxer daily (350mg Soma) and 0.5 - 1mg of ativan to help me relax and get to sleep every night. I am now taking about 3 Norco (10/325mg) daily, and split them in half and take a half about every 3 hours during the day. I haven't had to take a muscle relaxer in about 2 weeks, and haven't taken an ativan for 4 days now.
I guess what I am getting at, what are other people's experience with post-surgical pain for a single level fusion (or other surgery)? I don't like to take pain meds, and prior to getting arthritis and bone spurs on my C1, I didn't take any. I feel guilty for still taking pain medication and would like to know that my pain level and use of pain meds is realistic.
April 2011 C1-C2 Fusion (Brooks wiring)
January 2012 C1-C2 Revision Fusion (Harms Technique)
2010 - current: Trigger Point Injections, Epidural Injections, Bilateral C2-C3 Radiofrequency Ablations