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5 days post-op is my medicine managing my pain levels?

SplendagrrlSSplendagrrl Posts: 108
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:57 AM in Recovering from Surgery
I am 5 days out of a Anterior Lumbar Interbody two level fusion with decompression. Recovery has been going good so far and as for the hospital staff they say better than most as for my walking etc..

In fact I have come home from the hospital and have been able to do alot on my own, and I walk clear to my mailbox and back with no problems. The only issues I have had so far are extreme tiredness, I just doze off anytime.

Well my problem is this, today I was having extreme pain in my back. My last two doses I had to take two hours early. I am on the highest dose of Percocet and I take 2 pills every four hours. Well all of a sudden I am not making it 4 hours and do not know what to do. My last dose I had to take two hours early, then I had to stay in bed and not move and still had bad pain for another 2 hours.

My question is do I just grit my teeth and handle the pain because I am in recovery, or do I call my doctor and tell him my pain meds are not controlling my pain? What experiences have you had during recovery?


  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427
    ..definately call doc and tell him the pain meds aren't holding. No need to needlessly suffer.
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • One thing to keep in mind, during surgery they load you up pretty good with meds, and you can do very good post surgery and then have set backs. I see it all to common, where members do more and more then the pain sets in, as the surgery meds and hospital meds wear down. Try taking a day of rest and seeing if that helps, but always when in doubt call your surgeon. I have to admit I am guilty of the above myself, and learned the hard way it is major surgery, and there is no being in the front of the class on recovery. Keep us posted, hopefully you will get some good rest and things calm down, though.
  • My pain is still not doing good, I had to call the surgeon today and they are going to give me something stronger for the pain tomorrow. They also went ahead and made my post op tomorrow too so I can get checked, have my X-ray, and pick up a new script because it's about an hour and a half away.
  • Geting tierd and sleeping is good. Resting will help healing. Most of the healing takes place while body is resting. So rest all you can for now, More rest might help with pain, Good luck, Best wishes for good recovery and best of heath to ya,
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • Howdy Splenda,

    While my surgery wasn't for the back, it was 5 levels from the back of the neck - and it joined two regions of the spine. I am now on day 14 (wow, that long already?), and I have to agree a zillion percent with Alex - sleep!

    I will add this though. I know for me, when I get behind on my pain medication schedule, I ramp up to ridiculous pain levels, and it's a bitch to get back under control! That is a flat spin I am trying soooo hard to stay away from - got into two of those puppies! I am hoping to go home from the hospital today or tomorrow (fingers crossed for today).

    Keep your surgeon in the loop, and stay on top of your medication schedule - even if you have to set your dang alarm! I kid you not, stay on schedule for the best pain control - of course this is just from what I've experienced. I hope all continues to get better for you.

    For me, I am on 20mgs 2x's a day Oxycotin, Dilaudid 4mg every 4 hours, Fentanyl 50mcg (?) - replace every 3 days, Lidoderm (again...on it for my back presently) 12 hours on, 12 hours off, Percocet 20mg for breakthrough, Levoflaoxacin (antibiotic) for another week or so, Colace (sp) for stool softening - I haven't had a problem in that area, Iron Ferrous Sulfate 325mg, and of course as needed, Ambien for sleep. The rest are my regular meds (Lyrica, blood pressure, Advair for my ex smoking - speed up lung healing) - yuck, are we having fun yet? (G)

    I so hope you are in a good place right now. I finally feel like me and pain are "getting along" if you will. I know the drive home will kick me to the Percocet corner, but that is okay - ready for it. Please keep us posted. I know this post surgical stuff sucks, but we gotta do it sadly. I never got put on so much "stuff/druggie junk" for my prior surgeries, so gotta work through it. Big supportive *HUGZ* to ya woman!!!

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Wow that is a lot of meds, What would worry me is how would i know how much the surgery helped if i was given and taking that much meds?

    I know right after surgery they leave you on the pain pump like for a day and thats it ,when it comes out then you back lowering the dose each day to see how surgery feels,

    Actualy when my hardware was taken out i was suprised no pain pump just handed me 2 norco every 4 or 6 hours cant remember, and that was it, Which was fine cause pain after last surgery was realy not as bad as it was with the fusion,

    So this is why i am just wondering how will you ever know if surgery helped you at all if medications will mask so much of the condition,

    After all the surgery is done to help keep meds at the lowest dose i would think instead of dumping so much drugs on a person where they get so use to the higher dose already given that they have to take it for life and now go even on a higher dose posibly,

    This would be my concern, Unless for the 1 st few weeks they figure meds are needed for after care for the surgery or even months and then they can lower it slowly,

    But once you are use to the high dose stuff its going to be hard to keep pain under control later in time and lowering it, no? I am just assuming that would be the case ,

    But of course we all know what we need to take for the moment so soon out of surgery so whatever works,

    Splendagrl. Good luck tomorow with xray and new meds, hopefuly it helps.
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • Thanks very much for your concerns, but the area of the neck that I had fused has almost the most motion in the spine. 5 levels to boot. I was on a PCA pump for 4 days before they took me off of it; and I am on a schedule of sorts to kick me down on the pain types and medication levels. :)

    This was a pretty big surgery in the fusion side of the house! Since I've not seen anyone with 5 levels done, I can't really judge what is a good level of meds or not. I honestly wish I had someone to compare to, but I don't. I do agree, lots of meds there. From what I know of my surgeon, I will be on less than a half to a quarter when all is said and done and healed. :) Thanks again for your concerns. You're a good friend Alex, poles and all!! Hehehe

    So sorry for the hijack there Splendagirl. I am hoping your pain medications have been adjusted now. Any improvement? Fingers crossed that you are feeling better. Again, sorry, the hijack wasn't planned.

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,730
    the meds didn't even touch the pain. I called the Dr. immediately. They gave me a new prescription. Which covered the pain. But I seemed to recover pretty fast and didn't even go to the pharmacy to pick up my refill.
    So you will know when and how much you can cut back. But in the meantime it just dosen't make any sense to suffer.
    good luck, Jim
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
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