Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

Surgery completed and back at home recovering but a couple questions

subvet1969ssubvet1969 Posts: 34
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:57 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
First off let me say from the first time I posted on SH in Feb of 2011 until now just flew by and now I'm just beginning the recovery stage. And so I don't have to post and repost this message a million times to every person who dedicated their valuable time, I also wanted to thsnk each and every member who supplied information, support, prayers and even those who have become members and posted information for me to read, learn,and use in my own context whether I had direct communication with or not. The information was invaluable.

I was released from one of the top spine surgery hospitals in the state a week ago tomorrow and have been too weak and not finding comfort in anyway that i sit, which is the reason for the lack of any earlier updates on my outcome. I had a 2 level (L4-S1) PLIF on fri 10/21/11 including a bilateral laminectomy and decompression with 6 screws, rods, cages and bone harvested from the lami. I did plenty of walking in the hospital and was sent home after 3 nights and 4 days inpatient . I was sent home with a shiny new walker, a toilet seat riser, an orthofix bone growth stimulator which im supposed to wear for 4 hrs per day, my back brace, and my scripts which consisted of valium and Norco 10 which is about the same as vicodin. The norco doesnt work worth a darn and im still in immense pain and im wondering if i should request a refill or at least a refill of something a little stronger. Its difficult to sleep ang to get comfortable however i sit or lie down. Also by my second day home i was getting some brutal deep pain/throbbing in my legs. My surgeon called me in a prescription for a 6 day steroidal medidose pack,for pain that was 100x times worse than restless leg syndrome. Thank god it worked because i was literally miserable and didnt sleep for 2 full days and nights.
I'm otherwise doing great and think the surgery will be a great success. My rigerous walking regimen will begin in a couple days but i think ill need a refill on my scripts. How long do surgeons generally allow you to be on the narcotics after a PLIF and do you think he would give me something stronger as I dont want to fall back on my recovery due to the discomfort.
I want to thank everyone again for their tips and wealth of info leading up to my procedure. God bles to all of those who are recovering or are looking at surgery soon. Let me be honest, its no fun, but if its worth getting your active lifestyle back or just simply the relief, its well worth the pain of surgery.
And as far as the list of needed post op items youll need when getting home, they are worth every dollar you spend, especially the $10.00 grabber you can buy at wlmart or at a pharmacy. I also got a cane to make maneuvering a little easier once the walker became a little more than what you need once you you begin walking with a little more control.

Thanks to this great SH community and will report back as my recovery time moves on.




  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,730
    welcome back. If my pain med isn't covering the pain I would let my surgeon or his P.A. know about that immediately. I think to refill a med. that's not working. Is a waste of time.
    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!
  • Call your surgeon and let them know your still in a great deal of pain. Do you know what meds you were on in the hospital? Let them know you had better pain control in the hospital and the pain is truly keeping you from getting up and moving about, and your concerns on the level of pain and not being managed to allow you move about more. I wouldn't worry about how long they will keep you on pain meds at this point and time. Your surgeon will let you know when they are not comfortable prescribing any longer. Don't wait till you begin to run out, as many scripts can't be called in, and only a hand written scrip is allowed. I would let them know you had hoped those meds would do the trick over some time, but your just not getting any relief from it, and your finding very uncomfortable in all positions.

    Welcome to the other side, and keep us updated on your recovery. Good luck.
  • Best of luck in your recovery,
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • Welcome home, and to the other side of surgery. I agree with everyone to call your surgeon right away, and let him know the amount of pain you are in, and that the Norco 10 is not giving you the relief that you need.

    It is so important for recovery to stay ahead of the pain, as it is that much harder on your body to recover when it is screaming out in pain. Also as your mobility increases and you are walking more, you will definately want to be as comfortable as possible.

    Wishing you all the best in your recovery. Look forward to reading more updates when you are able.

    gentle >:D<
    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012
  • Welcome home and to the healing process.

    As others have said, contact your doctor to change or increase your pain meds. You'll need good pain relief once you start increasing your activity. Please don't start a rigorous walking program - just lots of small walks throughout the day, and even night if you have to. Before I went outside the house, which was at about the 2 week mark, I walked up and down the patio, even during the night because my leg was so restless, and walking was the only thing that gave me relief.


    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
  • I also found that I needed to get up around 230 am and walk to minimize the surgical pain as opposed to staying horizontal for a full 8 hours. The surgical pain from the front entry took several weeks to resolve.
  • Hi Bryan!

    I am hoping that by now your pain is better managed!
    Are you taking anything for nerve pain, such as Lyrica, neurontin and or Cymbalta? Narcotics won't touch nerve pain. (in addition to your regular pain meds).

    After my first fusion, it felt as if someone had poured hot acid down my back! Once, the neurontin was restarted again, the pain lessened.

    Please don't hesitate to communicate with your medical team re your pain levels. If possible, could you see a pain management doc while you are recovering? I know everyone is different, including the docs, but with all of my lumbar surgeries (5 :() I have been encouraged to take what I needed for pain and to stay ahead of the pain. This is especially true for the first 6-8+ weeks.

    If you are unable to manage your pain, you will be unable to walk and do basic self care. Walking is the best preventative thing you can to to try to lessen the amount of scar tissue. Walking also pumps oxinated blood to and around your incision for healing.

    In the early weeks of recovery, I found it beneficial to structure my days in 4 hour blocks of time. I would take my pain meds, rest/sleep, try to eat a little and walk a bit.

    I also found it too uncomfortable to sit anywhere! Which was probably ok since my surgeon only wanted me to sit 20-30 minutes at a time, 2-3 times a day. I purchased a wedge pillow from bed, bath and beyond so I could sleep at an incline which helped to move from side lying to sitting. I slept on my right side as my bone graph insicion is on the left. I put pillows behind me, in between my knees and one to hug on.

    Hang in there and please let us know how you are doing! Reccovery from a lumbar fusion is a long journey with lots of ups and downs. Initally, my surgeon told me the recovery would be 6-12 months, after my fusion he said 12-18. I thought that wouldn't pertain to me, but it sure did! :)

    Wishing you the very best!

  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427
    Glad you're doing okay...except for that continued pain issue.
    Hopefully you called your doc. I'd love to know how he planned to make you more comfortable.

    They are all so different, so I sure hope your doc was right on top of things and ordered something for you that works!

    Take it easy and I hope each day is noticably better and better for you! :)
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • Welcome home! So glad to hear that everything went well but sorry to hear of your comfort & pain issues. I had a laminectomy, compression wedges, & fusion of T10-S1 as well as de-rotation and stabliziation by way of securing to the pelvis & hips. Call ur doc about the meds. They are usually sympathetic and aim to keep you comfortable. I'm sure he will give u a new script. I am also on norco 10. In the early weeks, my scrit was 1-2 pills every 6-8 hrs. I took 1 then about 3 hours later took another. It's important to keep a constant level in your system. Set an alarm to wake u when it's time to take the nxt dose. Also, the meds take the edge off but won't make it disappear. As far as comfort, a friend of mine had the same levels u did and he found a recliner to be of most comfort. I myself had a hospital bed up until today. Call a med supply and they will work w/ your insurance for you. It was a blessing to have.Also, pillows are my best friend. Make sure u move around the house too.....my doc recommended walking around the house every two hours or so and sitting in a chair for about 30 mins w x's /day.

    Hang in there, in my opinin, the 1st month is the hardest. I am 90 days out and just starting to feel human again. Call ur doc!

    Take care and sending healing thoughts and gentle hugs!

    P.S. great news on the bone stimulator! Still fighting the insurance about mine. They say they will approve 9 months post op! They requested a cert of med necesssity from my doc. I guess the T10-S1 fusion isn't proof enough!!
  • I'm dealing with post-op pain management as well, so you're not alone.

    I'm glad to hear you are home and on the road to recovery! I hear it's a bumpy trip.

    But i'm right there with you. :-)
  • Today I went to my Pain Mgmt Dr and he says I am in better shape than most at 5+ post op. He said the leg/hip/foot burnng and pain are typical and it will take 6-9 mo0nths to resolve most likely. He added Lyrica and switched me to Percocet since the Lortab wasnt working. I am filled with renewed hope the Lyrica will help and I can cut back on the narcotics soon. I hate the need to take them.
    Tomorrow I see the surgeon again for his almost 6 week checkup. The right leg and foot are still giving me swelling fits though so he wants to see me sooner than 6 weeks.

    Keep you posted.
Sign In or Register to comment.