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new to site, just had second lower back surgery,pain question

I have had surgeries for the past 4 years dealing with pain begining with a hip replacement, then a knee replacement same side then lower back surgery 9 months ago ( lamonectomy and fusion with my own bone ) had second back surgery 2 and a half weeks ago, ( lamonectomey and fusion L4-L5 this time using metal rods and pedicle screws plus cement ) surgeon told me after 6 and a half hours in operationg room that he had found tons of scar tissue and all of the previous fusion material laying in a pile. Did not have a real good experience in the hospital as they were full and had no room to put me in so I ended up staying in the recovery room all night, only recieved ( 1 ) vicoden tablet every 6 hours for pain which did not control the pain at all and still did not get a room the next day so my doctor decided just to send me home. One of the problems with never getting a room in the specialized spine care center is that I was left with nurses in the recovery area who were very nice but not experienced in the treatment of someone with back surgery. I was gotten out of bed to use the bathroom by just lifting me with assistance by the nurses arm and standing up without any brace because the nurse was neither familiar with the brace nor knew how it should be worn. I am just hoping that there was no damage done to my fusion during this time.
After being home I have worn the brace and the bone growth stimulator religiouly as instructed, however if I try to go 4 hours or more without the pain meds the pain gets pretty bad ( I presently take 2 vicoden tablets every 4 or 5 hours during the day ) I wake up every morning with pretty bad pain since it has usually been 7 hours or so since taking any pain meds.
I guess that my question is, is unusual to still have this much pain almost 3 weeks since surgery? and if not how long should it be before I can start weaning off the pain meds? Thanks for any help


  • Loreeann32LLoreeann32 Posts: 76
    edited 08/02/2012 - 2:58 AM
    Welcome Earl, I just joined 2 days ago. I would like to know as well, since I have a upcoming surgery, TBA, to be annouced. I am having a L3-4 spinal fusion, and I would like to know as well how it will turn out. I am presently on Vicodin, and take the same as you now, for my torn and herniated disc. Let me know.

    L3-L4 minimally invasive spinal fusion L3 - L4 with cage and rods. Aug 24th, 2012
    Hardware Removal Feb 24, 2014
    DDD, Thyroid Disease
    Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
    SI Joint dysfunction
  • first of all i am sorry you had a bad experience post op .it sound like you when through hell .fist you should have been catheterised .so toileting would not have been an issue .and your pain relief was a joke ! .i too had to stay in recovery all night because my hospital did not have a bed in HDU and even though i had a bed on the spinal unit i was not well enough to return there .but i was treated like a king in recovery i had my own anesthetist/theater technician and the consultant was only a bleep away .and i was drugged up too heaven ! .i was worried about being catheterised but was grateful post op as moving was awful i suffered with lots of pain and still do 8 months on .some recover faster .but the general rule is the older you are the more surgeries you have had and other factors like your general health/fitness whether you smoke /drink overweight will all effect your outcome ..a fusion is a massive operation and yes you will get pain for many months .but to be sure and if your are worried go see your consultant .//i am amazed at the amount of pain killers your were give post op they had me on 4 mg of diamorphine every 4 minutes IV with ketamine every 2 hours IV and diazepam and paracetamol ever 4 hours again IV and i was still awake and talking {other patients were fast asleep on 1 mg of morphine every 5 mins} the problems was i am a long standing back pain patient and have been taking high levels of oxycontin for about 8 years so i had built a high resistance to pain killers ..scary !.another thing in the uk were are not encouraged to wear a back brace its amazing the differences between the usa and uk .if your still in pain maybe you should see your doctor and ask for a medication review? that's what we would do here .i know the type of pain your in and i know how horrible it is .that morning pain is about as bad as it gets .good luck
    tony {UK}
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
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