I am having 360 fusion surgery (L4/S1) in the next month or so and have a major concern about the opiates that will be used post surgery to control pain. This is the second fusion surgery in 10 months and is necessary because the cage at L4/L5 has migrated forward to such a degree that there is not enough between the bones to allow a fusion. The NS is also going to fuse L5/S1 while he is in there because of ongoing problems at that level.
When I had the last fusion we discovered that I am extremely sensitive to opioids. So sensitive, in fact, that they caused a headache so bad that they thought I might be having an issue with my brain. It didn't help when they treated the headache with endone and then morphine on top of the oxycontin that I was already taking. It took a couple of days for the doctors to figure out what was going on. Once they did we had to find a balance between the level of back pain I could tolerate and the level of headache that the meds caused. As a result, my short stay in hospital ended up lasting almost two weeks and my recovery was severely impacted because I was too ill to get up out of bed for most of that time.
Since then I have had to limit my pain meds and only take something when the pain is so bad that I can no longer deal with it. My life has turned into one long mental battle to block the pain. As you can imagine - this makes me a little irritable at times 'cause there isn't enough mental energy left to deal with much else!
My question is - has anyone come across any different means of post-operative pain management? I am dreading the pain meds even more than I am dreading the surgery!