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Is early pain after surgery a bad sign?

Hello all,

Randy in Raleigh NC. One week post op. Is early pain after surgery a bad sign?

Similar to pre surgery? Had C5 - C7 fusion. Wanted to amputate left arm prior to surgery.

Thanks for any input you have!


  • First a disclaimer. My recent surgery is L5-S1 to relieve sciatica so may be entirely different from yours. Done at Triangle Orthopedics so we're practically neighbors.

    After my surgery I was pain free for about a week, but some pain slowly returned. My post op was a couple of weeks after the surgery and my surgeon said that most of his patients have a similar experience and it is the result of the nerve healing. I'm now 5 weeks and a day post surgery and I'm thinking he may be right. The pain is slowly subsiding.

    I'm only posting here since his explanation may be broader than relating to my specific case.
  • Howdy fellow North Carolinian :-) I'm in Greensboro and had a TLIF on L5/S1 on January 16th. My pre-surgery pain & other nerve-related issues were pretty bad, and recovery has been rough so far (part of that is just because I postponed the surgery for too long and had been on narcotic pain management for a while....tolerance is a beast).

    I don't think it's a bad sign necessarily....nerves can take months to heal, even if they were just moved during surgery. Hang in there!
    1/16/2013 Minimally invasive TLIF with rods, screws, and cage on L5/S1 joint to treat grade 2 spondylolysthesis, pars defect, degenerative disc disease. Dealt with chronic pain & nerve issues since at least 2007.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,865
    is really so new after surgery, that many times its almost impossible to distinguish between post surgery pain and the pain you had prior to surgery.

    For some folks, almost immediately after surgery, the pain they had prior to surgery was gone.

    I experienced that with my three Cervical ACDF. A couple of weeks later, I had other pains that just needed time to heal. With lumbar surgeries, it can be much much longer.

    There are so many variables that go into the Surgery and how soon Post-Surgery will start to feel good, what pain you may have, when you can return to some activity, etc.

    We get many members here talking about pain 1 to 2 months after surgery. That is still so fresh out of surgery, that again its hard to identify what that pain really is.

    I've taken the approach that as long as that pain doesn't increase, and that day by day there is some improvement, then
    its ok.

    But for peace of mind, and since I am not a medical professional, just give you my experience, I would contact your doctor and discuss this with them.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
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