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5 week postop L5S1 fusion-trouble sleeping

Hello all. I am almost at my 5 week point post op. I see my surgeon a week from tomorrow for my first set of x rays. My question is, has anyone had trouble staying asleep? I can't sleep for more than 1.5-2 hours at the most at a time. I don't feel like it is pain that is waking me up. I have been queening off of my strong narcotics lately but can't seem to go without the muscle relaxers yet. I have read and heard that the muscle relaxers are one of the last things to let go of. I am on Valium that I do take before bed and don't have any trouble falling asleep with 10-20 minutes. I just can't stay asleep. I feel as though I am rambling and I am sorry for that.

I do want to say that I "trolled" this site many times before and after surgery and have to say there are some of the kindest people on here that truly seem concerned about others. It's nice to see that in the world we love in.


  • I am also 5 weeks post L4/L5 fusion and am having some trouble sleeping. I quit taking the Soma so I could take an Ambien, but am waking up during the night and having a hard time going back to sleep. It seems like it's a big deal to rearrange all the pillows to flip over and get settled on the other side.
    Lumbar laminectomy L-4/L-5, 2006
    XLIF with posterior pedicle screws L-4/L-5, 4-23-2013
  • I had trouble sleeping too, but im 11 wks out L4L5S1 now and I don't wake up anymore.I think its the drugs. Good luck kathy
    Kathy B
  • I am also 5 weeks post opt L4-S1 ALIF. I still have trouble sleeping too. It's getting better. I have trouble falling asleep because I am a tummy sleeper and can't do that right now. When I do get to sleep I wake up when the meds wear off.
    injury 12/29/09. L2 henamgioma L3-S1 desiccation protrusion narrowing, L5-S1 nerve rood displaces, L4-5 annular tear DDD L5-S1. surgery 4/24/12
  • odouglassoodouglass Posts: 264
    edited 06/02/2013 - 1:15 PM
    I am just over 4 weeks post op L5/S1 fusion and I finally had to stop taking the muscle relaxers as I figured out that is what was keeping me awake and even giving me panic attacks sometimes. I find that zzzquil helps me to sleep if I become desperate.
    Olivia Douglass
    MIS TLIF L5/S1 on 5/1/13
  • I find melatonin helps me get a great night sleep. It's over the counter and relatively safe. I'd check with the surgical nurse to be on the safe side, just to be sure it is fine with your current meds and past history.
    33yo mom of two. My surgical history...preadolescence scoliosis, kyphosis, and a hot mess.... 5 spine surgeries and lots of items added I wasn't born with (titanium, peek, surgical steel). Guess cremation is out. TSA loves me.
  • Good idea, AllMetal, I need to get some of that as I try to get back on schedule for returning to work!
    Olivia Douglass
    MIS TLIF L5/S1 on 5/1/13
  • Welcome to spine-health. I'm sorry you have difficulty sleeping. Sometimes the Valium lasts for a short while. Can you call your Dr. to see if you can take a divided dose? After my surgery, I took 1/2 a Valium at 10 pm and another at 3am with my Dr.'s advice. As I titrated off that, I added Benadryl at night (not every night) to help me sleep. Getting quality pain relief and sleep is essential to recovery. Also practicing good sleep habits-calm relaxation time before attempting sleep. I wish you the best in your recovery and a better night's sleep!
  • Melatonin is WONDERFUL to get you back on a sleep schedule... I don't take it every night, and I can't remember what the bottle says, but I'm pretty sure it says not to take it every night, but it is certainly safe occasionally (or for a few days in a row to adjust to another sleep schedule), but again, always check with your PCP just to be certain its safe for you. Tylenol PM is just Tylenol and benadryl. I was actually shocked when the hospital allowed me to have this at night while in the hospital since I was also on other drugs. Now they didn't actually have "Tylenol PM" but they gave me the Tylenol dose and the benadryl, so I know this can be taken with other medication, but again... ALWAYS check with your PCP to be certain its ok, especially if your pain meds include acetaminophen.
    33yo mom of two. My surgical history...preadolescence scoliosis, kyphosis, and a hot mess.... 5 spine surgeries and lots of items added I wasn't born with (titanium, peek, surgical steel). Guess cremation is out. TSA loves me.
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