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L-4 - S-1 (PLIF) Pain afterwards

bigdaddy4995bbigdaddy4995 Posts: 1
edited 09/17/2013 - 4:44 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
had a spinal fusion of the L-4 through S-1 disks. Think they called it a PLIF. Think what scared me the most is that right out of surgery the nurse told me that when they hear their having a PLIF on their floor they usually try to get the week off. Ohh Great I thought!!! I will say that the first night was EXTREMELY painful....if my wife wasn't with me I don't know that I would of made it. It was the absolute worse pain that I have ever had to go through. By the second day I was up walking around the halls of the hospital floor. The therapist that was helping me to walk told me that in her 20 yrs she had never seen anyone get up and walk as well as I did, which was a little reassuring, Considering how the first time I got up I took two baby steps forward and two baby steps back to bed. Scared the **edited word** out of me I honestly didn't think I was going to be walking again, The first thing that I wondered was if the dr. had hit something and I wasn't going to be walking ever again. By my 4th day in the hospital I was heading home, was doing laps on the hospital floor, and doing the stairs in the therapy room.

After leaving the hospital my Dr. said that he wanted me to work towards a goal of 5 miles a day of walking. LOL I don't think I have every purposely walked more than 2 on purpose. But whatever every morning I get up and get dressed up and head out and walk to the end of my street and back, maybe 1/2 mile there and back. Plus all the walking I do around my house (I have a 6 year old, and a 14 month old daughter) you can imagine how much is getting done around here.

My question is this. They gave me Percocet/Acet 5-325 and 5mil of valium. I called my Dr. office and told them that when I get up to walk like they want to the pain gets worse (a lot worse) and asked for something stronger at least for the first month. I am just wondering what kind of pain meds people were put on after this type of surgery and if I was out of line for asking? Oh they told me instead of changing script I could up my valium intake, which I hate, so that's not going to be changing anything. please let me know if they are being to tough on me or am I being a baby?


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  • I'm some 20 weeks out of surgery and have a good walking program going. I have always been a walker except when my back was too bad to go for more than 30 minutes. I'm currently walking 45-60 minutes on my treadmill about 5 days per week. I have to be a little careful about not overdoing it, because it really can cause a lot of aches and pains. My physical therapist told me I was way overdoing it and I needed to settle it back down a bit. It's going to take you some time to get there, I don't think you're being a baby at all. 5 miles per day for a healthy individual is A LOT! For the 3 months following my surgery, they wanted me walking, but not so much as to cause any discomfort....1/2 mile here, a mike there, etc, as tolerated.
    Lumbar laminectomy L-4/L-5, 2006
    XLIF with posterior pedicle screws L-4/L-5, 4-23-2013
  • What you were given is the norm for the post op period. You aren't supposed to push past the point that it becomes so painful you need more meds, you are supposed to walk, multiple times a day, and work up to 5 miles a day, not try to do it from the onset of your return home...
    Vicoden and percocet are the standard post op medications used to treat acute pain and the further out from surgery you get the result should be your pain is decreasing, not increasing...if it is increasing, then you need to slow down a bit and watch that you aren't doing things you shouldn't be doing at this point in your recovery....it does sound like you are pushing too hard, too soon.
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