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Important reading for anyone heading into spinal surgery

dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,856
edited 03/05/2014 - 2:20 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Important reading for anyone heading into spinal surgery

Many patients who are scheduled for spinal surgery work with their surgeon in terms of the proper amount of pain medications that are prescribed PRIOR to surgery. Then there should be discussions up front about the type of pain medication that you will receive DURING surgery

Most of the time, your doctor should have had the discussion with you regarding the discharge plan in terms of all medications, the do's/dont;s, physical therapy, etc. Based on the type of surgery, your surgeon might provide you with a 2 week, 3 week or 4 week supply of pain medications.

From that point on, the surgeon normally Discharges themselves from your case. This is pretty normal. The role of the surgeon is to perform the procedure to correct your medical condition. That is their primary focus. Ok, but what about you, the patient, 4, 5, 6 or more weeks after surgery. Who is going to provide you with the medications you need?????? WHAT NOW

That is a topic that needs to be discussed prior to going into surgery. You need to have a pain management doctor, a physiatrist or another doctor who will monitor your progress post surgery and prescribe medications as needed.

Too many people do not take care of that prior to surgery, and there are surgeons who really do not go into any details about this. I've talked to dozen's of surgeons and their staff. Prior to surgery, they should always have a surgical review where most of the above is discussed. All of them do include the need for having a doctor that will be with the patient after the surgeon's time period is over.

Do not wait until its too late. You will read countless threads here about members who have had surgery, then after a couple of weeks, their surgeon stops providing prescriptions. Then the member is left in pain, not knowing where to turn.
Don't get yourself into this situation. PLAN AHEAD And if your doctor doesn't mention tings like this, , but sure that you do!
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


  • Very good point.
    4 level fusion lower back
    2 level cervical fusion
    Left knee replacement
  • Very good point. I have 2.5 month post op appt on March 11th. I'll be sure to ask about that. Although I must say, my pain is improving considerably over the last couple of weeks. Hopefully, I won't need to worry about it. Thanks!
    Synovial cyst removal in 2008. L4-L5 facet joint.
    Lumbar fusion at L4-L5 in December 2013. TLIF posterior entry
  • SteveTSSteveT Posts: 178
    edited 03/05/2014 - 11:19 AM
    Guess it varies by surgeon. For my fusion my spine surgeon would have provided pain meds for up to 90 days post op if needed.
    10/28/13 - ALIF, PSF, decompression at L4/L5 and L5/S1
  • I am still on pain med's and my surgery was in July. I spent a month doped up and the surgeon's pa just kept increasing the dosages. I did not have adequate pain mgmt post surgery. I finally called into a pain mgmt doc my coworker uses and I am glad I did. With in 3 days of taking the new pain med combo I felt like a new person and could perform basic functions.

    I got a lot of pushback from my suregon for going to this pain center. I did not care. I do not like being on pain medicine, but I need it to function.
    40 year old mom
    Tlif July 18
  • This describes my situation to a T. I literally do not know what to do, or where to turn. I wish I read this before all my surgeries.
    L5-S1 Herniation. 1st MIrcrodiscectomy 11/9/13. 2nd Microdiscectomy 12/19/13
  • I am still under the care of my neurosurgeon and Orthopedic Doctor who did my procedure, it has been 8 months since my fusion, I am having issues with foot drop has result of the surgery but they both still see me every 3 to 4 months and they consult with each other, still on Gabapentin for the nerve damage.
  • dfhughes57ddfhughes57 Posts: 32
    edited 03/12/2014 - 3:14 PM
    This is nice to know but unfortunately many of us poor souls have no experience with surgery and post op procedures, it would be wonderful if the surgeon, his assistant, the nurse or secretary had taken the time to explain the proper steps prior to performing the surgery. By following this simple step we wouldn't take up so much of the surgeons precious time, and waste our time going to the wrong doctor or being berated for going to the EMR.
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