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Pain med Weaning

My doctors helper called me after I tried to get another refill. I am almost5 weeks po.l5s1 plif . So these were her exact words 'well now is the time we cut you fron 10/325 Norco to 5/325 Norco.' So I just said ok. So I tried it. My walking felt like I had a pair of vice grips on my vertebrate. I generally don't have pain when I walk. I have already cut myself from 12 a day to 5 or six a day and it's usually just during active times. These people are like the NARC police! I have never had surgery before and have been so strict with drugs. They never even asked me how my pain was!!


  • I reccomend that you make an appointment with a pain management specialist. I was 5 weeks post op and a zombie from the meds. Everytime I called the suregon they would tell me, incease the dosage. After I went to pain management I was much more comfortable and had extended release medication. You are experiencing a difficult time. My surgeon was furious I went to the pain center.
    L5/S1 TLIF July 18, 2013
    4 Screws 2 Rods and BMP
    Post surgery L4 Dermatones
  • I would contact the surgeon and tell them you have had a big increase in pain after the dosage adjustment. Maybe they can wean you slower if they are determined to get you off or maybe you still need need pain meds at this point.
  • Hope3HHope3 Posts: 752
    edited 04/27/2014 - 3:29 AM
    So sorry for what you are feeling that has to be difficult beyond words.
    When the Doc. helper said they wanted to cut you back and you agreed then
    they don't know at this point what you are dealing with right? So you do
    need to make an apt. or call and explain how you are feeling. Hopefully
    they will help you find a level where you can handle it.
    I don't know if there are other things you could be doing at this time since
    you just had surgery.
    Take care and believe me people here can be of great support for you.
  • Surgeons will only prescribe pain medications for so long post op......some for 30 days only, others for 60 or 90 days, and during that time, they will start to cut down the dosage as you move from the acute , intense post op pain to recovery pain.....the muscles and ligaments are going to be sore, during your recovery period , and there are other meds that can be much more beneficial than opiates when it comes to treating muscular pain....but cutting down the amount of opiates a patient takes post op is an important part of getting the patients to get ready to resume their lives and not rely on the opiates to get them there.
    If you are having more pain than your surgeon feels is normal, make an appointment and discuss it with him, in person...if he feels that there may be something outside of what is normal for your stage of recovery, he can make a referral for further pain management.
  • HanniesmomHHanniesmom Posts: 23
    edited 04/28/2014 - 8:23 PM
    Well, without even asking how I am doing, I called the surgeon and told him that my back hurts when I walk now and he said he wasn't going to raise my dosage, that 2 5/325 of norco was enough and that I should just shorten my walks. Not happy. :(
  • Hi .... When I began to wean off the 10mg Oxycontin slow release, one morning and one night ... First the doctor halved the dose and I also had a hard time doing that for the first week .... What I did was take the morning one to keep the pain down as I moved around and also took 2mg Diazapam three times a day for muscle tightness. I was - and still am taking a nerve painkiller, Amitriptyline 30mg at night. Then I would fill in with a quick acting OxyNorm if the pain increased too much during the day.
    Then, I managed to get myself off the night OxyContin altogether ... at about 7 weeks.
    I am now into week 10 after a TLIF 2 level fusion at L4/L5 and L5/S1 plus other work with discs etc and I have generally given up the Diazepam as well ... Still on the Amitriptyline and will likely be so for a long time more.
    My home doctor prescribes my drugs and she suggested a pain diary ... just a simple diary recording my pain level out of ten, what time I took the meds and what I took .... that way she could see how I was doing, was a pattern there and that I was also being responsible with the drugs. My surgeon has written he would expect me to be off all the narcotic drugs by 12 weeks and I think this may be achievable. Keep going ... still early days, but talk it through with somebody both sensible and sympathetic to your situation.
  • At some point in the recovery phase, you do have to learn to push through the pain a bit.....that does not mean that you go resume all of your activities you did prior to your injury, but it does mean that you have to push your body a bit when things get sore.....muscles, ligaments, tendons were all cut, and they are going to be unhappy for a bit, while you get back into a more regular activity level.
    Muscular pain can usually be managed by trying some of the over the counter pain relief creams and rubs out there......even the heat patches that you can wear for several hours might be beneficial. If all else fails, it might be good to ask about the use of a muscle relaxer to see if that helps.
    I know that it isn't easy but this is all part of the recovery of spine surgery.
  • I have also come to realize that maybe he wants me to feel a little pain so I don't do too much by having it masked. I only took 5 norco 5/325 today plus my neurontin. I'm not ready to give that up yet, but I'm still walking 2 miles a day which the doc said to slow down if that gets to be too much. Thank you for your level heads!
  • There is something to be said for having the pain tell you when you are overdoing it....it is a common theme when we have surgery.......there is little out there to really tell us what it is going to be like so we assume that it will be similiar to other surgeries we may have had in the past........spine surgery isn't like that..
    It's the core of our bodies, our muscles, tendons', ligaments, all depend on our spines to hold them together, to allow us to walk, carry things, bend, twist......and of course, once we start feeling a little better, we want to get back to resuming our busy lives......but doing that, too soon, can really jeapordize everything that we have gone through to get to feeling better......so sometimes, feeling that sudden twinge of uh oh......shouldn't have done that, makes us remember that we have so much on the line regarding our future and our lives, that doing too much can really put us right back to the starting line or worse yet, at a whole new one......
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