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AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:18 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Does anyone get a "after one week" set back? I was feeling so good until yesterday, one week and one day after my ssurgery. I hurt so bad. My muscles just ache and ache. My perc. only seems to be making me feel funky and not taking away the pain. My flexeril makes me sleep. I don't mind that part though. It's probably the only sleep I get.

I just want to know if anyone else experienced this. Is it normal? I hate to ask for any stronger pain meds. I dont think my NS will give me any since he didn't have me on anything stronger in the hospital. Not even a pain pump. Maybe i should take the muscle relaxants more often?

Please, ,I need some reassurance.



  • Jess,
    It is pretty normal to have good days and really bad days post-op, if your meds are not working your Doc should be able to give you something else, even though I know that most NS's do not feel comfortable giving other meds sometimes, that is why in the long run they will send patients that keep hurting for months to pain management, that is what mine did. Yeah, so ups and downs will happen and it sucks, but hopefully soon you will have more ups than downs! Take care, ;)
  • Cos

    I had horrible leg pain at about 10 days. I could hardly move and had to take meds just to be able to get out of bed. It was probably from lask of activity but they hurt so much for about 3 days, I will never for get it. I had been doing well up until that point also.

    If your meds are not cutting it you need to at least call the doctor and let them know. Let them be aware and then make a decision.

    I would try to stay on a very regular schedule of meds pain and muscle relax.) and try no to take any of them too late. When my legs were really bothering me I ended up walking very slowly on my treatmill for a few minutes to loosen them up. Laying too long made me very sore and stiff.

    THe entire recovery process has had these ups and downs for me and I think that is completly normal.
  • I'm 2 weeks postop and as meny members have talked about lots of movement of fibers and instruments were used and done. Notify your doctor he will assume everything is ok unless you tell him different.
    My first week was very rough and I had to take small sips of fluids and pain and muscle relaxants as ordered to help break the cycle. It took a while. What helped for me is I listened to music through my ipod I'm not a techno person my family did it for me and soothing music, heating pad between my shoulderblads on low helped but please follow up with your doctor. They do not want you to be miserable. I
    Take care! :)
  • Hi Jess,

    My first week home I pretty good but the next week it was as if reality set in and the real pain began. I think our body just goes through ups and downs as it heals, definitely give your doctor a call.

  • Thaanks guys. I feel stupid for posting how good I felt one week out then 2 days later posting how much I hurt. I guess I jumped the gun a bit. Oh well. Back to my ice pack.

  • Hi Jessica:

    Definitely don't feel stupid or discouraged. I don't believe any of our surgeons could ever prepare us enough mentally to understand the amount of pain we deal with after surgery. I can't believe you didn't even have a pain pump in the hospital! That's nuts!

    I was in the hospital for 11 days and finally had a medical dr. on my case, so he had me on Oxycotin, Perc for breakthrough, and Soma. What I can say is what other people said to me before, but didn't understand is to stay ahead of your pain. Like 5kids said, take your meds on a very strict schedule otherwise if you pain gets out from underneath you it could take hours to get back under control. Like Paul said too, perhaps a call to your surgeon is necessary so he can up your meds. He doesn't feel your pain, so you need to tell him what your pain level.

    Hang in there Girly Girl and just remember this is a slow healing process. Here's a little turtle to keep you company.image
  • So we know that your recovery can change week to week/day to day or even minute to minute....take it as it comes and don't beat yourself up about it!

    We've all been there or are headed there so we understand!!!

  • Don't feel stupid hun,
    It is normal to ask questions when things are not going the way that we think things should be going. I know, that I was chuck'full of questions here during my first few weeks and maybe months (2) until you get to know what is right and what is not (I still have my darn doubts about that!) so ask away! post away! No one will ever think that you are dumb for asking! Is better to ask, ask, ask than to wonder alone at home! You take care and I am sending you healing hugs all the way to cheesehead town! ;) :P
  • Hey Jessica,

    You sound like me! I felt absolutely wonderful (except for the incisions) the first week. Could not believe it. Then, I too felt like crap the second week. At the end of 2nd week, I was starting to perk up again, decided I needed to go shopping. Had to drive 25 miles one way, did 2 of the things I needed to do, and was SO SICK & WIPED OUT it wasn't funny. Had to call and see if it was normal. I called my PCP, and she could not believe I was even asking such a question after the surgery I had. So YES this is normal!

    I am at 5 weeks, and still have some really crappy feeling days. Not necessarily pain wise, just no energy, really doggy.

    I will be calling you here in about an hour.......if you get this right away. Talk to you soon.......Tina
  • Sorry you are having a rough day Cosmic. I hope that you get to feeling better soon.

  • Sorry hun, you can't take the title of 'Stupid Question Asker'....that goes to me. I can't relax until I get on here and ask a question about whatever has changed. Then I find others have 'been there, done that' and all the sudden it doesn't seem so difficult to handle any more. I was feeling great until 5 weeks, forgot I wasn't on the elevated toilet, and took the plunge. Seems like things have been revved up and changing all over the place since then. I'm learning to breathe a sigh of relief too. Sounds like your body is just now realizing how much its gone through. As everyone else has said, take the pain meds and muscle relaxors on a regular basis for a few weekss and I think you'll find that helps get the pain before it takes over.
  • Jess I know for a fact this is normal, both times I came home feeling great and then starting to do too much and boy oh boy that sure kicked me in the a**, just try and get as much rest as you can and get that ice out!

  • Jess, dear Cos, your body is now telling you what you've endured....a brutal assault on your physcial and emotional being....+ they often "bathe" the surgery site w/ a long-lasting anesthetic (lidcocane w/ ephenephrine) that lasted me about 1 week...then WHAM!! You reeeeallly start to feel the effects of the surgery itself at about 1-2 weeks out...& you MUST stay ahead of that pain. I asked my NS what was causing the worst of it & he admitted "retractors"--the big clamps/retractors they use to push/pull/retract everything to get @ the target site---and fusions are such "deep" surgeries...your tissues/muscles etc are all helpd open a long long time & then must "re-learn" how to close & protect you again...sorry to tell you, but that takes MONTHS!! I'm at 21 weeks now & my deep muscles (especially the multifidus muscles that run parallel to your spine that must be cut to do the fusion) are so sore & they just BURN..weak, also...so it gets better, bone-growth wise, but worse, muscle wise, as you heal & the stiffness (that's coming....) will also drive you nuts, but that's your fascial layers trying to repair themselves & that pulls/aches/spasmns etc....
    Don't wanna bring you down, but I think the more you know what to expect, the more you CAN expect and know what's "normal" in this LONG healing process. I never never would have believed all this ahead of time...to give you some hope & end on a positive note: my NS flat-out told me "Do not expect to feel much better for about a year or more." Period. I am showing bone growth, so I concentrate on THAT. The other stuff will drive me nuts some days but I try to re-focus on the fusion itself & sometimes that helps. Sometimes not!
    It's just an awful, brutal surgery. Our bodies will continue to complain to us for many many months. Listen, and treat what you can (meds, ice,walking etc) But you can't rush things nor can you "will" things to suddenly improve. Think in terms of months, not even weeks. And unless something gets SUDDENLY worse, just bear w/ it, respect your delicate nervous system (which was hit by a truck...) and REST. Imagine: your NERVOUS SYSTEM...the "Motherboard" of your essence as a human being..was breached, tampered with and invaded. Wow!

    And we survived! And you will also, my dear fellow Badger!

    Take care--don't worry ahead, stay in the moment & heal well!

    Sleep well tonight! I will pray that you do! :)

  • i didnt even think about the fact that they bathe the surgery site w/ a long-lasting anesthetic. Now I have it figured out. Thanks for that outlook. Ok, going to rest now.

    UGH! Someone in my neighborhood is smoking weed... gonna make my whole friggin family high! I'm gettin sick of it. At least my kids will know what smell to stay away from...

  • Hey Jessica, how are you feeling tonight? Lakeside is just the best with her explainations. I look forward to everything she post!

    So what's up with the dubbies in your neighborhood? LOL
  • I am sore. Just plain sore. and the weed came in town with Country USA. Since COuntry USA is in town and we have new neighbors that seem to like it they have a bonfire and they light themselves up too. Oh well. I really wouldnt care if I didnt have young kids.

    Off to bed

  • I year ya Cosmic, neighbors suck!

    Get some rest honey.
  • I was just asking Jessica about your potty incident. I'm glad to hear that you are doing ok. I was thinking about you the other day when i was on the raised potty. LMAO

    Thank goodness you are ok. Pebbles
  • Oh My Goodness!! You are absolutely normal. You are so new into this. It is VERY SLOW re-cooperation period. You're going to be up one day, down one day. I think the biggest issue I had to deal with after my three level fusion was "accepting that I just have to have PATIENCE, and settle into it". It's very difficult. I cried a lot of tears from depression of not being able to live my "normal" life anymore. I'm now at 20 weeks post-op, and still get bummed, and am still in pain, everyday. It's just our "new way of life".

    Changes in the barometer or weather are going to affect you also. there's nothing you can do about that. Everything is going to be ok though, try to get your mind on something else. I know it's hard cause of the pain taking over your mind and body. But ask for some different pain meds, and maybe some sleeping meds. If you concentrate too hard on your pain, it's an even slower process.
  • My 1st post. I hope it is not on the wrong board. If it is, I am sorry.

    My Story:

    Low back pain started in 2002. Luckily, the pain would only radiate 1 or 2 days a month. For the most part my pain was very localized @ L4-L5. Managed to get by on paid meds alone for 5 years (withdrawal was insanely horrible. That's a story all it's own). Had L4-L5 fused on June 12, 2007. The 1st 2 days @ the hospital were almost unbearable. By day 3 I was able to get out of bed & walk. The 1st month I had no pain of any kind. Though my left leg was numb & continues to be, 1 year, 2 weeks post-op. At about 1 month I took a fall. When I told the surgeon he didn't seem concerned. X-rays at the time showed the cages still in place. I started to get pain in the same area, maybe a little lower about 3 weeks after the fall. I also noticed that the tendons on my inner thigh pop all the time, but no pain from the popping. I believe the pain is muscle related. The tendons popping I can handle. Pain Management Dr. believes the tendons & the back pain are because my right leg is shorter than my left. I would agree & buy in to that except that it didn't start until post-op. X-Rays & MRI show nothing wrong. I see the surgeon tomorrow to go over the MRI results, which I already know from the report that everything looks normal. I am thinking about asking for a CT scan. I am just thoroughly disgusted with the pain that I have. I have never felt worse than I do now. Mostly because I feel defeated. I really thought that 1 year post-op I would be ok.

    Was/am I expecting too much?
  • "Dr. believes the tendons & the back pain are because my right leg is shorter than my left"

    Well, didn't you know that while they are in there they saw off some of your femer so you continute to have issues??? LOL! Im kidding of course. I put in some levity there because I had a doctor and a chiropractor say that exact same thing to me.

    I would think that a year later you would be feeling great. If your current Dr. isn't taking you seriously, it's time to seek another opinion. WE know how our body feels. WE know what is normal pain and what just isn't right. Be your own advocate. We are here for you if you need us.

    Take care!

  • The surgeon was recommended by a friend. I really like the guy, but need to find a new surgeon if he doesn't have any answers tomorrow. Where is the best place to find a highly qualified/recommended surgeon?
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