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Newbie-SERIOUS, now painful hiccups continue a week after thoracic fusion

ms443mms443 Posts: 2
edited 11/26/2014 - 9:00 PM in Recovering from Surgery
Hi Group. I have been rear ended twice in the last year. I found out I have DDD at this time. I went through PT, epidurals, transformaminals to no avail. My neurosurgeon recommended a double fusion at L3-4-5, as that was his opinion where the pain was generated from. Surgery occurred early October with a bit of excitement from the insurance company. I recovered decently, with the exception of the iliac crest area giving me a LOT of pain. I was absolutely thrilled the original low back pain was gone!!!

Late June this year, I was rear ended again turning into my kids driveway. Got hit from behind again. My physicians attitudes were a surprise. My Pain Manager said he could not treat me for the second accident. My PCP refused to see me for the accident. I went to an immediate care and they did an exam and ordered an mri. The mdi showed a severely herniated T7-8 with spinal cord impingement. So I already had a pre pop appointment at the hospital, so I called the neuro to see if he would take a look at this mri. When he looked at it he was shocked I didn't have more symptoms, but wanted to decompress the spinal cord ASAP. The reason we scheduled them 6 weeks apart was it cost me $1000 copay right now...after December1, my copay would be $9500. So I asked the neuro if I can handle this physically lets set it up and do it.

The first surgery was uneventful, but no amount of research or lurking on this site prepares you for the pain and restrictions of a double fusion. The Thoracic surgery involved a procedure of injecting concrete into the T7-8, so neurosurgery opens up the correct area. Other than "Red Man Syndrome" reaction to preventive vancomycin, the main problem I have had coming out of surgery since last Friday is hiccups. After thoraces surgery, this could be about the worst thing that could happen. My neurosurgeon chalked it up to anesthesia and prescribed one dose of thorazine. The hiccups went away for awhile, just before discharge they came back again. They said likely they would go away, I have tried doses of diazepam from 2.5-5 and had some success, The neurosurgeons office won't prescribe for hiccups with the doc being out of town. They suggested seeing my PCP-that made me laugh.

I assume I have to go to a med care type facility Friday to have this checked out. Meanwhile has this hiccup reaction happened to anyone else? What are some good home remedies for this...holding ears and nose while sipping water does not work. Can anyone chime in here? My ribs and back are hurting twice as much as they should from this. Its annoying and unbearable. Now it is keeping me up. Anyone HELLLLLLLLLP!


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    edited 11/26/2014 - 9:00 PM

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • dag.i feel ya pain. I had thoracic surgery for the 3rd time in the past 6 months. im in a rehab facility right now. I think id rather have then hiccups than what im going thru right now. but yeh you better get that checked out b4 that gets worse.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,865
    recovery from surgery, especially Thoracic is hard enough... hiccups as uncomfortable as they may be, is not the same as getting by after surgery.

    btw: Not all thoracic surgery uses the cement approach as you stated.

    For the hiccups, it may be too late, but 99% of the time, they can give you something with the anesthesia to eliminate or reduce this. I have had this problem, along with violent vomiting after surgery, so there are things they can give you in advance.

    But after wards.... I am sure you have heard all the different wives tales on how to eliminate hiccups. Not sure what really works. But hiccups after any surgery is a pain. What I tried to help, was having a pillow handy. So, when the hiccups were happening (and in bunches), I would press the pillow against my body to help reduce some of the pain.
    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
  • Idk bout hiccups but im sure they can b a problem but I know trying to cough and sneeze after surgery is hell. I don't even know da last time I let a complete cough or sneeze out
  • Funny thing i happened. On call doc called in a script. My wife gave me an Italian Ice that stopped the hiccups.

    I have learned patience. You can learn, read and lurk but NOTHING prepares you for fusion surgery and the pain and tedious recovery process.
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