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Taking Pain Meds After Microdisc - what's "normal" length of time

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:19 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi. I'm scheduled for a microdiscectomy and have some concerns about taking pain meds. I had a prior surgery in January for something else and had a real hard withdrawal from Vicoden after that and I don't want to repeat that - ever again!

I know everyone is different with pain tolerance. I believe I have a pretty high tolerance for pain but would love to hear from anyone who’s had microd surgery and how long you had to take pain meds (narcotics) after.

Thanks so much for you help


  • I took narcotics for about 6 weeks and then non-narcotics when needed. I can not take vicodin. I feel like I am going really mentally crazy when I do. Percocet was alot easier and I had no withdrawl. You can get it without acetometaphine, It is called oxycodone. Good luck!!!!
  • Thanks JRO. I'll ask my surgeon about Percocet. He's the same surgeon that did the other surgery but he wasn't into perscribing anything other than Vicoden at that time. I asked for something else but he just wouldn't budge because he said there was "no need for anything stronger". I wasn't looking for anything stronger, just didn't want to take Vicoden. I'll try again!
  • I was told thert is a 12 week window of expected recovery. After a while, they start to taper you down, and meantime your doing PT.
    Well, I never improved, had 2 post surgerical ESI's , and I was sent to pain mgt. Moral of the story, the surgeon will probably stop narcotics after 12 weeks and refer you elsewhere for long term pain care.
    The strongest I was on was Norco10, along with muscle relaxers, and NSAIDS.
  • Welcome to the club!
    I stopped mine the day my incision stopped hurting,a week or so after surgery.Then I went back on meds,but for diff reasons As per Percocet,it's more potent drug than Vicodin,but this is between you and your doc.
    Good luck with the surgery!

  • I was in so much pain before the surgery that no pain medication worked. I had surgery a week ago today, and I have only taken a few Norco. The pain release from the surgery was amazing.
  • Doc sent me home 4 weeks ago with Naproxin for inflammation that I take 2 times a day, and Darvocet as needed. At first I was chewing them like candy (every 4 hours that is). But 4 weeks later I'm down to only a few. Not sure how Darvocet ranks in terms of strength, but I cannot take Vic because of codeine so this is what they gave me. I had discectome on L5-S1, June 9th.
  • I had a micro-d 12 days ago and have used the narcotics Demerol and/or Tylenol #3) mainly at night or later in the day when things get achy. Overall, I've been pretty lucky since I've had very little post-op pain--more just stiffness after getting out of bed. My pre-op excruciating sciatica is gone, baby, gone :) :) :) :) :)
  • Thank you all for your input. I wish you all continued recovery. SOOO glad to hear most of you have diminished pain which of course is my goal! I had piriformis release surgery in January and thought that would take care of my pain problem, which did help some, but since then have developed this herniated disc...just bad luck I suppose.

    meydey - I'm sorry to hear of your struggles and hope you find pain relief very soon.

  • EOR, I had L5-S1 on Jun 18th
    I was prescribed Oxycontin for pain
    I took it every 4 hours, for the first 6 days.
    Day 7 I took 2 and day 8 I took 2.Day 9 I started taking OTC Tylenol.
    Im 18 days out and I take Ibuprofen 1x per day to help with imflammation and all the DAM walking Im doing..LOL 8)
  • From a nursing perspective, Darvocet is somewhere between Vicodin 5mg and Tyl #3 :)
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