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Post op pain lying down

I had back surgery on Feb 12th of 2015. Immediately after surgery, the stabbing fiery pain
was gone.

The first week home was fine. All downhill from then on.
I have just started water therapy

Before surgery my right leg had little strength. Now it has hardly ANY strength
and I have foot drop.

I cannot get any sleep. I cannot lie down on our bed, the Lazy Boy, two different air mattresses,
the floor, etc. After an hour or so I have to get up and walk off the leg pain and sometimes back pain.
A hot shower relieves the pain somewhat. I have already taken 3-4 showers in the middle of the night.

I get a few good hours during the day. I am concerned that even though the healing might be taking place
during the good times, that it reverses itself when I try to lie down and get some sleep.

The surgery involved L4, L5, two discs, a cage, and hardware. A followup xray
showed everything in place. The surgeon thinks it is muscle pain since even though
it was minimally invasive surgery, they did hve to move some muscles.

I need to find out how to cope with this. Is there any hope offered by people
having gone through the same thing with the same problems?

I am a 72 yr old male



  • Hi Oldfort,

    I went through a cervical procedure which differs, but I can tell you this.... For 2-3 months, I had to lay on a specific angle to make the pain bearable. I could not sit up or even lay down flat. There were times that I gave up eating because it just hurt too much.

    Bottom line is that there is an acute pain phase that lasts up to 12 weeks. You are 6 weeks in approximately, so I'm willing to bet that your Doctor is spot on. Unfortunately, this is indeed a roller coaster ride you are on. Angry nerves and angry muscles rule the roost here.... There will be ups and downs throughout your road to recovery. Unfortunately, time is the answer in my opinion. You're going to have to try your best to manage this pain. Have you tried a heating pad? It sure beats having to get up 3 or 4 times in the night to have a hot shower. Do you have a tens machine?

    To help ease the stress that accompanies spine surgery, we've compiled a checklist of items that will help considerably during recovery, both in the hospital and at home:

    When in doubt, get checked. It never hurts to follow up with specific tests to ensure that things are healing the way they should be. The old saying is, "better to be safe than sorry." You know YOU the best.

    Sending healing vibes your way,

    Doug Hell
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Realize that FEAR is our worst enemy. Get up & get out in that stormy weather of the real world & kick fear in the teeth. Stare at it dead in the eyes & walk right through it into the storm; because once you're wet, you won’t fear the rain anymore
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