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No Ibuprophen / Anti-Inflammatory After Fusion

When I started weaning myself off of pain meds, I started using Ibuprophen. Nobody ever told me that I was not supposed to take Ibuprophen while recovering from fusion. I later read that anti-inflammatories can keep your bone from fusing together!
Just thought I would point that out in case there is anyone else that didn't know that.

That being said, I have swelling and pain. An anti-inflammatory would be great for that. Tylenol just doesn't get it. Is there a med that is not a narcotic that I am missing out on?
Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (PLIF) Surgery (Open) L2/L3 (23Mar15)


  • Motor1MMotor1 Pittsburgh, PaPosts: 552
    edited 05/09/2015 - 2:13 AM
    I was told by my first surgeon to take ibuprofen a month after my c4/5 fusion. He wouldn't refill my pain meds. After 9 months of trying to convince him to see me, I finally found a new surgeon. He took X-rays & determined my neck didn't fuse. When I told him that my first surgeon told me to take ibuprofen (and I was ALOT), he said to stop!
    I don't know of any other meds? I had a second fusion surgery, and I'm fused now, so I am able to take ibuprofen now.
  • steroids are often prescribed post fusion to help with swelling. but definitely no NSAIDs. i was stuck with narcotics, because i can't take steroids. made life a bit difficult for a while. i think i was restricted for maybe 3 months post fusion.
    Microdisectomy / hemi-laminectomy 6/2010 and revision 10/2010
    Cervical fusion C4-5 and C5-6 9/2011
    Lumbar Fusion L5-S1 6/2012
  • I take one with a regular Tylenol around mid day and it helps. Doesn't relieve completely, but allows me to work.
  • flowerladyfflowerlady Posts: 35
    edited 05/09/2015 - 9:32 AM
    My NS said it was ok to take NSAIDS after the first 4 wks. post-op. I took them occasionally and apparently it didn't do any damage as I'm fused at 6 mos. There's obviously a lot of different opinions on this.

  • Thanks for all the comments. I really do appreciate the input! :)
    Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (PLIF) Surgery (Open) L2/L3 (23Mar15)
  • My surgeon ok'd an anti inflammatory at about day 4 post fusion. I'm now 9 months out & fusing nicely. I guess they all have different points of view & all we can do is listen to them.

    Microdiscectomy L5S1 January 2014
    Microdiscectomy L5S1 March 2014
    Fusion L5S1 11th August 2014
  • Motor1MMotor1 Pittsburgh, PaPosts: 552
    edited 05/11/2015 - 3:18 AM
    Surgeons do have different opinions with all aspects of surgery. Some do it anterior. Some posterior? My first ACDF, I didn't have to wear any collar after it was over? My second surgery (PCDF), I had to wear a soft collar for around 2 months?
    And they both had different opinions about ibuprofen? I'm not sure if that is the reason I didn't fuse the first time? Who knows?
  • switchblind360sswitchblind360 Posts: 1
    edited 05/13/2015 - 3:50 AM

    I just joined the forum this morning to get better informed on what to expect of my recovery after having an L4/L5/S1 fusion last Friday. I'm surprised nobody has mentioned using ice/cold gel packs for inflammation. This is the only treatment working for me so far. Shorter acting, but easy to use and cheap.

    Is there any documentation as to whether this is a good strategy or would affect recovery negatively?
  • I was told to use ice, but not to use heat. It helped that first couple of weeks. I guess it's time to throw the gel pack back in the freezer and try that again. :)
    Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (PLIF) Surgery (Open) L2/L3 (23Mar15)
  • kewardkkeward HoustonPosts: 1
    I had the same procedure and I'm 5 weeks out. I felt like a superhero for the first 3 weeks as I was instantly relieved from my chronic pain. Now I am so swollen that I can't wear my clothes. In my opinion you need inflammation in order to fuse, so I'm ok with ice for now....although I never thought I would miss ibuprofen so badly. 
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