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3 weeks post op and cant sleep and pain is worsning

cherrybabyccherrybaby Posts: 49
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:21 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi everyone!! I am 3 weeks opst op from level one plif!
since my surgery i have felt great not to much pain. I just had my two week app and the doc took off the stary strips. he did not tell me if i am fusing yet or what to change. {I was the doc's pa that i seen going to call tomorrow and see if the doc will call me back to answer ??? :? }
since he took them off i am in more pain. I can not sleep at night very well so i am now taking ambian. so we will see if it will work. i am not sure iof this is normal or not. the only thing i know is that i go back in 5 weeks.
i am walking every day. i just got to where i walk around 2 blocks at a time, he said that was good and to keep it up. i am just very confused on what i am soposto be doing and not doing. if any one could give me advice on any of it. i would be very thankful ~X( :''( :?


  • I am 6 weeks post op TLIF L4-L5. I know when i was 3 weeks along, the pain and discomfort got worse but then after a week or so, better. I hope you get some sleep and keep up the good work with walking.
  • I was told that just before things get better they will get worse because the nerves are healing and are very sensative. If you are feeling more pain then this might be a sign that things are getting better and healing, remember hurting is our bodies way of saying hey I am here which is better then being numb and not knowing that you will ever feel. Hope this helps and hang in there. I am only 1 week out from surgery, but the PT told me what to expect and she has been in the field working with cases like ours at the spinal center hospital since they opened back in 1988 so I figure she might know at least what to expect and thank goodness she has prepared me for the terrible threes. Donetta 8> looking forward to a succesful healing for all of us.
  • Taking off your steri-strip shouldn't cause you any back pain unless your wound has opened up. All they are is a sterile covering over your incision that usually falls off on its own. If not they can be removed after a couple weeks.

    As far as the doctor telling you what you can and cannot do, at three weeks you'd have all the same restrictions as you would have right after surgery. I am 6 weeks out from my one level PLIF and still under all my restrictions. All you should be doing now is healing and wallking as much as possible.

    As far as fusing goes, at three weeks the doctor just checks the x-ray to mke sure the hardware is still in the right position and everything is still okay as it takes longer that two weeks to see any signs of the fusion starting.

    Healing takes time, Dont try to rush it.

    Best Wishes on your continued recovery,
    Christina :)
  • Your pain level is absolutely normal....You are only going on your 4th week. Patience, patience,patience....And absolutely, keep walking. It totally promotes bone and tissue growth. I'm surprized you're walking as far as you are. That's awesome. At 4 weeks I wasn't even thinking about walking period! My hubby was assisting me with my walker, me crying to whole way to the bathroom at 4 weeks!! I was suppose to at that time, ONLY go up and down my stairs here in the house 3 times. I had a three level fusion but still, you're doing great, and it's going to be a lot slower healing than your doc told you. Believe me!! Just kick back, take your pain meds and sleeping pills at night, lay on ice (that feels pretty good!). And LISTEN TO YOUR BACK!! It doesn't do you any good to push yourself too hard. It will only end you back up in bed for days. Also, remember if your barometer in the weather outside drops, your going to hurt also. Patience, it takes a long time to feel better. Good luck
  • I forgot to tell you, I wasn't showing fusion until my 20th week. (uhhh, 5 months?) I Wasn't allowed to start PT until that time. They've disrupted a lot more back there than you realize, it's major surgery.... >:D<
  • I cant believe how a three level fusion mst feel. One level was back enough. I felt like a baby for at least three weeks relying on my hubby for everything even to just turn around in bed. He had to keep a hospital pad under me so he could pull it to turn me over without hurting me. Poor man had hardly any sleep as my sides kept getting sore throughout the night. Kudos to you for having the strength to go through that. =D>

    Best Wishes,
    Christina >:D<
  • There are lots of ups and downs during surgery recovery so hopefully this is one of them. If there is something in particular that has triggered this pain, then be careful next time. Try to have a day resting, ice and heat, and see if things settle down. If you're still really bad tomorrow then it might be worth a call to the surgeons office before the weekend, just to be sure. I hope things settle down soon honey, I know it's really disheartening when you get these blips - but things will improve again. Hugs, Spicey
  • I am 4 weeks post laminectomy, L4-5 fusion and am going through much of the same thing. This week I was told I could stop wearing the rigid back brace but I now find I am in more pain walking (I walk a half hour each day) and more general discomfort in the lower back.

    This kind of surgery seems to result in a lot of good days and bad days. Although I am home, I try to be as active as possible, that's what my surgeon wants. As for not sleeping, up until yesterday I was having the same problem. I believe in my case it had to do with going off the Vicodin even though I tapered the dosage towards the end. I am now taking only over the counter Tylenol, Tylenol PM at night. Also contributing to your insomnia is perhaps your lower level of physical activity since the operation. You just arent' doing a whole lot.
  • Hello,
    I am 2 weeks/5days post op (anterior and posterior Interbody lumbar fusion of L5&S1).
    Although everyone's pain tolerance and healing times vary, I'm sure it's very normal to experience pain when trying so sleep. I find this to be the case myself, and have to take a pain killer before bed and throughout the night as needed (follow what your doctor has prescribed though!). I find sleeping on my side with a pillow between my legs to be of most comfort. 

    I am mostly pain free when I am up and about. I only need my pain killers at night to sleep and manage panadol throughout the day, but like I said, everyone's recovery would vary. 

    I find it really helps to move regularly: short walks around the block, doing my little list of Physio exercises twice a day. I have a massage wand I use on my tight upper back muscles and calf muscles daily. 

    Fusion is a major surgery and I can only think it's normal to experience bouts of mild-severe pain as your body tries to adjust to its new hardware, restrictions and alignment. Although it's inconvenient to have pain, particularly when you just want a good night's sleep, I tend to think it's better to have your nerves working as opposed to experiencing numbness of any sort!?

    Happy healing :) 
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