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Post Op Anxiety


I’m 4 days post op & have been experiencing crazy anxiety/panic attacks. 

When there’s a new twinge in my body, I convince myself something bad will happen & that kicks off an attack.

I keep getting waves of feeling like I’m going to faint & has the craziest nights sleep, woke up sweating and felt terrible. 

My logical brain knows this is part of the recovery but doesn’t stop it from being scary. I keep thinking something terrible is wrong.. 

Anyone else felt the same? 



  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,527

    4 days post op is like a new born baby.  Every day there could be different things going on.   Recovery takes time and it can be a roller coaster ride.   Please read  Recovery, the most important phase - Patience

    You are like almost anyone else that had spinal surgery.   Surgery itself is a big event, but then the recovery can be even more difficult.   Many times the medical field will give you details about the surgery but tend to gloss over the actual recovery period.  They may just give you a time frame, but not the details.

    It is natural to get scared and worried about any new pain.   There are times when something new is going on and it lasts for a couple of days, for peace of mind, you can always contact your surgeon to discuss it.

    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
  • Madalain,Welcome to the best spinal site on the web! At times post OP symptoms can cause even the toughest man or woman anxiety with all the  new and strange symptoms you will experience. To begin with, talk with your MD and explain what’s going on. Also know your not alone with this. Over the next few days, you’ll have many responses to this! A moderator will be by shortly and help guide you through this site. Again welcome! Your among other members, all who have gone or going through the same journey!.....David unofficial Walmart door greeter 


    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator

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  • madelaine

    welcome to spine-health

    all new members should take the system tutorial

    new member information guideline / checklist 

    what you are experiencing is unfortunately fairly normal after surgery, you are not able to do your normal daily routine, everything you do that is normally routine is not anymore, your mind says wait a minute, we need to do it this way now, it can get to you, i understand what you are going through.

    my advice, find something you enjoy ( tv, games, puzzles, reading, etc.) that will get your mind off your back and surgery.

    if that does not work, you need to contact your surgeons offic and talk to them about it, they may need to give you something for the anxiety.


    Veritas-Health Moderator

  • Thanks guys. Each day has felt different and I’m learning to accept the twinges rather than worry. The night sweats were quite dramatic & I woke up feeling like I’d been through the wringer. 

    You’re right, no one tells you about the weird stuff and sensations. I know it’s different for each person but a heads up would be great! 

    No one I speak to IRL gets the complexity of the recovery and how to manage that. 

  • Hi Madelaine-  You're in good company here.  My first night in the hospital I experienced my first full on panic attack and it scary as all heck!  With each day you recover you will learn to listen to the signals your body is telling you.  I'm almost 5 weeks out and I'm still learning, and as everyone else has posted here- having patience-- is the golden ticket to a full recovery.

    I have found writing/journaling my progress, tracking my good days and bad, listing activities I did, what changes I noticed after doing them etc. to remind me if an odd symptom should repeat.  When you're on pain medication your memory isn't as sharp.

    It is a rollercoaster ride and you'll find you have some really great days and when you have one of those not-so-great-days, think back to the good ones because you know they are possible!  

    Keep in touch!


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  • I can fully relate to this. I am going on 9 weeks most surgery which is still fairly early post surgery. I had anxiety attacks after surgery and i still have been experiencing them. I,too have also been experiemcing night sweats and dizzy spells. My recovery has been a rollercoaster of emotions. Journaling my progress, taking up a new hobby of knitting on a loom, reading, netflix, etc have all kept me focused. Just had a medication change and was given a sleep aid that has really helped. 

  • Thanks guys - this has really helped. My wound is healing well which helps with keeping positive, it’s still the head and the unpredictability of the dizzy spells etc that are less helpful.

    I’ve had a pin & needly wrist all day, with a bit of hand numbness. It’s led to the anxiety rising and this morning was a nightmare, I’m hoping it settles soon. 

    It’s one day at a time - who knew the emotional bit would be harder than the physical bit?! 

  • HI Madelaine,

    I had an L4-5 fusion in February and although I didn't experience any real problems I found at about week 3 I started to feel real anxiety about not being able to bend.  I was recovering really well but had a feeling almost like claustrophobia about not bending and almost talked myself into trying to bend to alleviate the panic.  This only happened twice, once at home when sitting at breakfast and once when I was walking along the road and saw a stormwater grate and imagined the feeling of being stuck in it .... totally weird, I know but the second time almost had me in tears.  Totally irrational but felt like it was out of my control.  It passed with no more feelings like this but was certainly scary at the time.


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