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Post-OP Pain

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:23 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I am four weeks post -op.I had a T 9 to L 1 fusion.I had a anterior and posterior approach with 2 rods and a cage.I had a thoracotomy and it is very painful.I would like to hear from anyone to see if I am right on track with my post-op recovery.I don't see my doc until 10/6/08.They make your first appt. for a long time from your surgery date.I am walking,sitting and resting.It is so depressing having such a long slow recovery.Thanks for any feedback.


  • Hi Kay and welcome to spine-health. ;)

    I am only a lumbar and cervical patient. But I can say my spinal fusion at L-5 S1 was a very long recovery.

    Your body just went through a MAJOR trauma. The nerves and muscles were all cut and are now trying to get back into their normal position they way they were before the surgery
    You had ALOT of levels done at once.
    So right now your in it for the long haul.
    Your going to have your 1 good day and mabye 3 bad days after.
    Just take day by day. Follow your instructions per your surgeon.

    We are here if you need to vent or just need a shoulder to lean on.

    Sounds like your on track. Personal opinion of course.
    If you have pain that you did not have when you came home. Then I would call the surgeon.
    Or especially if any new symptoms arise.

    I wish you the very best of luck in your recovery!!!
    Remember ice (re-usuable ice packs) are a heaven sent!!

    Take care
    Terri >:D<
  • Kay, it sounds like you are on track. You had a really big surgery! I haven't read of many thoracic surgeries on here. I think they are less common. I am 4 weeks post L4-5 fusion and I can totally understand being bored and depressed. Remember your job is to heal by following your doctors instructions and doing everything you can to stay healthy. Also, try to compare your progress week to week, day to day is too soon, and often you will have ups and downs which can be discouraging. Welcome to SH, and hope you find this site informative and a welcome relief from your boredom. Good Luck, Sue
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  • O:) Thank you so much for the response.I think I am doing better.I know it's gonna be a long haul.It is nice to have someone to talk to other than family.I felt a pop in my back today I hope nothing is wrong.I don't have any pain,but it just scared me.I was turning from my side to my back when it happened.Well thanks again for the reply.
  • :) Thank you as well for the reply.You have been through alot yourself.I tell you that anterior approach is what is killing me.The pain were they removed a rib has got to be the worst pain I have ever had.It is nice to have this website to communicate.Family is great ,but they get tired of hearing you (I think).They have been great,but they don't have the answers you would like to hear sometime.Thanks again.
  • Kay, I have felt several pops too. They are scarey, but didn't hurt, so I've decided not to worry about it. I am being very careful with log-rolling and no BLT, so hopefully all is well in there :)
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  • Did you have your surgery on Aug.5 2008? Are you taking Skelaxin?My docs won't let me take any nsaids,advil,anti inflamatories etc.for 3 months.I think sometimes I would do better if I could take them,but they say it has to do with interfering with the fusing.I don't know for sure that's what they say.I think have 2 good days out of 7.I will be glad when I can tell an improvement.
  • Hi Kay, yep it was Aug. 5, 2008, I guess I almost 5 weeks now. I was taking Skelaxin cause in the hospital I got horrible spasms on day 3 after showering and I couldn't even put my chin towards my chest, felt like my back was trying to do a backbend, so after some drama they changed my Soma to Skelaxin, and then I finally started to feel a little better. When I was discharged home on Skelaxin I found out my insurance doesn't cover it, and I paid $235 for 60tabs. So, needless to say I am back on Soma now. I just decided to try it since I had some at home and I was able to switch back without probs. Guess I need to update my profile. I too wish I could take Ibuprofen soooo bad. I know it would just fix what ails me, I am sure ;) Like you, I was told no NSAIDS for 3 months. Then I was given written instructions that say 6 months. There have been many threads about this here in the past. I am down to taking 1/2 a Norco twice a day, and Soma twice a day. So weaning nicely in my opinion. If I could have motrin, I am sure I would have been off the others by now. My YMCA pool is reopened, yay, so I started going on Friday to walk and stretch in the warm water, it is the best!! Take care, Sue
  • Hey Lucky you.My doc won't let me in a pool for over 6 months.I think I need your doc (ha ha).I know you will feel great getting to do that.Where do you live?I live outside of Atlanta,Ga.I am still taking 2 percocets every 4 hours and my surgery was on the same day as yours.Does that sounds on track?I try and stretch it out to every 6-8 hours.I don't go back until Oct6.for my first appointment.Thanks for feedback.
  • Why won't your doc let you in a pool? Maybe cause you had such a big surgery, way BIGGER than mine! It seems if you can walk, and your wound is healed, water walking would be great. I guess all these docs are just different. Mine said I could drive and get in the pool at 2 weeks. I wasn't ready to drive, and when I did drive at 3 weeks, I went to the Y to find the pool was being replastered. So just finally got back at it a few days ago. I feel sooooo stiff! My hamstrings are tighter than ever and they were already soooo tight in the first place. Now I have decided I want to get back to getting massages. My CMT is willing, but wants me to clear it with my NS. I'm gonna try to call him tomorrow.
    Don't worry about your pain meds. You had a much bigger op than me, and everyone is different. I was only on minimal meds pre-op as well, so didn't have any tolerance built up like some. I would like to take them more, but then I am afraid to drive, and I hate being housebound. Oh, I live in Central California (Modesto-boring, flat, polluted, murder capital, foreclosure capitol of the US, also known as Meth-desto! L) ) I want to move to the ocean! Take-care, Sue
  • Cali-Sue,

    You are right about each doc being different. I really miss my massages, but my NS won't let me have them until after he sees me on my follow up, which isn't until 9/17. All I can do now is walk!

    1992 Fibromyalgia
    1993 ACDF c6-c7
    Late 2007 anticardiolipin antibody syndrome
    8/2008 posterior cervical foraminotomy and foraminectomy at 3 levels (c4-c5, c5-c6, and c7-t1) with arthrodesis
    DDD and severe spondylosis at all cervical levels (except c6-c7).
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