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Do NSAIDS stop or just slow bone growth...

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:26 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
7 months postfusion and having either piriformis issues or inflammed SI joint. My OS has taken a two month trip to help in Afghanistan. He has a fellow but that's it. He is Canadian and apparently this is from way back in college and they pulled him for 2 months.
The MA told me it was fine to take Motrin now and I feel I could really benefit from it. Does it just slow the bone growth or if I take it do I risk totally stopping bone growth??


  • Not sure exactly, but was told that I could not take Advil, Motrin, Aleve, etc. because they were NAISD's and that drug interfers with the fusion process. I'm only 2 weeks post op and wasn't told how long this was in effect.

    Hope you find some answers.

  • I was told that I could take them. My Dr and surgeon both had no idea what other dr's are talking about. I started taking them a month after surgery and I have no problems with my fusion.
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  • thanks, that's a big relief! I've been doing pretty well and advancing but the last 5 days I'm feeling it along the sacral border and I'm not sure if it's SI or if it's the butt muscle firing up. I hope a few days of Motrin will settle it down. Working without a net with my OS gone...the one question I didn't grill him with presurgery was "Will you be leaving for military service?" thought of everything else to ask him but that. lol
  • NSAIDS are proven in studies to inhibit fusion. Obviously, some people will take them and still fuse and some people will not take them and still not fuse.(example-I think Bruce took some postop and fused if I remember correctly and I didn't take them for the first year and still not fused at 18 months. Go figure!)

    Most articles I've read and docs I've talked to say the minimum is 3 months post fusion though some are more conservative and say 6 months post fusion no NSAIDS.

    This isn't just a spine issue-some ortho docs have fits if a fresh arm/leg/whatever fracture patient is told to take NSAIDS.

  • I was told to stay away from Nsaids completely. My doctor had a fit when I took Ibuprofen for inflammation and asked him afterward. I haven't asked him if that prohibition is over by this time at 3 months.
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  • All of my paperwork has bold writing that states no ibuprfen, advil, motrin etc. This is bad for me as I suffer from migraines and my pills contain these.

    Also my doctor has a firm policy to have all of his patients removed from their pain meds by the sixth week. I this common too? I am not too worried about this as I dont really like taking them but at this point I need them still at least every four hours. Does anyone else have a dr with this guideline?

    Oh my sugery was 12.9

  • This is a tough question. There are studies showing that NSAID's inhibit bone growth and thus fusion, but other studies show no affect. Tylenol is not an NSAID and is fine to take.

    I was told before my surgery no NSAID's for a year. However, at my 3 month appointment, the surgeon said I could start taking small amounts of Advil to help deal with inflammation that has probably been the main source of my recent discomfort. Prescription Advil is 600mg and he said I could do 2 over-the-counter (400mg) up to 3 times a day. I do it once/day to help, but not overdo it.

    Each doctor has their own way of doing things. It is not good to do something against your doctor's orders just because some non-medical professionals on an internet forum say it is okay. The best thing to do is follow your doctor's instructions.
  • I was told I can take Excedrin for headaches--just not a lot. Also, I was put on a 6 day Prednisone pack just 4 weeks after surgery. I questioned my doc on both these issues and he said it was fine. I think every doc is different. My doc is very liberal.

  • PJAK-

    Are you sure your doc means you need to be off pain meds by 6 weeks or does he mean he won't write them himself after 6 weeks? I've seen docs who believe that if you need pain meds after that time you should have your primary doc or pain management doc write them after a certain time postop op. I assume it's just because they don't want to be in the long term pain control business????

    If I had a perfect fusion and no complications, I could have not taken narcs most of the time by 8 weeks. Before things went sour for me, I was mostly taking Tylenol and every couple of days a Vicodin at night. That changed becuz of complications I've had.
  • I'm pretty sure I've got inflammation in either the hip or the SI joint and with the doc gone to Afghanistan, I have to make a choice as to whether to trust his MA or not...I'm going to try twice a day for a week and see if it works. Sleeping is so difficult and it's to the point where its starting to interfere with my walks a bit....say a prayer the fusion continues. I'm 2/3 fused as of last month. I'd hate to ruin it. I just can't believe he left without having another OS available to his patients...I'm really upsest about that. I know his fellow has been there but he's only there on Tues. and still, he's only a fellow. I'll call Tues to pick his brain as well. Thanks everyone!
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