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Pain expectations - 12/10 anterior / posterior 2 lvl lumbar fusion

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:26 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
On December 10, I had two level L4 - S1 fusion. Interbody cages with BMP were inserted via a six inch incision in my abdomen. Note, the damage at l5 S1 was pretty severe (close to bone on bone situation). The doctor completed the surgery by flipping me over and inserting rods and screws on the back side through a total of four incisions ranging in length from 2 inches (2) to 1 inch (2). Prior to surgery, I was taking approximately 8 PercoceT (5/325) per day.

I returned from the hospital on Dec 15. I am currently taking Fentanyl 50 mg patch (every 72 hours) along with 2 percocet every 5 hours. And I still hurt! The pain increases through out the day and wakes me up in the middle of the night.

I feel like I should be taking less pain medication as I read the forums but am trying to be reasonable with myself. :''(

Can you please share your experiences with pain and meds post surgery? Especially if you had a similar procedure to mine?

Thanks. I think I am just feeling uncomfortable and unsure.


  • I have been in a similar situation as you. I had L4-S1 fused and used cadaver bone. After being discharged from my hospital stay, my patches were increased to 50mcg, and I was on Norco and Valium. The sciatic nerve had been badly compressed up against bone from the L6 disc.
    I know this recovery time is pretty rough, and you're still early in the game. Don't feel bad for having to take pain pills for a good while, a lot us do. You'll need it especially when you start PT. In my case, I am still on pain meds over 7 months post op because my back pain and sciatica are chronic and I need them to function.
    I hope you get to feeling better and that you have a successful recovery.
  • My surgery was posterior fusion with discs removed and replaces, screws rods and bmp, the whole works. I also had biopsy for sacral tumor. I am on 75 Fentyl patches, oxycodone 1 or 2 15 mgs every 4 hours and vallium 5 mg for spasms. We are just at the 3 week from surgery and have went through alot. Mine irritates when I do my walks. I have pain even with all the meds, its normal. I had a 7 3/4 hour surgery and my body feels like i have been put through wringer,. Be paitient. Everything takes time. And wwe both have alot of it on our hands. Your Doctor will let you know when you need to start cutting down on meds, get wnough rest and do what Dr says, I am still taking 3 hour naps every afternoon. Give your body a chance. Keep in touch, we are close to the same dates and type of recouperation. :H
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