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How long did you stay on pain medication after surgery?

Cindyx3CCindyx3 Posts: 144
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:33 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Did you have relief from your symptoms right away or did it take time. I'm three weeks out and I still need pain meds when I use my hand more then I should. Is that normal or should I have a lot more relief by now. Doctor told me it would take a while and I have permanent nerve damage so I really need time to heal. I'm also tired, is anyone still exhausted from the surgery three weeks after?




  • around 10 years {narcotics for 3 years} and i have been told that as my condition will not improve i will require pain killers for the rest of my life
  • Still on them approx 1 year from ACDF. But everyone is different.
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  • first off i want to say that i have seen a big difference in you in the last 2 weeks. your posts show this and i think youre on the way to feeling better.
    i was on pain meds for 6 months after surgery....but everyone is different. since you have nerve damage you may need a steady dose of meds.
    pain makes people tired. pace yourself and rest when needed. also its several months before your strength comes back after surgery
    keep up the good work
  • Cinddy, there is no normal or abnormal here. Everyone is as different as fingerprints. Surgery is very debilitating both physically and emotionally and three weeks is not a long time at all in terms of recovery. Anesthetic alone takes time to recover from too, so you should not stress over the fact that you are still taking pain meds. There are no "Quick Fixes" for any of this stuff and you must chill out and let your recovery take it's course. You are under the supervision of a doctor with respect to your medication and I am sure that he will tell you that you will need to take pain meds for as long as you are in pain, however long that may be in your specific case.
    I wish you well and soon!

    John B
  • 10 days, but that's not a reflection of my pain "status". I had set and kept an aggressive return to work goal (11 days), and I wanted to be free from the impacts of narcotic pain meds.

    I think part of it also is that, in dealing with chronic pain for 10+ years, I've developed a tolerance for typical levels of discomfort and pain. My go-to options for what I consider unbearable or severe pain have been standard OTC meds (previously Alleve, now Tylenol). Honestly these only take the edge off at best, but it's a trade off I've always accepted to avoid the things that can come along with stronger meds.

    No way am I suggesting that this would work for everyone or that it's a superior approach, it's just what I've chosen to do.

    I still have pain post ACDF, but it's at levels that I can tolerate and accept. Only problem is I have other chronic issues that give me constant pain, and sometimes it's off the chart. I'm working with a good ortho, and the approach will be be tackle the issues one by one. Hopefully I'll get some relief, some day....
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  • I think it is the fact that I was in pain for so long and these pain meds relieve the pain. Doc told me to take two three times a day but I take one three times a day and some days I don't need them and other days I do. It just puzzles me but time will tell.

    Thanks all for your help.

  • I think it's a good sign that you don't need a steady dose of pain meds all the time. It is also common to experience better days and unfortunately bad days when you are healing. Your surgeon and your other doctors want you to have more good days than bad.

    Well, I never got off pain meds since both my surgeries. It's been over a years since my fusion and I've gone from taking Fentanyl patches to MS Contin and finally to Oxycontin. I never experienced relief from my symptoms and there hasn't been a pain free moment for me for the last 3 years. My pain has been steady and severe in my lower back and legs, and I also have permanent nerve damage in one leg.

    It's only been 3 weeks since you had surgery and you still have a long way to go. This is major surgery and the second most traumatic one to your body- the most major one being cardiac surgery. Your body needs time to heal and so does your nerves. It's common to have ups and downs but if the pain gets worse and doesn't let up, you need to contact your doctor. In the meanwhile try to take it easy and give yourself time. There is no rush to get off your medications. If you stop too early it may delay your recovery and make it harder to get around. Hang in there and remain positive like you are. Take care
  • I have been on paid meds since my first surgery in May 2007. I just had my 3rd Thursday, and am on what i consider way to many meds right now. I have as of today cut my dose in half. Docs had me on 120 mg of percocet and even though its only been 3 days, I have cut that to 60 mgs...gonna wait 3 more days and attempt to cut that in half again.
  • Well my little dog is sick and I've been doing too much and boy does my body let me know it. Thanks for all you help and support.

  • Yeah, Cindy, everyone is different. I had a 4 level laminectomy April 8th. I am facing more surgeries in the future (discetomy/fusion to name one). I am told I have permanent nerve damage.

    I am on narcotics and two nerve pain meds at present. I probably will be on pain meds for the rest of my life. I am also waiting on an SSDI claim.

    We're all different, no norm on this matter.

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