Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!


Quick Start Forum Video Tutorial

Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

The main site has all the formal medical articles and videos for you to research on.

Surgery in 8 days-Please help



  • jellyhalljjellyhall Posts: 4,345
    edited 02/05/2013 - 12:35 PM
    I have no experience of drugs, so can't really offer any advice or reassurance on that. Sorry.

    As for the cigarettes, I would imagine that just smoking one yesterday, would not make much difference, unless you will have a blood test to see if there is nicotine in your system. Please do stop taking both drugs and cigarettes now. The success of your fusion surgery will probably depend on it.

    When a spine is not fused after this surgery, the hardware (screws and rods) will only hold out for so long before they either break or come loose. I expect that is why your screw broke. You really want the surgery to fuse this time, and so do all you can to help your body to recover completely.

    I agree with Penny that you should let your doctors know about your addiction problems. They will be very careful what they give you and help you to come off the heavy duty pain meds afterwards. Some of these heavy duty drugs that they use for pain are addictive.

    Gabriella, I will watch out to see how you get on, and can encourage you after your surgery while you are recovering. :-)
  • PennyPPenny Posts: 162
    edited 02/05/2013 - 8:28 AM
    Be strong. Stay off the cigarettes. If you haven't talked to your doctors yet about your addiction issue, you need to. They should be aware because it will impact how they treat your pain.

    Is it possible you were self medicating because of the pain? Lots of people do it, including some a whole lot older than you.

    4 level ACDF completed on January 3rd.
    I developed an infection which required reopening the wound on January17th
    Looking forward to life without as much pain!
  • advertisement
  • Thank you everyone. I feel very inspired to stay strong and get through this the right way this time. You guys are seriously amazing and it just helps so much to know that other people get what back pain is like !
    Gabrielle Catania
  • my consultant smokes himself [as do half the hospital staff] i am sorry that you are needing another fusion {what kind are you having {i had ALIF at l4/l5S1} I woke up in hell the pain was off the charts as i already take massive amounts of oxycontin .so i needed massive amounts of diamorphine and ketamine post op but it took them 2 hours to realise this [even though i had told them well before and just before the operation !.as you will know any fusion is called a major and your in a hard time .just make sure that you get your pain killers sorted and as someone has already mentioned you will be mega thirsty post surgery ..there is no point of overdosing on watter before surgery as you wont be able to drink on the day and anything extra that you have drunk the day before will be excreted anyway ..just make sure the staff know that you are in pain and thirsty.the fist few day will be bloody awful but it will get better as the weeks go on .i wish you well and hope you have a positive outcome ..remember any fusion is to stabilise the spine and not for pain relief any pain relief is a bonus ..in my case i have not had any pain relief and as its my 3rd operation on my spine .all they can do now is treat as intractable pain ..not nice .but i have a kind family doctor and an excellent consultant .once again good luck
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
  • Gabriella:

    I agree with Penny about talking with your doctors about the pain meds you will receive because of your addiction. Doing it once and doing it right is really important right now, so talk with your doctor(s) if you have not already done so regarding your addiction!

    I also agree that it is doubtful that one cigarette is going to cause a failed fusion. But, don't use that as "logic" to say - ok, I can have one cigarette and it won't do anything bad post surgery.

    You want to give your bones the best shot of healing and the cleaner you are, the better you will be.

    Maybe you can use this as an opportunity for a clean slate. If that means that during your time healing you need some assistance from drug counselors - DO IT! Do whatever it takes to give you the best chance for success - not only during your healing from surgery, but for your life after.

    Since you will likely need some pain meds after surgery, you need help from your parents (or other responsible adults, if your parents are not the right people) to monitor your intake of the pain meds - otherwise, you can MENTALLY create the need for more pain meds when the pain in actuality may not be there.

    It's nice to see that you are putting the pieces together and that you care enough about yourself to come here, ask the questions and connect the dots for your upcoming surgery.

    Think of this as an experiment, really! It could be fun. You know what the outcome was of your last surgery - failed fusion and broken screw. Now, let's see what happens with no cigarettes and no drugs - and moderation and following the orders of your doctor in regards to the pain meds you may receive.

    You're on the right road. Get that guided imagery audio. I sent you a PM with the name of the one I used . Click on your INBOX on this site to get it. It will help with the anxious and nervousness you are feeling. Instead of lighting up, listen to the audio recordings. :)

    I think you can tell that we are rooting for you! It's probably our maternal instincts kicking in, but it comes from a genuine place of wanting to see you do well.
    10/26/2012 ACDF C3/4 C4/5 surgery
    No pain; no pain meds - thank goodness!
    04/01/2013 - 5 months + 1 week - FUSED
    Doing some physical therapy for even better range of motion
  • advertisement
Sign In or Register to comment.