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Post Op

I had surgery on June 6th of this year. It was a four level posterior fusion. I had been having many problems for years which just got worse as time went by, spinal stenosis was causing pain and numbness/tingling. My nerosurgeon decided it was time to do surgery. I had back surgery in late 2007 that was not very successful, so I was quite scared. I see a pain management doctor every month. Anyhow, I knew the post op pain would be terrible, the first few days would be the worst. However, in my opinion the nerosurgeon undermedicated me while I was in the hospital. I was already taking Norco at home 10mg's. The nerosurgeon ordered an IV shot every three hours I believe it was Diladuid and then the Norco's every four hours. Apparently the IV medication was not very strong because even the nurses were telling my surgeon it was not enough and I was still in terrible pain, could he increase the strength, he did not. On top of that, the nurses were late with my medication all the time, the pain medicine would be out of system at the three hour mark and no nurse, no medication, to make it worse if it was time for the norco they would only dispense that and not the IV medication, so it would take another 45 mins or so for it to take any effect at all. I was in such horrible pain. When I had my back surgery in 2007 I had a pain pump that I just pushed a button to deliver pain mediacation as I needed it for the first 24 hours.
I am a month post op now and still in a good deal of pain. I am not sure if this is normal or not? If i am relaxing its doable but when I get up, do some light housework, or go to the store with my husband for a half an hour or so I am totally wiped out and ready to lay down again, in terrible pain. Hoping this will subside soon. I can't lie around in bed all day, but when I am up past an hour I am hurting quite badly. Is all this normal? I have not had a re check with the nerosurgeon yet, I saw his assistant just to have the staples taken out, I see the surgeon the end of July. Thanks for reading this...


  • you are way too early to be doing anything right now.I had Alif L4L5S1 IN March and I was in a lot of pain for mths.I just started pt 3 weeks ago.I was told no lifting ,bending or twisting.You don't want to mess up your fusion.I was on pain pump in hospital and I went home with Morphine.I am now on Gabapentin for nerve pain which is almost gone now.Please don't do to much now .You need to rest and let your body heal!!!!Kathy
    Kathy B
  • You are way too early to be active with a 4 level fusion. I think its great that you are trying to get out with your husband on occasion as I think staying at home all the time can start to cause depression, but I think its totally normal to be wiped out when you get back, and I'd think you'd want very short trips with little walking. You do have a temporary handicap permit right? If not you need to get one asap. And if these short trips are too much for you, stop and try again in a week or two.

    I'm sorry to hear about your pain issues in the hospital. I have had multiple problems with nurses/pain meds basically every back surgery I've ever had (them arriving late, etc). It never failed that my husband would have to call the head nurse for the hospital (can't remember what they are called) before things would get better. I know there are some great, hard working nurses out there... but there are also many too busy chatting about fashion etc right outside your room and then claim they were "swamped" after you waited 2 hours PAST TIME and had to call the head nurse...

    I do hope your pain will improve. Remember you really are very early out. Maybe you should call and ask to see the surgeon sooner just to see if you might need some type of alteration in your medication. Best of luck to you as you heal. Hang in there!
    33yo mom of two. My surgical history...preadolescence scoliosis, kyphosis, and a hot mess.... 5 spine surgeries and lots of items added I wasn't born with (titanium, peek, surgical steel). Guess cremation is out. TSA loves me.
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  • LizLiz Posts: 8,835
    I am sure that you will find your time on Spine-Health very rewarding. This site is a powerful and integrated system that is dynamic and continues to grow.
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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • thank you for your encouragement and kind words. My neck and shoulder area has been is such pain all week and I have had terrible muscle spasms, I do have a muscle relaxer to take so that does help somewhat. I think the key is, my body is telling me to rest... I should listen :)
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