Welcome, Friend!

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

advertisement

Quick Start Forum Video Tutorial

    Forum-Tutorial-Screenshot
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.

Notice
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.
advertisement

Pain medication post ALIF surgery

Hi all,

This is my first post on these forums. I'm glad I have found this as it has already been a great source of info for me. Anyways, to my question--I am a 28 y/o female. I just had ALIF surgery on June 9, 2014 on L4/L5. Everything is going well with my recovery so far. I take Percocet for my pain. My question is this, how long does it take most people, post spinal fusion, to be off of their pain meds?? I know I am still fairly new in the recovery process, but I am just wondering what to expect. It would be great to get a feel for what others have experienced in getting off their pain meds.

Thank you!

Rachael
advertisement

Comments

  • Hey Rachael! Glad you are doing well in recovery so far -- I had posterior and anterior fusion done on L5 five days ago, and I'm hoping I'll also have a smooth recovery. How much pain medicine do you take daily now? I'm still doing 1-2 percoset every 4 hours and a valium sometimes once or twice a day if the weird shakes come back. I have already learned not to just take 2 every time I can (percoset) or it just knocks me out and I can sometimes get nauseous. Were you doing a similar dosage post-op? How much you have been able to taper off (and has that been successful)? Sending you the best of luck!

    Ashley
    Ashley
    360 Spinal Fusion (ALIF/PLIF) 7/3/2014
  • advertisement
  • I know what pain is, I had my ALIF surgery on May 20,2014. I didn't want any Narcotic pain medication even though the surgeon had prescribed Norco ( Hydrocodone /Acetaminophen) to take home. The pain from the incision and at the site of bone graft is bearable compared to the Sciatica pain I had prior to the ALIF surgery. I will take 200-400 mg of Ibuprofen when I have a bad day. I know that pain affects people differently but it is healthier not to depend on any Narcotic meds. Best of luck.
    Jessica Ling

    ALIF on 5/20/2014
    L4,L5 and S1
  • Rachael86RRachael86 Posts: 10
    edited 07/07/2014 - 5:34 AM
    Hi Ashley! Up to around 2 weeks after my surgery I was taking the Percocet every 4 hours. I am now down to one every 6 hours. It's not a HUGE difference but it's something! The thing I have noticed that is different from the very beginning stages of recovery is that when I am having "good" days I often forget and end up over exerting myself, which is what leads to pain. So I'm constantly having to remind myself to "take it easy!" So, be careful of that! But, on the other hand you also want to make sure you aren't sitting all day.. I found taking multiple small walks throughout the day helped me a lot in the beginning. And you can gradually increase the distance of those as you feel more comfortable. If you have a walker, that would probably be helpful as that really helped me at first too. Good luck with your recovery, let me know if you have any other questions! :)

    Rachael
  • jessicaling said:
    I know what pain is, I had my ALIF surgery on May 20,2014. I didn't want any Narcotic pain medication even though the surgeon had prescribed Norco ( Hydrocodone /Acetaminophen) to take home. The pain from the incision and at the site of bone graft is bearable compared to the Sciatica pain I had prior to the ALIF surgery. I will take 200-400 mg of Ibuprofen when I have a bad day. I know that pain affects people differently but it is healthier not to depend on any Narcotic meds. Best of luck.
    I thought taking ibuprofen (anti-inflammatory) is a no-no for at least 6 months post op after a fusion. You might want to check with your surgeon on that, it can slow down your fusion taking. Tylenol works okay if you don't let the pain get put of control.




    Julie K
    L4/L5 fusion TLIF for spondylolisthesis on 5/12/14
  • advertisement
  • I am 8 weeks out and I am off the pain meds except if I overdo it and Tylenol isn't relieving the pain, which isn't often. I also do not have to take the Valium (muscle relaxer) unless my back goes into spasms, which is also not too often. Be careful when you do start coming off the pain meds though because even though your brain knows you don't need the meds, your body might have gotten used to having them so if you all of a sudden go from 2-3/day then just take 1 you can get withdrawal symptoms. I have had several surgeries in the past and NEVER had a problem getting off the meds; however this time when I stopped needing/taking the pain meds I just stopped taking them. I couldn't figure out why I was having waves of abdominal (gut) cramping, like I was going to have diarrhea, but nothing like that happened, just the bad cramping. I read that can be a sign of withdrawal. After I read that I took 1/2 a pill twice a day for a couple days, then I stopped. When I did that the waves of cramping stopped. Too weird! I attribute the withdrawal now from previous surgeries to the length of time I had to take for pain with this surgery compared to the others.

    Keep up the good work! :)
    Julie K
    L4/L5 fusion TLIF for spondylolisthesis on 5/12/14
  • My ALIF was 6 weeks ago (L5-S1). I still take about 3 Vicodin a day for the pain. Mostly the pain is nerve pain and it's driving me crazy. Sitting in the car is the worst! Hopefully soon the pain will get better, but as of now it seems to be getting worse.
  • jessicalingjjessicaling Posts: 15
    edited 07/08/2014 - 9:10 AM
    Julijac said:
    jessicaling said:
    I know what pain is, I had my ALIF surgery on May 20,2014. I didn't want any Narcotic pain medication even though the surgeon had prescribed Norco ( Hydrocodone /Acetaminophen) to take home. The pain from the incision and at the site of bone graft is bearable compared to the Sciatica pain I had prior to the ALIF surgery. I will take 200-400 mg of Ibuprofen when I have a bad day. I know that pain affects people differently but it is healthier not to depend on any Narcotic meds. Best of luck.
    I thought taking ibuprofen (anti-inflammatory) is a no-no for at least 6 months post op after a fusion. You might want to check with your surgeon on that, it can slow down your fusion taking. Tylenol works okay if you don't let the pain get put of control.
    You are absolutely correct about the effect of Ibuprofen (NSAIDS) on bone healing. I should have known better ( old habit ). Thanks again for friendly reminder.
    Jessica Ling

    ALIF on 5/20/2014
    L4,L5 and S1
  • fruitterffruitter Posts: 3
    edited 06/24/2015 - 10:45 PM
    hi, all
    i am 31 years old and 3 and 1/2 weeks post-op after alif on my l5/s1 discs. i was prescribed 325/10 mg norco, 2 pills every 4 hours and 5 mg valium, 1 pill every 6 hours when i left the hospital. at 2 weeks post op i was only taking one norco maybe every other day and that was usually at night just to get comfortable. i was still taking the valium pretty regularly at that time because the spasms were still happening quite often. now, at 3 and 1/2 weeks after surgery, i have completely stopped the norco and take a valium only before longer car rides or after i have over done it. over doing it seems to be an issue over this last week, as i have days where i feel really good (short or some left over nerve tingling in my foot) and forget to slow down. i was taking tramadol before surgery and was told i could continue to take that if needed. i do take that at times, also when i've over done it and it eases the pain for the most part. i find most of my pain to be in my hips and at my incision site. although the initial pain after surgery was intense, especially in the area of the incision, it was nothing compared to the shooting nerve pain that traveled all the way down my legs and to my toes and was accompanied by tingling and numbness that never stopped. the pre-surgery pain got worse as the days went by and the post surgery pain is a much different pain that gets better daily. it's not easy and definitely painful but so far my surgery was a wise decision and what i think was my best option and i am currently happy with my results. i can only hope that things keep improving. good luck to all on this same journey!

    welcome to spine-health
    please click welcome to learn more about sh and how to navigate this site to best benefit you.
advertisement
Sign In or Register to comment.