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Insomnia after a fusion

I had a single level PLIF and decompression at L4-S1 over 4 weeks ago and have been recovering well in terms of pain. Pre-surgery, the back pain was unbearable but now is more of a niggling pain. But the downside is sleep is basically non-existent for me. I go to bed at around 11pm and can't sleep until 3am, sometimes even 5am when the sun has come up, and wake up at least 4 times a night. On a good day I get 7 hours of broken sleep! It's become an issue for me because I'm beyond exhausted and my body feels like it's going to shut down even though I'm taking it easy after the op. I'm trying my best to keep up with the physio but each day it becomes even harder as my body is running out of energy reserves. It seems odd because pre-op I was in excruciating pain at night but I got more sleep than I do now, when I'm virtually pain free. Has anybody else experienced this post-surgery or have any advice? It would be appreciated x


  • The only time I had insomnia was when I was cutting down my gabapentin I think that's the same as Lyrica in the USA. Which is a known side effect. Sorry I can't help more.
  • Are you taking any narcotic pain medications? Those are what caused terrible insomnia for me post-op, even despite taking sleeping medications.
    L4/5/S1 scar tissue removal surgery, plus unexpected L4/5 microdiscectomy #2 October 2015
    L4/5 microdiscectomy May 2015
    2-level ADR C4-6 (Mobi-C) February 2015
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  • Am exactly gone 2 weeks since my MIS TLIF Surgery on my L4/L5 . I have not being able to sleep more than a couple of hours each night since the I came home from hospital the second day after surgery.

    Immediately post op I was given a mild pain reliever via IV drip, a Voltaren injection twice a day, and had access to a PCA (Patient Activated ) morphine drip -but only during the first night post op.

    On discharge from hospital I was sent home with a simple pain management regimen of two Tylenol or panadol tablets three times a day. Additionally I was taking a wide spectrum antibiotic twice a day for 7 days. I just want to clarify again, that my entire pain management medication was to the extent of Tylenol or panadol tablets three times a day. I'm not talking about extra codeine mixed Tylenol 3 but the simple acetaminophen tablets that you get over the counter anywhere in the world.

    Which is why, now two weeks after my surgery, I am quite surprised that I am still suffering from a prolonged bout of insomnia. I have read elsewhere on this forum that post surgery patients do suffer from insomnia but that is usually as a result of exposure to narcotic pain relievers. Since I did not have a single dose of narcotic pain reliever such as tramadol or oxycodone since I've been home I do not see a reason why I cannot sleep at all. It is also worth noting is that I have a fairly commited walking routine everyday, I am moving around as much as possible, I do not catch up on sleep during the day, so I am quite bewildered that I have this insomnia.
    L4-L5 TLIF surgery Nov 25, 2015?
    2nd degree Spondylolesthesis at L4/L5, Degenerated disc at L4/L5 and L5/S1 compromising nerve root
    Osteoarthritic changes of facet joints at L4/L5
    Lumbar canal stenosis at L4/L5
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