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2 Days Post Op and not doing well

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,321
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:20 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I just had lumbar laminectomy and microdiscectomy. I have had a terrible headache since the surgery. Also, I have had a lot of back pain and electic shooting pain down my leg. Any ideas why the headache or the leg pain, and what I can do to get rid of them?


  • apart from a dural leak which can cause an intense headache, caffeine withdrawal can to (did you drink caffeine preop and have you had any since?) weird i know, but it happened to me and thankfully my anaethetist pointed it out promptly and a cup of tea did the trick-it was an insanely intense headache...these are just a couple of ideas.

    i hope you feel better soon
  • I had a PLIF several weeks ago. I also had an intense headache the first night of surgery (so bad, that I threw up) and then a string of lesser, but still pesty headaches off and on for the next 2 weeks. I finally figured out that I was having "narcotic induced headaches". Actually, my Internist coined that phrase for me. I was on Hydrocodone for the surgery pain...when I took the pills I was fine, but when I started weaning myself off, I'd get the headaches. The pain was usually right behind my eyes, almost like a sinus headache. I also believe the morphine pump at the hospital gave me the intense headache right after surgery. I guess I don't do narcotics well! Anyway, I'm fine now, as long as I don't take the heavy pain meds. I hope this helps and good luck!
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  • go away as soon as you lay down and come right back as soon as you sit up or lift your head? My post op instructions for this symptom was to drink something with caffeine and if it did not go away, call doc asap.
  • Is there any way you could have a dural leak without being told so by your surgeon?

    What other symptoms would be present other than head aches?
  • "Post dural puncture headache (PDPH) is a complication of spinal anesthesia, diagnostic spinal puncture, or epidural anesthesia.

    PDPH typically occurs hours to days after puncture and presents with symptoms such as headache and nausea that typically worsen when the patient assumes an upright posture. It is thought to result from a leakage of cerebrospinal fluid into the epidural space. "

    Hope you start feeling better,
    Christina :)
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  • It's definitely not caffeine related. It seams like I have the migranes some when I'm laying down but mostly when I'm up. I've coughed a few times too and that's been extremely painful to my head as well. Maybe I should contact my doctor on tomorrow or Monday.

  • The headaches aren't gone but they seem to be getting better. My best guess so far is lack of sleep. I didn't really sleep the night before surgery because of nerves, I didn't sleep at all the night of the surgery, and last night I only slept about 4 hours and kept waking up in pain.

    I am having severe pain at the incision sight and a pretty electric pain down my right leg. Is that pretty normal to feel 2 days after surgery?

  • it ay just be a good idea to contact your doc re headaches and pain. From what ive read peope can experience an incease in symptoms post op however its always good to give your surgeon a heads up, especially if the pain is a 'new' pain that you didnt have preop???

  • My husband had a dural leak one time. After days in the hospital trying to figure it out one anesthetisist (sp) suggested he could have a leak from the spinal he had during knee surgery. They did a patch and he was better.

    The dr. also said that gulping a 6 pack of coke, along with some tylenol would have done the same trick as the patch - he just needed lots of fluids to replace what was lost.

    Definitely a headache that did not allow him to sit up or move without severe pain.

    I am 7 days post op and started having headaches myself - when I started the roxycodone - They are cautious about the use of tylenol post fusion, but the one dose of tylenol I got did rid me of the headache - well, until I took the next dose of Roxy.

    Good Luck!

    Oh, and I'm sure the nerves down your leg are not happy with the intrusion - that might be the leg pain. But, like everyone says, bring it up with your Dr. - he needs to know what's going on and he knows your case way better than us ;)
  • Just from the anthestesia itself, and it's just taking it's time going away. My goodness, I was so doped up on liquid Dilaudid at two days, hitting that pump every 6 minutes I sure don't remember a headache, much less my name!! (liquid Morophine didn't touch my pain, so they switched me to the Dilaudid, YULK!!) I had a three level fusion, was in the hospital for 5 days, then went to re-hab for 7 days to learn how to walk and climb stairs. Looking back, my goodness what a horrible time!!!

    It could be coming from the pain killers your doing. Maybe you need to talk to your doc about changing. You're going to be on pain killers for a lot longer than you realize. I am on my 24th week post-op, and I STILL have to take about 3 percocets a day. I was finally released to start PT on my 20th week, as my x-rays FINALLY showed fusion. So with PT, I still need the pills, yulk!! I can't wait for the day that I won't need them anymore!!

    You might also ask your doc for some sleeping medication. I finally had to ask early on in my recovery, just due to me waking up every three hours in incredible pain, and needing to take yet another pain pill. So I asked about a sleeping pill to help me sleep through the pain. He gave me Ambien. It really helped!!!

    But good luck, and get ready for a lot of patience, and shedding a few tears because you won't be able to do what you use to do for quite some time!!!

    I'm on my 24th week, and it still kills me to shave my legs. I just have to do it real fast!!! And my husband still has to help me in and out of the bathtub. So what is that? I'll be 6 months post on August 8th? Long time....hang in there. You are soooo early on....
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