View Full Version : Lung issues post-op

10-18-2012, 07:59 PM
Has anyone experienced lung pain? I'm almost 3 weeks post-op and it seems like Especially in the morning after log-rolling out of bed when I sit up straight I have a bit of shortness of breath. I have found a tender spot on one of my right ribs which i think it might be from being face-down for so long...(only had posterior fusion) or maybe my lungs are just getting used to their "new" position...or wondering if it has to do with sleeping on my back ..always slept on my sides before....so I am just curious if anyone else has had this problem?



10-18-2012, 09:33 PM
hannah i think your lungs are just getting used to the strightness

Emma Plum
10-18-2012, 09:46 PM
Hannah, I think your body is just getting used to the "new normal." I wouldn't worry, but you should probably describe things at your next Post-Op.

Aunt M.

10-18-2012, 10:29 PM
I did have shortness of breath early on. I think it was partly fatigue from all the work your body is doing, partly because my blood count was still short for a whole, and partly because all the drugs just made me feel that way. It resolved by around two months post-op.

I'm sure you know that if you start to get a lot of pain in your lungs you should call your doctor. There are some post-op complications like pneumonia, pulmonary embolism and fluid around the lungs that can happen, although I believe it's extremely rare.

Also, continuing to use your spirometer at home can help get your lungs back in shape.


10-19-2012, 12:44 AM
I def have a shortness of breath. I can just be sitting there and feel almost like I can't take a deep breath. I've just recently started feeling pain in my ribs as well. When I lay on my back and take a deep inhale, it feels like sharp stabbing in my ribs.... I'm hoping it will work itself out.

10-19-2012, 09:03 AM
Opoid’s cause respiratory depression....there are plenty of articles about this. They really have an effect on your breathing....it seemed that I really had to put an effort in to take a deep breath.

Pain caused by fluid in the lungs could be a pleural effusion. We saw this once around 3 years ago. An x-ray is used for diagnosis. If sharp pains become “alarming” (you will know) do not hesitate to visit your surgeon or go into the emergency room right away.


10-19-2012, 09:14 AM
It was Jess in Colorado. Here is her thread that describes what happened.


10-24-2012, 01:19 AM
Welp, here it is day 26 after surgery and We spent the day at Mo. Bap. Hospital. My lung issues just weren't getting any better, so I called the surgeon's nurse and she advised me that Since I was having shortness of breath and chest pain that I go to the ER.
The waiting time at Barnes was over 3 hours, so dr. Lenke's nurse advised us to try mo. Bap. They took me right away and started the tests. Blood work, ct scan of chest and ultrasound of my legs to rule out pulmonary embolism. They did rule that out but were concerned about a small portion of both of my lower lungs. The dr. In the ER at Mo. Bap. Spoke with dr. Lenke and they decided to transfer me to Barnes overnight for observation.*

So after a long day of waiting and me laying on uncomfortable stretchers and sitting in wheelchairs, and an ambulance transfer to Barnes, I now have a room and have been told that I have something called atelectasis in both lungs, meaning that I have a partially collapsed lung (in the bottom part) causing the shortness of breath etc. I will be getting breathing treatments tonight or tomorrow and go from there. Oh and since we really didn't have a regular day my meds are all out of wack so my back is killing me. But for now Tim and I are just hanging out and we'll know more tomorrow. I think it's just going to take time to resolve. Everything else is ok.



10-24-2012, 10:53 AM
Wow so glad you went in and had this looked at!! Sorry you're going through this but I'm so glad your under hospital supervision! Good luck and keep us in the loop!!

10-24-2012, 07:15 PM
I'm sorry that youre having problems with your lungs. Hopefully you will feel better soon! Maggie

10-24-2012, 07:53 PM
I hope you're feeling better soon.

10-24-2012, 09:55 PM
After many tests etc. The doctors thought I was good to go home. They did change up my meds so hopefully that will help. After today and yesterday I am exhausted and lungs and back are sore. Especially since they didn't do so hot on keeping up with my pain meds today. So glad to be home. But seriously, advice to all who are having upcoming surgery. Definitely listen to them when they tell you to use the heck out Of the spirometer do it!! I will be doing it way more and trying to make sure I keep my lungs up and running! Glad to be home again and hoping for no more road blocks.


10-24-2012, 10:03 PM
Glad that you are home

10-24-2012, 10:21 PM

Glad you pursued this, discovered the problem and are back home. Hope you get the pain back under control soon and everything gets sorted out with your lungs.


10-24-2012, 10:59 PM
I hope you feel better soon and have no more roadblocks. Thank you for sharing with us.

10-26-2012, 02:33 AM
Everyone's recovery is different so this may not pertain to many of you and I'm sure it just takes time to work itself out.

At the moment, i am Extremely annoyed...I wish I could get through a night sleeping in bed without having to move to the recliner due to my lung pain. Plus my alarm didn't go off for my muscle relaxer at midnight so yay more back muscle pain. Reclined with ice pack and lots of pillow support and spirometer in hand. Have to get these lungs to function correctly:-( oh and I wish sleeping on my side was an option...i absolutely hate sleeping on my back. When is this going to get any better!? Soon I hope!!

I'm great during the days but as soon as I lay on my back for an extended period of time it happens...ugh.