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dapsbounce8
06-09-2004, 03:07 PM
As many of you know, I had spinal fusion about four months ago (curves & length listed in signature below). Anyway, I was feeling really well for a while with little to no pain.

Then, the last two nights while lying in bed, I've been having horrible, piercing rib pains. These pains aren't in the area where I had ribs removed - on the opposite side. The pain gets so bad that I start breathing really shallow and have to get up and take a tylenol with codeine (TC3).

Why would I be pain free for a few months and then all of a sudden have a lot of pain again? Why does it only happen at night when I'm lying down? Do you think that I damaged something or have I just been overactive? What can I do to lessen the pain? HELP!

mumof5
06-09-2004, 05:12 PM
The pain could be caused by alot of things. I think the first thing you should do is talk to a doctor. Maybe it's just one of those weird things that happen from time to time but it's best to get it checked out. Think about what you have done in the last few days that is different from what you have been doing. Did you reach for something. Did you sneeze or cough. I haven't had surgery but my back gives me a lot of problems. I know if I sneeze without bracing myself properly I'm in trouble.
Amber's ribs are giving her some pain ( she had 3 inches or so removed from 5 ribs) and I have noticed that while most of her rib hump is gone and she is left with a small hump, if she has been on her feet for a while and is getting tired the hump is more noticable and I have to remind her to pull her shoulder back. This also happens if she has lying down on the lounge. I think that is because she doesn't flat and very straight, she gets up and she a bit 'bent' and her ribs stick out. I have told her not to do this anymore.
So maybe it is transfer pain caused by something you have done without realising. But still please get it checked out .
Best of luck.
Cheryl.

dapsbounce8
06-09-2004, 11:07 PM
I had almost the exact same surgery done as your daughter - about 3 inches of four or five ribs removed. I also have the small hump because of my shoulder blade. I'm looking into physical therapy to pull the shoulder back, so sitting is more comfortable and I look more physically "normal." That might be a good idea for your daughter as well.

Thanks for your help.

Alison
06-10-2004, 03:01 AM
Just something that may be of interest to you that I still notice on myself 5 years on, when I get really tired, my shoulders revert to sitting in the position they were in in the back-brace (which is rather comfortable and my shoulders got rather used to it) which where one shoulder was really low and the other was really high and I start to hump on one side. We have started working on it physio wise to try and re-shorten the muscles in the lower shoulder. Dad calls it my tired radar.

mumof5
06-10-2004, 08:03 PM
Amber has suggested that maybe the pain is from 'numbness' wearing off. I hadn't even thought of that.
When did everyone start physio?
Amber goes back to see the surgeon in 2 weeks.
How is your shoulder pain now? I hope everything else is going well for you.
Cheryl.

dapsbounce8
06-11-2004, 12:03 AM
It could be the numbness wearing off, but I've never noticed much numbness in that area - its more by my shoulders and armpits. I also have had the rib pains before, for about a month after surgery, but they went away for a while.

For now, I've been trying to be more gentle with my movement, and I plan on calling the surgeon's assistant. Thanks for the help!

Alison
06-11-2004, 12:28 AM
We started physio at the 3 month mark (when you are able to do a bit more things and some of the "bans" are lessened). It was nothing major, more of me working on retraining my body in my head (ie where my shoulders sat, how I walked, working on my abdominal muscles by using different parts of my body)

Alison

mumof5
06-11-2004, 05:19 AM
I have just taken Amber to the doctors as she has been having rib pain all day. Same side as the ribs that were removed but a little lower down and mainly in the front. The doctor said it was because of the chest wall and all conecting muscles being weakened, nerves tend to get a bit caught up and cause quite a bit of pain. I know that nerves can get caught between muscle layers for no apparent reason. It happened in my stomach while I was pregnant. It's a similar thing. Rest is the best way to ease it. Hope this helps you as well.
Cheryl.

dapsbounce8
06-11-2004, 11:19 AM
mumof5:
That would be a good explanation, if the rib pain was on the side that my ribs were removed from, but its actually on the opposite side! I know that my torso was rotated in surgery to straighten the spine. Maybe that caused the nerves on the other side (w/o ribs removed) to be pulled out of place???

Thank you for the help!

mumof5
06-11-2004, 05:34 PM
Whenever you have something that is weak the stronger side compensates for it. Your stomach will out of necessity get stronger to support your back, the right (or left) side will support the other. So it still could be a nerve. Maybe not it could be something completely different. Let us know how you get on and if you find out what caused it. Are you still hurting? Hope it gets better quickly.
Best of luck
Cheryl.

dapsbounce8
06-12-2004, 05:32 PM
Thanks for the suggestions and encouragement. I've been a bit better. Not as much pain at night, but sometimes during the day, and back pain too. I'm starting to get pain in different areas, so maybe I'm just doing to much physical labor. I've got to try to be more careful!

mumof5
06-12-2004, 06:19 PM
Amber's rib pain went away when she layed down. She says it hasn't really come back.
Maybe you have just been overdoing it. I know when I look at Amber it's hard to remember that it was only 4 1/2 weeks ago, she looks so 'well'. You have to listen to Doctors and everyone here, you've probably got another 6 weeks or so before the fusion is 'solid'. Maybe you need to give yourself a holiday. Put up some nice pictures of somewhere you'd like to go, lay back and daydream for awhile.
Hope it gets better soon.
Cheryl.