View Full Version : How long after surgery is it safe to take ibuprophen?

04-16-2009, 07:30 PM
At my 5 month check up the doctor said it would be ok to start using, but I've still not tried it. He said that my fusion looked to be coming along nicely. But I'm nervous about using it so soon....I'm at 6 months now. HOw can it be safe to take at 6 months when you're not fused for a full 2 years? I don't want to do anything to compromise my fusion.

The reason I'm considering it is that my right shoulder is KILLING ME! I don't know what's wrong with it. Dr. N and my physical therapist said it sounds like 'impingement' or bursitis or something like that. He said if it continues I should go see a shoulder specialist. CRAP!!! I do not want another surgery!!

I will try to make an appt with someone soon, but in the mean time I"m afraid to take the ibuprophen. A friend suggested Flex Power cream, http://www.flexpower.com/uses_instruct.html

As a side note, last night I went to an aerobic dancing class that I LOVED! I plan on going 2x a week. I kept up with everything they did, and when they were doing ab work I improvised. My back felt perfectly fine this morning after the workout last night, but my shoulder was SORE.

04-16-2009, 07:48 PM
Hi Deb, I have taken this medication before but never for a long period of time, as it is not recommended to do this.

A cream as suggested would seem to be the best option for you as you do have reservations about ibuprophen, but I would make sure with your pharmacist that the cream you choose is a good one and will treat your problem. I have had terrible shoulder pain and it has been soft tissue damage from overextension of the arm and I do know it does HURT eh!

I cant see your surgeon telling you it is ok to use medication that would be inadvisable but the most important thing is that you must be comfortable with what you are doing to your body, so listen to your own intuition.

Macky xx

green m&m
04-16-2009, 09:43 PM
Just read what's in that cream, and it's got Trolamine salicylate in it, which is in lots of over the counter muscle rubs already, so if you decide to use it, you can probably find something cheaper than that one 14.95 for 2 oz seems steep?

04-16-2009, 10:42 PM
I have a 3 level lumbar fusion but I guess the principle's the same....
I was taking Mobic (anti inflammatory) up to 2 weeks pre-op and again within 2 weeks post-op for DDD and arthritis.
My surgeon used BMP (bone cement) which I think is standard for fusions and speeds up the fusion process.
You don't need shoulder pain to hold you back in your healing so try to limit its movement, use a topical anti-inflam cream then if it's still giving you trouble go for the ibuprofen.
BTW.....I was fully fused at 6 months, even taking the Mobic.:)

04-16-2009, 11:53 PM

You know my shoulder was broken when I had my scoli surgeries. Hopefully its not something you need to have surgery on but I can attest to the fact that shoulder surgery is miniscule compared to scoliosis surgery. The PT is ok, just time consuming. It helped my back quite a bit.

I know how you feel about having another surgery. I'm having my gall bladder yanked on April 30th. My 5th surgery in 2 years.

It would be a good idea to have a shoulder Doc take a peek. (x-rays and MRIs) You might be able to help it with PT.


04-17-2009, 12:22 AM
I'm very sorry to hear about your shoulder Debbei. I hope Ed's right and a bit of PT will make the difference. Good luck Like you, I could not contemplate another surgery however, I guess that would change if I really had to.

Cathydownunder, do you mind me asking who your surgeon was? And did you see on the news about a week ago, that the Mater has a new xray machine that looks like a circular ct scan machine, which xrays spinal surgery patients on the bed, without having to move them? They mentioned that previously, a lot of humping around of a patient goes on when xraying during the surgery. It's brand new... I just missed out!

Apologies Deb, for using your thread to speak to Cathy, but I am hoping Cathy is following this thread, and comes back.

04-17-2009, 06:38 AM
I was cleared to take Advil at 9 months post-op but I waited a year and even now I take it sparingly. I would be careful with the aerobics class -- if your shoulder pain started after the class, I would lay off until it feels better. Hopefully you've just sprained or pulled a muscle, which is really easy to do when you're starting to get active after being relatively sedentary after surgery. Good luck and hope you feel better soon ! !!!!!

04-17-2009, 07:26 AM
Thanks everyone,

Unfortunately my shoulder pain started a few months ago. I think I'll take Ed's advice and find a shoulder doctor, and in the mean time use the cream. It's reaching that bothers me. Even if I reach just a 'little' too far into the fridge for something--YIKES it hurts.

I'm sorry to hear that you need to have the gall bladder yanked. :) Hopefully it's a really quick recovery for you so you can be back skiing again soon.

04-17-2009, 05:15 PM
Debbe, I think I've already told you I was never told to avoid ibuprofen (or other NSAID's) and I fused fine.

I forgot to tell you ... try Tiger Balm on your shoulder.

It's about the best that's out there (along with Biofreeze) ... and so few people know about it.

I'm a junkie, as is everyone over 25 I play softball with: Walk into an adult dugout and your eyes start spontaneously spurting ... *everyone* is marinating in it - LOL~!


04-17-2009, 05:40 PM
Hi Cathydownunder,

I think your name pick is great. Its the best one on the forum.

No doubt about it.


04-17-2009, 11:29 PM
I dunno Ed. I think yours is hard to beat.