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Thread: Break Through Pain

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Staten Island New York

    Break Through Pain

    After surgery I was sent home on Hydrocodone/APAP 7.5/750 TBMCK then I was just switched to Oxycodone HCL 10mg ER and told to take the Hydrocodone for break through pain. With all the instructions I was getting and questions I had - I forgot to ask what is break through pain and when do I take it. Does anyone know what break through mean? ( I would ask my doctor, but I can't reach my doctor until Thursday.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    east coast
    Breakthrough pain is pain that comes on suddenly and are very intense in nature despite ongoing long term pain treatment, which in your case would be the Oxycodone. Think of it as pain that's able to 'break through' the 'shield' of pain relief you are getting from whatever pain med you are on a daily basis... so the pain is beyond the 'usual' level of pain.

    I rarely see the term breaktrough pain being used outside of oncology settings... weird that they told you that.
    30 something y.o.

    2003 - T45, L???
    2005 - T50, L31
    bunch of measurements between...

    2011 - T60, L32
    2013 - T68, L?

    Posterior Fusion Sept 2014 -- T3 - L3
    Post - op curve ~35

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Wheeling, WV
    Hi Sue,

    I was on percoset and oxcycondone for the first 3 months, but they gave me something for "break through" pain.

    I remember watching the clock constantly for when I could take my next pill.

    I think I was fused from T-1 to L-5. I was never ashamed that I needed any of my pain meds for the first 3 months.

    I think the longer the fusion, the more painful the recovery is going to be, and there is no shame in needing the meds!!! I could go back through my records to see what I was taking at that time, but I was very medicated.

    I had never taken pain meds before, but needed them at that time. So if you are in the same position, take them if they help you.

    The worst time for me was the first 3 months. But we all differ. Do what you have to do, and don't feel ashamed that you need the meds!!!


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    I was on oxycontin twice per day for ongoing post-surgical pain and percocet for breakthrough pain. As someone else explained, breakthrough is acute pain as opposed to chronic pain.
    Congenital Scoliosis, 58* lumbar curve
    Combined Anterior/Posterior Spinal Fusion w/Laminectomy May 22, 2006
    Dr. William Lauerman
    Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, DC
    Pedicle Subtraction Osteotomy @ L3, Posterior Spinal Fusion L2-L4, rod removal with re-instrumentation T10-S1 and Laminectomy February 5, 2009 to correct flatback

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