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Thread: Course of pain medication post-op

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Madison, Wisconsin
    Posts
    311

    Course of pain medication post-op

    Hello,

    This is Chris, Anya's husband, writing for her again. She's two weeks plus one day post-op and still experiencing a huge amount of pain in her hips, ribs, and back daily. She's on oxycodone for pain relief with intermittent Tylenol as well. For the oxycodone, there is an extended-release tablet which we're weaning her off of for the next two weeks, and also up to 15 mg of short-acting oxycodone that she can take every 4-6 hours. The doctors said she could be on oxycodone for one more week, putting her just past the three week mark. Does this kind of pain treatment sound consistent with your experiences post-op? What were the courses of medication that your doctors put you on, and how long was it generally until the pain became noticeably less?

    Thanks for your input,
    Chris and Anya
    "You must be the change you want to see in the world."

    Previously 55 degree thoracolumbar curve
    Surgery June 5, 2007 - Dr. Clifford Tribus, University of Wisconsin Hospital
    19 degrees post-op!

    http://abhbarry.blogspot.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Houston, Texas now live in Colorado Springs, CO
    Posts
    543
    Chris,

    I am 4 weeks plus two days post-op from my 2nd revision surgery. I am still taking 30 mg Kadian twice a day (long acting Morphin), 750 mg Robaxin (muscle relaxer) three times a day and 7.5 mg Hydrocodone (short term acting tylenol with codine) 3 to 4 times a day. So far I have tapered down on the hydrocodone. I have gone from taking the hydrocodone 2 pills four times a day to one or 1/2 a pill 3 to 4 times a day. I was already taking the robaxin and Kadian before my surgery. When I had my A/P surgery 3 years ago I didn't start cutting back on medicine for a couple of months. The anterior incision hurt so bad for a long time. Usually my doctors let me decide when the pain is less enough to come down on the strength of the medicine. I'll usually try for a day or two to cut back on something but if it doesn't work I'll continue to take my regular dose and try again a few weeks later. With this surgery I have alot more pain than I had with my first revision surgery. I think if I was your wife I would let the doctor know that I tried a reduced dose but it was not enough to take care of the pain. If she has to much pain she will not feel like getting up and moving around and such. The pain needs to be taken care of in order for her to start moving around, walking, and doing little things around the house. I hope this helps you some. My husband always gets mad with me when I try to cut my dosage down to soon. You just hurt to much to want to do anything. That will then usually turn into depression which you don't want.
    Last edited by Theresa; 06-20-2007 at 09:33 PM.
    Theresa

    April 8 & 12, 2004 - Anterior/Posterior surgery 15 hours & 7 hours
    Thorasic - 79 degree down to 22
    Lumbar - 44 degree down to 18
    Fused T2 to sacrum
    June 2, 2005 - Pedicle subtraction osteotomy @L3 7 hours
    MAY 21, 2007 - Pedicle subtraction osteotomy @ L2, extended the fusion to S2 and added pelvic instrumentation 9 hours

    FUSED T2 - SACRUM 2

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Sacramento,Calif.
    Posts
    420

    Get on Fentanyl

    Hi Chris,

    I just pulled out the log I kept for my meds and at 2 weeks I was on Norco 10/325 every 5 hours and Valium every 5 hours. I was also wearing the fentanyl patches, two 50 mg at the same time. I did not have much pain at all, more like occasional discomfort when I was nearing the point where I needed another dose. I have recommended the patches to EVERYONE. If you have pain these will take care of it. Many have written back telling me how they finally are pain free once beginning them. They are expensive but well worth it and my insurance did cover them. You can't heal well if you are in constant pain. Call Anya's Dr. and tell him she is IN PAIN. Ask about the patches. You need to get her out of pain and your Dr. has many options to do this. You just need to let him know her pain is not being managed. There is no excuse for her to suffer. I was on my Norco into my 5th month of recovery. I only took it as I needed it and was mainly taking 1/2 a pill to get through therapy as I needed it. I wonder why her Dr. wants her on it for only 1 more week. He must be ultra conservative and worry about addiction. My Dr. was more concerned about pain control, we talked at length about this and I got off it as soon as I could. He explained your body needs to be pain free to heal better. Best wishes, Suzy

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Wheeling, WV
    Posts
    1,105
    Hi Chris,

    First of all, Anya will feel so loved when she looks back on your posts. You're a good husband!!!

    When I came home, I was on percoset, oxy, and something else for breakthrough pain for the 1st month. They kept me on the percoset and oxy for the next 2 months. Then I was switched to extra strength hydrocondone.

    Every Doctor seems to have a different kind of medication regiment, and it also seems to depend on the length of the fusion and extent of the surgery.

    My Doctor told me that the 1st 3 months after the surgery would be the worst and they were. I was greatful that I had pain meds during that time.

    My husband was concerned about my med intake at the time, but I think I could not have gotten through it without them!!!

    Shari
    Last edited by Shari; 06-26-2007 at 03:06 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    408
    Chris, our experiences are so similar yet different nonetheless. I was sent home with Oxycontin extended release (80 mg 2x per day), Flexeril (10 mg 3x per day), Percocet (10 mg as needed for breakthrough pain), Fentanyl (1 patch every 72 hrs). I stopped the percocet after a couple of months. The Fentanyl works extremely well for most people but made me nauseous (vomiting after spine surgery = no fun). I discontinued it after the 2nd week. I still take Oxycontin (30 mg/day) and Flexeril (10 mg 2x/day) for ongoing pain. I work 8-10 hrs per day and by the end of the day my back, ribs and muscles are shot. Some of us can get off all pain medication after a few months with no problems. While others (like myself) will be on some form of medication indefinitely. Narcotic pain meds are risky, but for the first 6 months to a year (or longer in some cases) after spinal fusion surgery, NSAID's like Advil, Alleve, Motrin are not an option for us as they interfere with the fusion process.

    The most important thing is for Anya to communicate how she is feeling to you and to her surgeon. If the pain gets worse or something doesn't feel right, she should report it to her surgeon right away. Like I said before, no two patients are exactly alike therefore our experiences will vary.

    Brandi
    Brandi
    Congenital Scoliosis, 58* lumbar curve
    Combined Anterior/Posterior Spinal Fusion w/Laminectomy May 22, 2006
    L1-S1
    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
    http://brandi816.wordpress.com/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    408

    One more thing...

    Chris, Anya -

    I just read Suzy's post and I have to agree with what she said about Anya's doc being ultra conservative. My surgeon told me that if you are in legitimate pain (which she is) and if you take your meds exactly as directed, the risk of addiction is minimal. She is only 2 wks. post-op for crying out loud. At 2 weeks, I was in awful pain, stiff as a board and unable and unwilling to do much more than sleep and lay in my recliner. Regardless of what the surgeon recommends, if she is in pain while he is attempting to wean her off pain meds, she has to let him know. After going through what she's been through, there is NO reason for her to suffer needlessly.

    Again, I have to say Anya is so lucky to have such a wonderful advocate.

    Take care,
    Brandi
    Brandi
    Congenital Scoliosis, 58* lumbar curve
    Combined Anterior/Posterior Spinal Fusion w/Laminectomy May 22, 2006
    L1-S1
    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
    http://brandi816.wordpress.com/

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