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Thread: Advil and Spinal Fusion?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Nampa, Idaho
    Posts
    29

    Advil and Spinal Fusion?

    Hey everyone,

    I heard that Advil is not good to take after having a spinal fusion because it is an NSAID (sp?) and it decreases bone growth... Do you think that taking even the smallest amount (about 2-3 capsules a day) would cause the bone not to fuse?? Your input is greatly appreciated!

    Thanks!
    [[hailey]]

    16 years old
    Had spinal fusion surgery on Jan. 30th, 2008 with Dr. Howard King at St. Luke's Children's Hospital in Boise
    Pre surgery: 52 Lumbar curve and 25 Thoracic curve


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    53
    Quote Originally Posted by beach_chikie
    Hey everyone,

    I heard that Advil is not good to take after having a spinal fusion because it is an NSAID (sp?) and it decreases bone growth... Do you think that taking even the smallest amount (about 2-3 capsules a day) would cause the bone not to fuse?? Your input is greatly appreciated!

    Thanks!
    Hi Beach Chickie,
    There is a lot of talk about this on this site. I checked with my daughter's doctor after hearing this as she was prescribed Motrin or Advil about a week and a half after her spinal fusion. He reassured me that it is perfectly fine to use in children and adolescents and not to worry. (She just turned 17). The concern is with older adults who have a spinal fusion and then take ibuprofen, so if you are 14, I would not hesitate. That is the only pain reliever that my daughter has not had any side effects with. She has been on the Motrin a couple of times a day for like 2 weeks.

    Good Luck,
    Michele
    Samsmom
    Mom to Samantha, Age 17

    64 Degree Thoracic Curve
    42 Degree Lumbar Curve
    Fused T-4 to L-2
    Yale New Haven
    2/5/08

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Posts
    183
    I'd check with your doctor - I was told not to take Advil (ibprofen) 4 weeks before surgery until I was fused. Is there a reason you can't take tylenol, just to be safe? As Michele said, it may not be a problem for you because of your age, but if I were you I'd let your doctor make that decision.
    2000 34*L/39*T
    2007 44*L/53*T

    12.3.07 Posterior Spinal Fusion T4-T12
    (initially planned T4-L1)
    12.18.07 11*L/10*T

    23 years old

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Near Houston, TX
    Posts
    495
    Sheena's doctor also said not to take NSAID's for 6 months, it can slow the fusion process. Tylenol is all she can take. I think every doctor is different in their recommendations on this.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    53
    Quote Originally Posted by vndy
    I'd check with your doctor - I was told not to take Advil (ibprofen) 4 weeks before surgery until I was fused. Is there a reason you can't take tylenol, just to be safe? As Michele said, it may not be a problem for you because of your age, but if I were you I'd let your doctor make that decision.

    Hi Vndy,
    Like you, Sam was also advised told not to take any Advil or aspirin 4 weeks prior to surgery as well. (I think it thins the blood) It was only after surgery that they recommended she take it.
    - Michele
    Samsmom
    Mom to Samantha, Age 17

    64 Degree Thoracic Curve
    42 Degree Lumbar Curve
    Fused T-4 to L-2
    Yale New Haven
    2/5/08

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    1,757
    Yeah ... Hanson told me stop all OTC pain meds except Tylenol (which has very little effect on me) 10 days prior to surgery because it increased risk of bleeding.

    He hasn't specifically mentioned Advil since surgery, but I did kind of wonder why he didn't rx Vicoprofen (which work very well on me - and has the added anti-inflammatory effect Tylenol does *not*).

    If there's a risk it could affect fusion, that makes perfect sense ...

    Regards,
    Pam
    Fusion is NOT the end of the world.
    AIDS Walk Houston 2008 5K @ 33 days post op!


    41, dx'd JIS & Boston braced @ 10
    Pre-op 53, Post-op < 20
    Fused 2/5/08, T4-L1 ... Darrell S. Hanson, Houston


    VIEW MY X-RAYS
    EMAIL ME

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
    Posts
    285
    Both surgeons I have used have advised no NSAIDs of any kind two weeks before surgery and for at least 3 months after surgery because it inhibits fusion. Tough for me too because Tylenol does nothing for me and the NSAIDS help with all those other little touches of arthritis I have all over my body (knees, neck, etc.)
    FeliciaFeliciaFelicia
    10/24/00 posterior fusion T4-L4 at age 57
    8/5/05 posterior surgery for spinal stenosis at L4-L5; laminectomy and fusion
    5/14/07 posterior revision with fusion to sacrum
    2/11/08 anterior discectomy L5-S1, and reinforcement of fusion with plate attached to L5-S1
    3/9/2011 and 3/11/2011 revision surgery with Dr. Lenke, St. Louis - complete revision and fusion with instrumentation from T1 to sacrum, one lumbar osteotomy.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    near Philadelphia
    Posts
    1,260
    I wasn't cleared to take Advil until 6 months post-op and even now I use it sparingly....just being cautious I guess.
    Chris
    A/P fusion on June 19, 2007 at age 52; T10-L5
    Pre-op thoracolumbar curve: 70 degrees
    Post-op curve: 12 degrees
    Dr. Boachie-adjei, HSS, New York

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    61
    Ibuprofen (Advil) is one of a number of drugs called NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatories). There was at least one study done several years ago that suggested that NSAIDs could interfere with a body's bone repair process. This study was done on rabbits, not humans. Subsequent studies gave mixed results.

    To the best of my knowledge, no guidelines have ever been established regarding what would be a dose, frequency, or time after surgery that would be considered "safe" or "unsafe." Doctors' advice in this area is, quite frankly, just their best guess. I do question the doctor's advice who suggested that there is only a risk in adults, since as far as I know no studies have tested age as a factor in NSAIDs' effect on fusion.

    I'm not a doctor, but my personal advice is that you shouldn't risk taking NSAIDs unless absolutely necessary, however small that risk may be.

    Aspirin, by the way, is a blood thinner. Taking that before or after surgery is a really bad idea.

    Hope this helps!

    Dave Wolpert

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Nampa, Idaho
    Posts
    29
    hey everyone,

    thanks for all the replies! I was just wondering about this because before my surgery, my surgeon said NOT to take any NSAIDS for at least 6 months after my surgery, but now he is saying that he hates for me to take any NSAIDS, but that I can??? I am almost 5 weeks post-op, so I'm am a little confused... I did try taking Tylenol, but it did absolutely nothing for me...
    [[hailey]]

    16 years old
    Had spinal fusion surgery on Jan. 30th, 2008 with Dr. Howard King at St. Luke's Children's Hospital in Boise
    Pre surgery: 52 Lumbar curve and 25 Thoracic curve


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