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Thread: post op pain and meds

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    47

    post op pain and meds

    Hello again everyone. I am almost 8 weeks post op. I know that the out come is different for everyone. I have increased my level of activity gradually but still have alot of pain. I hear people say they are pain free with no meds 2 months post op and it makes me wonder what is wrong with me? I have had 3 sets of rods and never been near pain free 2 months post op.. I am beginning to wonder if my body just doesnt like to have instrumentation in it. It seems I cant get along with or without it. When I had the bottom half of my 2nd set removed. The surgeon said there was a weird gook formed around them....those were his exact words. When I had the rods removed severe kyphosis set in due to lack of support and poor fusion. I always like to add a good note.....on a good note I am THRILLERD with my new appearance. I looked like a 90 year old woman before surgery oct.15th. My butt was so tucked in my jeans would not stay up..and i was leaning forward so much i was looking at the ground. I was in a wheelchair for any trip that would require much walking. I grew 2.5"! As long as this leaning to the right that I am all of the sudden experiencing doesnt just keep going i will be happy!

    2000- spinal fusion w inst. t-2 L-4
    2002 top1/2 rod removal due to rods loose and protruding at the top
    2004 bottom rod removal due to pain starting to protrude
    2007 spinal fusion t-9 to L-5 due to kyphosis and leaning forward(made it worse)
    2009 oct 15th rod removal,repair of fusion new rods t2 to pelvis(w/screws anchored to pelvis) and osteotomies

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    1,757
    Out of curiousity, who's your surgeon? Not to frighten you, but has he ruled out allergic reaction and/or infection?

    "Gook" around the rods doesn't sound normal. The fact he mentioned it makes it seem like something unexpected. If it were me, I'd want some clarification on that.

    How is your incision healing?

    As far as pain, not everyone is pain free (or even close) at 2 months out. Some people stay on meds longer than others, and you shouldn't think you're failing somehow if you need them.

    How much of what (and how often) are you taking now?

    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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    47

    meds

    Hello thanks for the reply. The rods that had the gook were the set before this one. It was a scoliosis dr. in oklahoma who is a member of the national scoliosis foundation. I would rather not say his name...please take no offense ..I know he gets on here to see what is written about him and he really got onto another patient. I dont want to burn any bridges or offend him. We are moving to another state in a few days. I am going to add that to my list of questions about the rejection. I have read on here tonight there are test they can do to check. I also keep alot of bumps on my back when rods are in and NONE when rods are out. As for pain meds I had to quit the percocet it makes me crazy after a while and I have also been experiencing severe insomnia. Since I quit the percocet and started taking melatonin(another trick I learned on here I LOVE this place!) I have been sleeping better. I am taking 3 soma a day and 4-6 fierocet with codiene and a melatonin at bedtime. I know this isnt a normal med it is usually for migrains but it is about the only thing that doesnt give me weird side effects and I do have daily headaches due to neck/shoulder tension along with the other pain. lortab gives me headaches, antiinflamm. burn my stomach like fire, neurontin doesn't help and ruins my sex drive and I dont want to take morphine(very addictive)

    2000- spinal fusion w inst. t-2 L-4
    2002 top1/2 rod removal due to rods loose and protruding at the top
    2004 bottom rod removal due to pain starting to protrude
    2007 spinal fusion t-9 to L-5 due to kyphosis and leaning forward(made it worse)
    2009 oct 15th rod removal,repair of fusion new rods t2 to pelvis with osteotomies

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    1,757
    Quote Originally Posted by ldwest View Post
    I also keep alot of bumps on my back when rods are in and NONE when rods are out.
    Does your surgeon know about this? If so, what does he say about it?

    Recurrent skin issues that resolve with hardware removal could be indicative of an allergic reaction (among other things). It's definitely something that needs to be checked out - and answered to your satisfaction.

    Out of curiosity, have all three sets of rods been the same material?

    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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    47
    Hello my 2nd set were isos?(my records are packed but I think that is spelled right. The set now are c spine. Does that ring a bell?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    1,757
    Quote Originally Posted by ldwest View Post
    Hello my 2nd set were isos?(my records are packed but I think that is spelled right. The set now are c spine. Does that ring a bell?
    I have a suspicion you're thinking of manufacturer/series (like maybe isos = Isola?). Can't say for sure.

    By material, I mean stainless steel, titanium, titanium alloy, Vitallium. If an allergic reaction occurs, it's *typically* in response to the hardware material.
    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
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    47
    Ohh I'm sorry all sets have been titanium.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    3,745
    Hi Idwest
    just wrote to you on the "tatoo" thread..

    so sorry that you have been thru so much & suffered so much! Pam sounds like she is on to something...maybe it is an allergy to titanium...i once had scar tissue grow around an implanted catheter i had (for IV for lyme disease) but it wasnt "gook"!! i guess if you are moving, it is an important question for your next back doctor/surgeon!

    i have not had surgery for my back..yet...i need fusion to pelvis & that scares me..the lack of flexibility...but i take hydrocodone & oxycontin, alternately, for severe pain...i am not comparing it to your post op pain, just saying that it helps me cause it takes the edge off so i can walk a little & function a little...some days it makes all the difference!

    i love your "zipper" idea for the back...it would be so cool if doctors could just zip up & unzip their patients!!!

    take care, hope you feel better real soon
    jess

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    47
    Thanks for the reply. Sorry about all of your pain too. I pray you will have great success with your surgery. As for flexibility my grabber is my best friend. You should still have some flexibility. you learn alot of tricks like using your knees.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN
    Posts
    416

    Wink

    Hi! I have been reading your posts. I am glad to see you are standing up straight now. I agree with others that you shouldn't expect to be pain free at 2 months out. I haven't had my revision yet but was not pain free from my first fusion for many many months. It is a gradual thing over time. Everyone heals at a different pace. Good luck, and I hope this is your last surgery!!!
    May 2008 Fusion T4 - S1, Pre-op Curves T45, L70 (age 48). Unsuccessful surgery.

    March 18, 2010 (age 50). Revision with L3 Osteotomy, Replacement of hardware T11 - S1 , addition of bilateral pelvic fixation. Correction of sagittal imbalance and kyphosis.

    January 24, 2012 (age 52) Revision to repair pseudoarthrosis and 2 broken rods at L3/L4.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    47
    I pray that your surgery goes well. Thanks for the encouraging words. Sometimes I feel like I am destined to be physically miserable. But I do stand tall now and I do know it could always be worse. We have been traveling the last few days to our new home and it has been really tough on me. It's been tough on my husband too due to the very frequent stops to stretch and rest also him having to listen to me complain. I have Bren 10 times worse than the kids. LOL

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Meridian Idaho
    Posts
    103
    I know when I say pain free, I am referring to the pain prior to the surgery. I still have some pain and am hoping eventually to be pain free. But the pains I have now are generally tolerable without meds. Just wanted to clarify that point. I don't know about anyone else, tho!
    Les, Biker Babe, age 56 (at time of first surgery)
    Fused T2 to S2, posterior only, 8 Apr 08
    T3 fracture repair and revision, Mar 09
    Broke left lower rod and pelvic screws removal, Dec 09
    Scheduled to remove all hardware, replaced everything instead due to non-fusion, Nov 10
    Remove top 2" of rods and screws, Feb 14
    Pre surgery degrees: L40, T45
    Post surgery degrees: L8, T10

    Happy, joyous and pain-free!
    Surgeon: C Timothy Floyd, MD, Boise Orthopedic Clinic

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    1,291

    Exclamation IDwest You are only 2 months post revision!!!!!

    I have the same instrumentation:Isola rods.

    You will feel bumps under your skin;those are the screws. It is also possible to have painful bursae around the hardware as it heals-these are little sacs filled with fluid. They usually go away after awhile.

    After a revision it is normal to have significant pain-much more than a person with a first time surgery. There is much more manipulation and "work' being done on your previously operated spine. It was 18 months before I was totally pain free. I was off narcotics at three months but my pain doc used alternative pain meds like neurontin, lido patches, full dose Tylenol, antidepressants(very good for pain-mechanism not fully understood).
    A pain doc does not push narcotics; quite the contrary. Mine was a great help in enabling me to be reasonably comfortable in my recovery and PT.
    I was released from his care at 6months post op. I would never entrust this type of pain relief to a GP or trying to figure it out myself. (I am a medical professional).

    What you are experiencing is normal for your type of surgery.
    Original scoliosis surgery 1956 T-4 to L-2 ~100 degree thoracic (triple)curves at age 14. NO hardware-lost correction.
    Anterior/posterior revision T-4 to Sacrum in 2002, age 60, by Dr. Boachie-Adjei @Hospital for Special Surgery, NY = 50% correction

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    47
    Hi Karen thanks for the reply. The bumps I am refering to are itchy skin bumps that flare up on my back mainly towrd the top. I only have them when I have rods in. I must say they are not quite as bad as with my 1st set. With my first set they felt just like mosquito bites all of the time(not normal pimples)

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