View Full Version : Severe muscle and/or nerve pain at 5 weeks post-op

07-02-2008, 10:05 PM
Hi everyone! It's been awhile since I've given an update. Before Tuesday, I was doing pretty well and slowly adding more activity everyday. I still throw up a couple of times a week which I don't understand, but it could be worse. Yesterday morning (Tuesday) I talked to my mom and she said she didn't think I was pushing myself hard enough. This made me feel awful and worthless so I tried to do some things around the house and then went out to lunch with my dad. Basically, I was up and around for 4-5 hours. When my dad brought me home, I went to lay down on the couch and I had this horrible pain between my shoulder blade and my collar bone. I took some Percocet and the pain died down a little. I fell asleep on the couch at 11 pm and woke up at 2 in the worst pain I had ever experienced. The pain was in the same spot as I mentioned before and also in a spot along my spine (lower thoracic area) and rib cage. It would only hurt when I breathed in. I took 2 10/660 Vicodin and a Flexeril which finally kicked in after an hour. I cried and cried and thought about going to the ER but didn't.

Today, I woke up in some pain in the same areas, but it was tolerable. My husband and I went for a walk tonight and as soon as we got back, the pain started again. It's horrible and the Vicodin and Flexeril don't seem to be doing much this time. I was wondering if anyone else had this problem. It seems like it's related to exertion. What should I do about it? I'm reluctant to call my surgeon because he thinks I'm ultra-sensitive physically and seems to throw my strange issues aside.



07-03-2008, 02:37 AM
I've been there... I was having no pain, so decided to do a bit more, and then got really really sore. I decided to go to a festival with crowds, and was in so much pain by the time I got home that I took morphine (that I hadn't taken since first week) and was still really sore for the next few days. 5 hours up is a long time, like a mini marathon for poor traumatised muscles. It's hard to get the balance right, but build up slowly. If you are worried then go get it checked out, but it's probably just overdoing it than something serious... you know your body :)
I'm 6 months now and still have the odd flare up from overdoing things, so everyone is different.
Maybe you did need to do more, but took the "more" part to the extreme.. ?
Take care, hang in there!

07-03-2008, 04:13 AM
Hi Shell-you are so early in recovery that every movement(at least it was for me) can cause pain later on. I'll never forget dropping my car keys and not having my grabber with me, had to drop to my knees and stretch a bit to get them. I was at a town parade(at about 2 mths out) with my husband & kids & left early due to being tired. Bad mistake! I finally got my keys and drove home & had to go right in to bed for the rest of the day and into the next. I was scared to death I injured myself. My rib area was sore for days again.
Try not to over do in the first couple of months. It's really hard as you feel better but your body has been thru such trauma that it needs to heal.
You are young and will rebound so much faster than someone like me...but don't rush it!
Congrats on your coming this far....best of luck--Lynne :)

07-03-2008, 07:09 AM
Shell -- your body is trying to tell you to REST. I'm sure your mom means well but really, she has no idea what this surgery is like.

Muscle pain gets better when you lie down; nerve pain does not. If it's nerve pain, you might want to ask for a prescription for Neurontin. Ice also helps if it's truly nerve pain.

If you're really worried about the sensations and nothing helps, don't let your surgeon blow you off. Insist that he pay attention to you and address the problem.

07-03-2008, 07:26 AM

Granted, I can't give you any BTDT advice, but only a little over a month out, it sure does NOT sound like you should push yourself. If your body wants to rest, you should rest! You'll have a lifetime to push yourself once you're recovered more.

I hope you feel better, and I'm sending ((Hugs))

07-03-2008, 08:39 AM
Shell-- you've gotten some really good advice, so I won't say much more than to take it easy. This surgery really did a number on you and you have to take it very s-l-o-w-l-y for awhile. Even though your mother is a nurse, she may not realize the magnitude of this particular surgery-- or that people's bodies respond to the impact of that trauma in different ways. Listen to your body-- I think it will tell you when you're ready to push it a little more. If you don't, it will rebel (like it has now) and force you to rest more. It's also like a game of discovering what you can or cannot do, which involves doing a little too much and then recovering... Just try to do gentle pushing-- not major overdoing. :eek:

I'll also echo Singer on figuring out if it's nerve related-- I developed horrendous pains in my legs at about 5 weeks post-op, increasing in intensity (or so it seemed, anyway) at night when I tried to sleep-- ended up making the 2 hour drive to my surgeon's-- they did x-rays of my back and ultrasound of my legs to rule out problems--all was fine... and prescribed Neurontin for me. It (the Neurontin) ended up taking care of the problem. What a relief! I took it for 4 or 5 months and weaned off it about when I did the pain meds. I've been fine since.

Remember, the best activity you can do is walking. But pace yourself! This just takes time-- longer than you'd like, I know. Hugs, Susie

07-03-2008, 08:57 AM
Yes, you have already been given good advice. I think we've all been there - it always seems like you should be getting better and better, but remember this recovery is long (but worth it) and there will always be set backs. Try to take it easy and most importantly don't get too discouraged when there are set backs. I remember those nights and days of crying and crying from pain that seemed to come out of nowhere. It too will pass - patience is difficult, especially under these circumstances, but you can do it!


07-03-2008, 09:10 AM
It seems like that is the time 4-5 weeks when your body finally says to you..."I'll get you back for all you've done to me!!!" and starts rebelling!!

I went back to work at about 4 weeks after my revision surgery. I was so tired that first day that i lay down to nap when i got home. I got the most horrendous muscle spasms in the whole world. I couldn't move even one inch without them seizing me and it was right thru the middle of my thoracic area... sorta where your diaphram is. I had to call to my big sons, who luckily were home, to come help me get up! think I scared them to death because i was almost screaming in pain if i moved the slightest bit. They just had to pick me up and stand me upright... I've never had anything like that before in my life!!! And hope i never do again!!! I had them once in a while after that, but never to that degree, thank GOD!! Once i got upright they improved... I don't know why or how. Well anyway, i figured i was doing too much too soon and instead of jumping back into work full force, i went back on half-days for a couple of weeks.

As Susie and the others have said, listen to what your body is telling you (not your Mom!) I know she means well, but even nurses cannot understand unless they've been thru it. Too much too soon = big trouble!! Start with small walks and gradually increase your stamina. Be patient with yourself.
((((hugs)))) JoAnn

07-04-2008, 12:59 PM
Thanks to everyone for your replies. They were very helpful. I guess most people who have had this surgery go through some type of agonizing pain a few weeks afterwards. That pain is pretty much gone now and I'm almost sure it was a muscle spasm or a pulled muscle. It could have been nerve related too since it did not completely go away when I was laying down. It's so hard to find a balance during recovery. I feel like I'm either doing too much (then I pay for it for 2 days) or too little. I've been adding more and more length to my walks every evening so there's one thing I'm doing right.

Thanks again everyone!