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Thread: Sleep

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012


    Hi everyone. I had kyphosis surgery 12 days ago. All went well but having such a hard time sleeping.

    I ger 2 to 3 hours at a time then have to get up and walk around and switch to the couch.

    Any tips from any one?

    Is this normal?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Northern California

    100% completely normal. When it happened to me, I simply went with it. It wasn't as if I needed my sleep so I could get up early to go to work. It was a difficult time, but after a few weeks of it, I understood that it was going to be with me for awhile, and just accepted it. (Though I hate the Xfinity theme song, which I'd hear every 10-15 minutes for hours at a time.) My only advice is that "this too shall pass".

    Hope the rest of your recovery is a little easier.

    Never argue with an idiot. They always drag you down to their level, and then they beat you with experience. --Twain
    Surgery 2/10/93 A/P fusion T4-L3
    Surgery 1/20/11 A/P fusion L2-sacrum w/pelvic fixation

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Syracuse, NY, USA
    Quote Originally Posted by uesnyc3 View Post
    Hi everyone. I had kyphosis surgery 12 days ago. All went well but having such a hard time sleeping.

    I ger 2 to 3 hours at a time then have to get up and walk around and switch to the couch.

    Any tips from any one?

    Is this normal?
    I had scoliosis surgery (decompression from L2 to L5 & fusion from T9 to S1 with pelvic fixation) on January 23rd. I have also had a very hard time sleeping since then. I came home on January 30th; the most I am able to sleep at one time is about 3 to 4 hours. What I've found works the best for me is to take a full dose of pain meds just before I go to sleep, along with my existing bedtime medications (Lipitor, Cyclobenzaprine and Amitriptyline); this generally allows me to get uninterrupted sleep for 3 to 4 hours. Then I'll wake up, go to the bathroom, and if it's been 4 hours, I'll take another full dose of pain meds, which generally allows me to sleep for another 3 to 4 hours.

    The hard part for me is that I can only sleep in one position in my bed (on my right side - sleeping on my back is just not comfortable at all, and my small twin bed leaves me without sufficient room to easily logroll to my left side), and by the time I've woken up the 2nd or 3rd time, I just can't be comfortable enough to try to get anymore sleep. My neck and right shoulder area get sore from being in the same position all night long.

    Under normal circumstances, I am a night owl, which means that my body and mind are normally geared to stay up until 2 or 3 a.m. and sleep as long as possible until something wakes me up (alarm clock, my husband, barking dog, etc.) I could easily sleep until noon most days. Except now. These days I'm going to bed closer to 10 p.m. to 11:30 p.m., sleeping until somewhere between 2 a.m. and 3:30 a.m., getting up and possibly taking medicine again, then sleeping until 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. But some days I'm awake by 6:30 and just staring at my clock, waiting for time to pass so that I won't feel so guilty waking my husband up when I just can't sleep any longer.

    Unfortunately my bed is the only place I can sleep unattended; while I can get down onto my couch and can get somewhat comfortable there -- It's nearly impossible to get up because it's just too low and doesn't have any good anchors for me to hold on to to help me get up.

    I hope this situation resolves quickly for both of us!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    York, PA
    Two years ago at this time, I was right where you are right now. Nights were terrible. I could not get comfortable, would get spasms, etc. It was very painful to try to turn around and move at all in bed. Many times I ended up in the recliner or was up pacing the floors. It got better after the first 2-3 weeks and like Linda said, it's not like you have to get up and go to work in the morning. So, yes, what you're dealing with is perfectly normal. Not fun when you're going through it, but it will get better. Make sure you take enough pain meds at night. I found a muscle relaxant was somewhat helpful too. Wishing you the best in your recovery.

    Anne in PA
    Age 58
    Diagnosed at age 14, untreated, no problem until age 50
    T4 to sacrum fusion
    63 thoracic now 35, 92 lumbar now 53
    Dr. Baron Lonner, 2/2/10
    Am pain-free, balanced, happy & an inch taller !

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Syracuse, NY, USA
    Quote Originally Posted by ADMoul View Post
    Many times I ended up in the recliner
    My sleep has deteriorated since I first wrote. Now I'm lucky to get 1 to 2 hours sleep at a time; I'm up 3 or 4 times every night. After the first few nights, my husband put a flashlight on the walker so that I wouldn't leave the beside table lamp on for 10 minutes straight [I only use the walker at night now; the rest of the time I'm using only a cane.]

    I'm strongly considering getting a recliner to sleep in for a while. We've tried two different Catnapper models (but I don't remember their names), and we've tried two different La-Z-Boy models -- the Rialto and the Estelle. While I'd love to find a zero gravity power lift recliner, there isn't anyplace local that I can find anything from Golden Technologies. I also considered the Perfect Chair zero gravity recliner from Human Touch sold by, but my husband doesn't want me to spend money on something I can't try out first.

    Does anybody have any opinions/reviews about Catnapper vs. La-Z-Boy when it comes to power lift recliners?

    -- Thanks,

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Lilburn, GA

    Power Recliner

    Hi Mary!

    I too had trouble sleeping for weeks after my surgery. Up 4-5 times a night but like Linda wrote, it wasn't like I had to go to work so I just went with it. Even now I still get up 2-3 times a night but that's my norm now. I'm no spring chicken ^^

    As far as a recliner, I bought an electric one from Lazy Boy. Not the lift kind ( it was prohibitively expensive) but the electric recliner. The problem I had with it, and still do, is the concave back cushion. I had to take a straight cushion off another chair and place it in the back and it was fine. Just something to consider. I am 7 mos post op and can still only sit in straight backed chairs. Love the recliner, though!!
    50 years old!!!!!
    Wore Milwaulkee Brace 1976-77
    Original curve 36 degrees ( measured in the 70s)
    Advanced to 61 degrees 01/2011
    Surgery 07/11/2011
    Fused T1-L2 (curve now in the 20s!)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    I agree with everyone that it's normal - we were up and down the stairs all night between the bedroom and the power recliner.

    We rented a big cushiony one from Rent-a-Center. At $25 a week it was wonderful, and I essentially lived in it for 2-3 months. And then one day, I sat down and it was too soft for me. We had it removed that week and it was perfect. Well worth the money and convenience of having it gone when we no longer needed it.
    Female, age 38
    4 years of bracing, concluded at 42*upper/38*lower
    currently 64*upper/40*lower
    Fused T3-L4 on Feb 23 2011
    now 32*upper/18* lower

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Syracuse, NY, USA
    Quote Originally Posted by Marina63 View Post
    Hi Mary!

    I too had trouble sleeping for weeks after my surgery. Up 4-5 times a night but like Linda wrote, it wasn't like I had to go to work so I just went with it.
    The problem for me with just "going with it" is that every time I wake up, so does my husband, and he most certainly *DOES* have to go to work in the morning; it's not fair to him. That's why I have to find another place to sleep at night until such a time as I can sleep comfortably in my own bed for most of the night.

    My husband is already making huge efforts to help me do the things I can't do for myself yet, like put my slippers on every morning, and I don't wish to rob him of the sleep he so desperately needs. I've always gotten by on less sleep than him -- my average when I was working would be 4 to 5 hours of sleep a night on the night before a workday, then I would make up for that lack of sleep by sleeping in for 8 to 10 hours or more every Friday and Saturday night.

    My husband is the kind of person that really needs a good solid 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night or he is absolutely miserable and cranky the next day. That's why I've got to solve this sleeping problem as quickly as possible.

    -- Mary

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Central NJ
    that sounds normal from what I remember. I do remember getting up in the middle of the night on more than one occasion (early on) and watching TV downstairs in a comfortable chair. At that time a comfy chair was a cushioned straight-backed chair with a pillow behind my back. After an hour or so and another pain pill if it was time, I'd go back to bed.

    Don't worry, it will get easier.
    Debbe - 50 yrs old

    Milwalkee Brace 1976 - 79
    Told by Dr. my curve would never progress

    Surgery 10/15/08 in NYC by Dr. Michael Neuwirth
    Pre-Surgury Thorasic: 66 degrees
    Pre-Surgery Lumbar: 66 degrees

    Post-Surgery Thorasic: 34 degrees
    Post-Surgery Lumbar: 22 degrees

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Hi Mary,

    I just wanted to chime in and say I had similar sleep problems like you are having, and it is very frustrating. You know your body desperately needs the rest. For me I think it was a combo of being uncomfortable, plain insomnia due to major disruption of my sleep routines, as well as some anxiety in the first two weeks because I was terrified of how weird my new back felt. Our bed was too soft and unsupportive to be comfortable at all, so I slept for 5 or 6 weeks downstairs on a rented hospital bed, which worked out well for me. We did not have a recliner, so I don't know if that would have helped.

    BTW some mentioned taking a good dose of pain meds overnight---you definitely want your pain to be controlled, but for me I have realized that oxycodone gives me insomnia and gives me vivid dreams, so it makes me feel somewhat unrested. Just something to keep in mind if your problems persist, which I really hope they don't. I took valium at night for muscle spasms, and I think that also helped me sleep.

    Take care and keep us updated, this is the hardest time right now and it will pass.
    Gayle, age 50
    Oct 2010 fusion T8-sacrum w/ pelvic fixation
    Feb 2012 lumbar revision for broken rods @ L2-3-4
    Sept 2015 major lumbar A/P revision for broken rods @ L5-S1

    mom of Leah, 15 y/o, Diagnosed '08 with 26* T JIS (age 6)
    2010 VBS Dr Luhmann Shriners St Louis
    2017 curves stable/skeletely mature

    also mom of Torrey, 12 y/o son, 16* T, stable

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