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Thread: Bone growth stimulator? No IV pain meds? 5 days and counting...

  1. #1
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    Bone growth stimulator? No IV pain meds? 5 days and counting...

    5 days and counting...the questions keep mounting...

    1. My surgeon is having me use a bone growth stimulator that I will wear for 2 hours a day during recovery? What is it like? All external without internal parts? How does it work?

    2. My surgeons PA said no IV pain meds during recovery. Does this seem right? This scares me. I can’t imagine coming out of 2 major surgeries without AT LEAST a day or 2 of IV pain meds. Thoughts?
    Feb 2003 - Diagnosed C (35) T (45) L (25)
    Dec 2003 - T2-T12 Fusion correcting to C (8), T (14), L (20)
    Oct 2019 - Lumbar curve progressed to 40
    Nov 2019 - Thoracic curve progressed to 31
    June/July 2020 - T10-S1 Fusion with SI fixation

  2. #2
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    illinois
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    The bone growth stimulator is all external. Like a large pad you just lean against. Things change all the time but it is real easy.
    It does seem unusual with no if pain meds but there is reasons to be concerned with using them also. You can ask what they will be using.
    Scared yes but you will be ok. I was in a horrific car accident with a broken neck and made it on Tylenol . It wasn't pretty but I made it.
    You can ask what will be used or consult with pain specialists.
    T10-pelvis fusion 12/08
    Fractured t-9 six days out of surgery
    C5,6,7 fusion 9/10
    PJK at t-9
    T2--T10 fusion 2/11
    Removal of left side t6-t10. 8/14
    C 4-5 fusion 11/14
    Right scapulectomy 6/15
    Right pectoralis major muscle transfer to scapula
    To replace the action of Serratus Anterior muscle 3/16

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by JScoli91 View Post
    5 days and counting...the questions keep mounting...

    1. My surgeon is having me use a bone growth stimulator that I will wear for 2 hours a day during recovery? What is it like? All external without internal parts? How does it work?
    Read about bone growth stimulators here, they use electromagnetic energy to help bones heal.

    http://www.bonegrowththerapy.com/how...rical%20field.

    I have such a device. Mine is like a vest, you wear it, press a button to turn it on, and it bombards your torso with electromagnetic energy for two hours every day. Mine is programmed to last for a year, then it quits working. The worst thing about it is that I sometimes forget to wear it or recharge it. And it looks weird with its pulsating light, so I don't like to wear it in public.
    Last edited by Tina_R; 06-25-2020 at 11:56 AM.

  4. #4
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    As for pain meds, are they saying no intravenous pain meds or no pain meds at all?

    The pain is not necessarily bad. The prescription pain pills didn't work well for me after my first surgery and wreaked havoc on my bowels. In fact, my bowels never fully recovered. I opted to do without the prescription after my second surgery and I was fine on tylenol or nothing at all.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tina_R View Post
    As for pain meds, are they saying no intravenous pain meds or no pain meds at all?

    The pain is not necessarily bad. The prescription pain pills didn't work well for me after my first surgery and wreaked havoc on my bowels. In fact, my bowels never fully recovered. I opted to do without the prescription after my second surgery and I was fine on tylenol or nothing at all.
    They are saying no IV pain meds. They said for the first few days I can’t have anything by mouth because they want to avoid post op ileus but they want me taking oral pain meds. Huh? That doesn’t seem to make sense to me for some reason.
    Feb 2003 - Diagnosed C (35) T (45) L (25)
    Dec 2003 - T2-T12 Fusion correcting to C (8), T (14), L (20)
    Oct 2019 - Lumbar curve progressed to 40
    Nov 2019 - Thoracic curve progressed to 31
    June/July 2020 - T10-S1 Fusion with SI fixation

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by JScoli91 View Post
    They are saying no IV pain meds. They said for the first few days I can’t have anything by mouth because they want to avoid post op ileus but they want me taking oral pain meds. Huh? That doesn’t seem to make sense to me for some reason.
    So they want you to take oral pain medication but no food for a few days after surgery? The medication is probably Oxycodone or something similar. It's known to cause severe constipation in some people. They're probably keeping food from you to avoid this problem.

    They gave me Oxycodone after my first surgery (and a ton of other drugs). I gradually ate (liquids only the first two days) and I got an ileus. It took me 5 extra days in the hospital, without eating, to clear it. It was awful, I find intestinal pain much worse than the surgical pain, and nothing would help it. I remember rocking back and forth for days from the pain. And I still get recurring bowel distress, more than before (I have had IBS most of my life; maybe that makes me a bad risk for Oxycodone).

    For my second surgery I refused the Oxycodone. They gave me Tylenol. I was fine. Painkillers often don't work well for me, I've never had much luck with them for headaches, etc. I didn't find the surgical pain that bad, but everybody's different. There is still nerve pain which takes a long time to go away, I've been told, but it's bearable.

    So instead of doing without food maybe you could do without Oxycodone, but that's up to you and the doctors.
    Last edited by Tina_R; 06-25-2020 at 12:37 PM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by JScoli91 View Post

    2. My surgeons PA said no IV pain meds during recovery. Does this seem right? This scares me. I can’t imagine coming out of 2 major surgeries without AT LEAST a day or 2 of IV pain meds. Thoughts?
    I suspect she misstated or you misunderstood. IV pain meds are used at least until it's appropriate for the patient to take oral meds (which is typically at least a few days).
    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

  8. #8
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    Jessica, try not to worry about things and trust your medical professionals. They do this stuff all the time. Walk in there confident, not worried.

    One thing I worried about was the bed pan. It didn't happen because of my ileus....It's pretty simple actually, if the plumbing doesn't work, there is no #2. I had an NG tube in which you do not take oral medications while this is in. NG tubes are great because you cannot vomit with them as they drain your stomach. Worrying about the bed pan was fruitless....

    And ileus is a rare thing......a small percentage of us have this happen, but if it does, try not to worry about it as its resolvable.

    Knowing is just in case and being prepared, but not worrying. Your surgical team will adjust accordingly to situations on the fly. My surgeon told me that many decisions would happen after we get in there.....

    I did not have or use a spinal stimulator.

    Did you get a post surgical clamshell brace? Just wondering....

    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 61, the new 61...
    Pre surgery curves T70,L70
    ALIF/PLIF T2-Pelvis 01/29/08, 01/31/08 7" pelvic anchors BMP
    Dr Brett Menmuir St Marys Hospital Reno,Nevada

    Bending and twisting pics after full fusion
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt...on.&highlight=

    My x-rays
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...2&d=1228779214

    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...3&d=1228779258

  9. #9
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    Location
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    Ed[/QUOTE]
    Did you get a post surgical clamshell brace? Just wondering....

    Ed[/QUOTE]

    I got a brace that Velcro’s around the lumbar and then has two “pull strings” for lack of a better term that sinchs the brace to fit your torso. It has a hard flat plastic back piece.
    Feb 2003 - Diagnosed C (35) T (45) L (25)
    Dec 2003 - T2-T12 Fusion correcting to C (8), T (14), L (20)
    Oct 2019 - Lumbar curve progressed to 40
    Nov 2019 - Thoracic curve progressed to 31
    June/July 2020 - T10-S1 Fusion with SI fixation

  10. #10
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    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    4,180
    The brace is an extra measure of protection should you fall or stumble....I wore mine when I left the house. I did all my walks outdoors, my surgeon insisted on it. Getting some sunshine, and just being outdoors is a healthy thing. Get some walking poles or ski poles. They come in very handy. Falling is not allowed. Especially for the first few weeks. There is no data on healing rates, but I would imagine that healing is most critical in the early days of recovery, so take things easy for the first few weeks.

    Its sounds like you are ready. You realize that many changes will happen and we have to adapt to them in our own way....

    What can I say about pain? That its adaptable? Maybe so....You can see that some of us break our necks (and hardware) in car crashes and do recoveries on Tylenol. Jackie is used to pain. There are also others here that have done the same thing, (doing surgeries without meds) including myself. Meds can be a double edged sword, they can help, but they can also cause problems....especially with the bowels. I would suggest having 2 bottles of Magnesium Citrate laxative on standby, this is a powerful laxative that will prevent an embarrassing trip to the hospital for a manual dig out. I was told by a member here that it's the definition of pain, so very important. You don't want to walk into the ER room with an opioid constipation problem so you have to keep it under control. You can also get constipated going #2 every day. Sipping water all day long is so important.

    You will be taking anti-biotics so you will be lacking necessary bacteria in your gut for digestion. Yogurt is good food...Eating healthy is super important after these surgeries. I would go real easy on the dairy, and cheese. Get some stool softeners on standby. Pedialyte is also good to have for restoring electrolytes.

    You should have your meds by now. Keep them at home, they do you no good at the hospital. I had Oxycodone, then switched to Percoset which is Oxy with Tylenol. That was better. I would get a pill cutter, they sell them at the pharmacy. Do not cut pills without permission from your doctor. You have to call in. (Percoset is ok to cut)

    After surgery, you will go to intensive care and they will watch you like a hawk. If you need and injection, they will give it to you. They will probably wheel you to have a bunch of x-rays done after your surgeries....They look at implant locations and a whole host of other things. I have x-rays from many different angles.

    When you get home, take notes on meds, bowel movements, meals, walks. Get a new notebook and write it all down....a daily log.

    I would stay out of cars. Cars are dangerous....You don't want to get into a car accident. Rely on others to get things for you and to help you. You only get one chance at this. After the hospital, go home and stay at home for your recovery.

    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 61, the new 61...
    Pre surgery curves T70,L70
    ALIF/PLIF T2-Pelvis 01/29/08, 01/31/08 7" pelvic anchors BMP
    Dr Brett Menmuir St Marys Hospital Reno,Nevada

    Bending and twisting pics after full fusion
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt...on.&highlight=

    My x-rays
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...2&d=1228779214

    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...3&d=1228779258

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Posts
    177
    I disagree a little with Ed on going easy on the dairy. My surgeon wants me to eat lots of dairy products. The calcium is necessary for building up the bones and dairy is the best source. It can all be in the form of yogurt, if you wish.

    And don't worry too much about intestinal distress, I assume it doesn't happen with most people or there wouldn't be all this drug abuse.

    I also didn't worry about the surgery. I had confidence in the team, they were so professional. Each member, head nurse, anesthesiologist, etc. interviewed me just before I got undressed for the surgery and listened to my concerns.

    They do take good care of you in the ICU but it is dependent on how busy they happen to be. My last surgery I actually didn't mind my stay in the ICU. It happened to be almost empty and I had two great nurses whom I hit it off with and who gave me lots of attention.

    One thing that's tough is that you long for visitors in the hospital. It really raises your spirits. Will they allow you visitors with covid-19? I'm guessing no. Maybe they will get around that with something like Skype or Zoom and there's always the cell phone.

  12. #12
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    Sep 2003
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
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    Quote Originally Posted by titaniumed View Post
    The brace is an extra measure of protection should you fall or stumble....I wore mine when I left the house. I did all my walks outdoors, my surgeon insisted on it. Getting some sunshine, and just being outdoors is a healthy thing. Get some walking poles or ski poles. They come in very handy. Falling is not allowed. Especially for the first few weeks. There is no data on healing rates, but I would imagine that healing is most critical in the early days of recovery, so take things easy for the first few weeks.

    Its sounds like you are ready. You realize that many changes will happen and we have to adapt to them in our own way....

    What can I say about pain? That its adaptable? Maybe so....You can see that some of us break our necks (and hardware) in car crashes and do recoveries on Tylenol. Jackie is used to pain. There are also others here that have done the same thing, (doing surgeries without meds) including myself. Meds can be a double edged sword, they can help, but they can also cause problems....especially with the bowels. I would suggest having 2 bottles of Magnesium Citrate laxative on standby, this is a powerful laxative that will prevent an embarrassing trip to the hospital for a manual dig out. I was told by a member here that it's the definition of pain, so very important. You don't want to walk into the ER room with an opioid constipation problem so you have to keep it under control. You can also get constipated going #2 every day. Sipping water all day long is so important.

    You will be taking anti-biotics so you will be lacking necessary bacteria in your gut for digestion. Yogurt is good food...Eating healthy is super important after these surgeries. I would go real easy on the dairy, and cheese. Get some stool softeners on standby. Pedialyte is also good to have for restoring electrolytes.

    You should have your meds by now. Keep them at home, they do you no good at the hospital. I had Oxycodone, then switched to Percoset which is Oxy with Tylenol. That was better. I would get a pill cutter, they sell them at the pharmacy. Do not cut pills without permission from your doctor. You have to call in. (Percoset is ok to cut)

    After surgery, you will go to intensive care and they will watch you like a hawk. If you need and injection, they will give it to you. They will probably wheel you to have a bunch of x-rays done after your surgeries....They look at implant locations and a whole host of other things. I have x-rays from many different angles.

    When you get home, take notes on meds, bowel movements, meals, walks. Get a new notebook and write it all down....a daily log.

    I would stay out of cars. Cars are dangerous....You don't want to get into a car accident. Rely on others to get things for you and to help you. You only get one chance at this. After the hospital, go home and stay at home for your recovery.

    Ed
    Just a reminder that we're all very different, so everyone's experience may vary.
    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

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