Hi everyone. I am new here so first time posting for me! My name is Shae. I am 28 years old living in Washington State. On the last day (and the very last run) of ski season at a local mountain (April 16, 2006) I caught an edge and tore my Miniscus Tendon AND my ACL. Bruised the bones on both sides of my knee and fractured my shoulder. I have been on pain medication since it happened. I don't like percocet for some reason. Never seemed to help the pain. So I have been on Norco's (10/325) for a couple of months now. A week ago, I had my ACL reconstruction surgery. It all went well, but it hurts very badly. I went back to work on Monday. I work on the second floor of a building and there is no elevator, so I have been going upstairs all day and my knee is REALLY hurting. I can't sleep at night. I didn't actually fall asleep until 3:00 this morning. I have been on this pain medicine for so long that I have (I think) built up a tolerance for it. I tried Hydromorphone but it gave me the shakes, every time I try to switch to Percocets (I tried the 5 mg's 2 every 4-6 hours) and it didn't work so I asked the Dr. yesterday to put me back on the 10/325's. I thnk think I am immune to them now. They don't stop the pain at all. I have not taken a lot of pain medication in my lifetime and I have no idea what else I can ask for. Can anyone help me? Thanks in advance.
I am very surprised you are back at work one week after and ACL rescontruct let alone walking up stairs. Most physical therapy doesn't start for a few weeks post op of the surgery. I can pretty much guarantee that its the major source of the pain. I'm curious as to why your doctor released you so quickly? Most are out at least 2-4 weeks and often on crutches as long as 6 weeks. Is there any chance the doctor will allow you to be out for longer?
Unfortunately because you are doing stairs so soon post op of an ACL repair your pain levels are going to be much higher than if you were not using the stairs. Limiting what you are doing is going to decrease the pain to some degree. ACL's to take a few weeks before you are actually feeling better. You need more time to allow your knee to heal.
Yeah, I was told to stay off work for 2-3 weeks, but I just can't afford that. I don't have any sick or vacation time left because of the initial injury and the one week I took off post op. So this in (unfortunately) the 3r day back. So yeah, it's hurting a lot. I just wish that there was something that I could take that would make it tolerabel at night after work so I could feel better and get some rest. Any ideas?
My Gawsh.....You are a crazy person.
I have had 3 ACL's - no way should you be at work..and stairs??
You should just be re-habbing and probably won't heal right if you can't find the time..and I JUST SURE that you have the energy.
My third ACL led to 7 hrs. of tourniquet time - severing the neurovascular bundle in my thigh. I have nothing but crushing nerve pain in my left foot, from about mid-calf on down. I have done ALL the meds. and now have a neuro-stimulator implanted into my thigh. I take Norco's and probably need to explain some things about them.
You should ask about modanifil (sp?) if you are exhausted. It would depend on your Dr. and his knowledge of this newer drug. (it will give you energy, while countering the brain numbing effects of the narcotic)
Something to sleep? Methadone.
Thanks for the advice. I will see if I can find something on it. I asked for Methadone and they said no. That's just for people getting off pain meds and for chronic pain. Not really sure what I can do right now.
I had my ACL and PCL done, both took months to actually heal up. You could be doing more damage to yourself and your ACL if you aren't caring for it appropriately. I realize the money factor, have been there, but you may want to reconsider the situation. If you do further damge you could end up off work for a much longer period of time or need unecessary surgery because the original reconstruct could fail. Do you work for a small company that doesn't have short term disability?
As far as medications, Methadone is as you indicated, for chronic pain, not post op pain. Post op they generally use Ultram, Darvocet, Vicodin, Percocet and sometimes Oxycontin, the usual meds. Since you have an issue with Percocet chances are you'll have the same or bigger issues with the Oxycontin so I wouldn't advise it. I also wouldn't advise it if you have to drive to work either. Long acting medications are probably not a wise idea because at this point you do not know if your pain is long term or not.
Have the put you on any anti-imflamatories to keep the swelling down at all? It probably wouldn't be a bad idea and could help with the pain. The key is really staying of the knee and letting it heal.
Sorry you are having to rush back to work that fast. I don't suppose you even have had time to get a knee brace yet have you?
When I had my left one done the only thing that would relieve my pain was ice. I'm sure you have tried that and done it properly yes? But that was right after I woke up from surgery. I was out of the hospital in 4 days and only needed T3's for the next couple of weeks. HOWEVER, I wasn't climbing up stairs one week after surgery! There is no question that using it so soon is going to stir things up. I hope you have it at least wrapped properly so you don't risk doing damage to it.
I would echo what others said and make sure that you rehab. it properly or else you will be having big time problems with it for the rest of your life!
I'd def. get some of those cold paks that you put in the freezer and put it on your knee throughout the day and do a proper job of icing it when you get home.
For me, with any athletic injury I've had, and I've had many, meds. never really seem to work very well and ice is my drug of choice!!
Re: I can't find anything to stop the pain! (Update)
Well, I want to thank you all for your advice and acknowledgement that I am a crazy person. LOL. I always have been. Chaz, I actually had my brace before the surgery so I didn't have to worry about getting anything fit, they just put it back on. The norco's seem to be working although I have a high tolerance still. I start my ACTUAL physical therapy on the 27th, so I will let you know how that goes. I took all of the bandages off as of Friday and now use a brace, 2 crutches (most of the time, LOL) and had a lazy weekend. I have my follow up with my surgeon on the 29th, so we will see what he thinks! Thanks again for all of your help!
I guess I'm getting old enough now to give 'fatherly' advice!! I'm 29 years old*
I just wanted to remind you that it is important to get as good a physical therapist/trainer as you can to work with you and to follow her/his advice. Make sure that you don't graduate to using one crutch, then using a cane, then walking on your own, until you can do so without limping or changing the way that you walk. It might not sound that important but it can cause mega problems with other parts of your body.
*ok, i've celebrated my 29th birthday a few times!!
**I'd be really surprised if the surgeon was open to Rx;ing you anything stronger and will probably tell you that you should be on the way off of pain meds.. If you don't see him until the 29th you will be what, 3 weeks post-op? Do you think you are going to need pain medication for a long time?
Are you icing it the right way and not getting any relief?
Last edited by Chaswick; 06-19-2006 at 03:12 PM.
Well, if you can't to afford to be off work that is a bummer. But what you probably should do is use crutches at the least.
Docs have a problem (at least mine have) with prescribing anything very strong for post-op pain. Sounds like you are just doing way too much, thus the pain is hard to control for you.
I had to eventually be referred to a Pain Management Specialist to receive anything stronger than percocet. I wish I had done this long ago. My first surgery a little over a year ago I tried to tough it out with just using vicodin because my doc wouldn't prescribe anything strongere than that.
I won't go into my long history, but I would suggest explaining your work situation to your doctor and perhaps he will prescribe something stronger and get you on some crutches while at work.
I am using my primary care for pain management. I have been put on Hydromorphone (Dilaudid) and I took it back and Oxycodone AND Oxycontin and took them back. Nothing seems to help or agree with me. So I asked to be put back on the Norco's. That is the only problem. I have been on them pretty much since I tore my ACL (so April 16th) and have a very high tolerance for vicodin so with me working so early, it has been bothering me but I do take it easy when I get home and my husband has taken over cooking (well, microwaving LOL) and cleaning and makes me sit. Bless his heart.
Very surprised about you and stairs, couldn't do that now on a good day let alone just a short time after Major surgery.
Kissa gave you wonderful advice. Here is a bit more, ask doc for perscription strength motrin ( cheaper then otc) that should help some.
Also there are some docs that perscribe ole fashion amitriplene after surgery events. Usualy for depression but it has off label uses too. SUch as sleeping at night, helps with nerve pain and it helps calm system down even very low dose can be benficial with pain.
Other suggestion, did they give you any muscle relaxers? Sometimes it isn't just a case of needing one type of pain pill but a "cotail mix that can help aid the healing process".
Take care of yourself and take it easy!!!! Please