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Old 12-09-2011, 08:02 AM   #1
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How long does post op Spinal Laminectomy pain last for usually?

My surgery went well as far as I know. I can tell the nerve (L5-S1 area) that was squeezed has been released and I have nearly 100% relief in that regard.

I had my surgery 10 days ago. The incision has sealed and the steri strips have fallen off on their own already, so I think that part is healing well too.

The issue I am having at the moment though is on the 'inside' where the work was done to scrape out the disc area, unpin the nerves and also remove scar tissue from my first surgery in 2004.
I am neary through my Dexamethasone prescription for the nerve having 'woken up' as they put it, and while it has certainly helped some, the pain is still bad enough that OTC ibuprofen and tylenol doesn't begin to even take the edge off.
I called in and got another prescription for 2 oxycodone per 8/hr, yet I'd like to call in today and see if I can go down to every 6 hours again, as 8 hours apart is wearing on me a bit much. I am trying to heal but there are things around the home that have to be done, and while not running a marathon or anything, I am also not exactly resting all day either. Sleep is still proving difficult.

Is it common to still be this discomfortable 10 days after surgery? My lower back just feels... heavy(?) and constantly achy with some amount of a sharp kind of pain when it gets to the 8 hour mark of needing my next dose of pain meds.
I'm half afraid to call the surgeons office and tell them what is going on, because according to a few other sites I have read forums on, I should be mostly healed up and the surgeon could very well just assume I'm milking the meds from him, so to speak, and that's the last thing I want - to be discounted out of hand on an assumption and not addressing the possibility of either a miffed surgery or a un/common duration of healing period.

Thanks for any insight.

 
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Old 12-09-2011, 11:26 AM   #2
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Re: How long does post op Spinal Laminectomy pain last for usually?

Have you considered taking one every 4 hours, Percs dont last 6 or 8 hours any way so by the time you redose, the pain is beyond the meds abilityto bring it back down.It's like starting over with nothing in your system which is a poor way to manage pain. I am a bit suprised you haven't been stepped down to Norco or a hydro product 10 days out. I got one script for 5 mg percs after My first surgery whcih was a 2 level lami, 3-4 , 4-5. All surgeons are different and have their own opinion as to whwhat and how long you should need something. Some believe in PT some don't. I was bak to work and off all meds 30 days after that surgery.I went from Percs, to Vicoden ES then plain Vicodin and nothing and it's really a matter of not causing yourself so much pain that you need high potency meds. You need to listen to your body, you can certainly supplement with OTC like Ibuprophen or Naproxin now that your off steroids. You might want to try 1 perc and a couple hundred mgs of IBU every 4 hours rather than fighting the 6 or 8 hour battle with a doc at this point.I was off percs 10 days out. I never found any short acting med lasted beyond 4 hours with any surgery, or for any use. I really dont know where docs get 6 or 8 hour dosing from. The meds have completely worn off making it harder to bring the pain back into check. Good luck, Dave

Last edited by Shoreline; 12-09-2011 at 11:29 AM.

 
Old 12-10-2011, 12:54 AM   #3
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Re: How long does post op Spinal Laminectomy pain last for usually?

Thanks, Dave.

As a matter of fact I called today and talked to the nurse there and told her my issues and concerns. My aunt, a Pharmacist, had told me that percocet is among the shortest duration of relief when it comes to the short acting narcotics, and that hydrocodone has a longer half life and stays in the system much longer. From my personal experience over the years I would have to agree, too. The percocet kicks in quicker, but it seems to spike to a high level for just a couple hours and then makes an early exit. I've found the relief of the hydro(ES) to be as effective and it hasn't ever been a real problem for me to get an easy 4-5 out of it, sometimes more.
If I had my choice, I'd go with dillaudid shots, though. The few times I've put aside my pride and let an ER doc reluctantly stick me with 2-3mg the relief was excellent and lasted what felt like half a day.

Anyway, the call today was so refreshing to hear someone knowledgeable and competent, who actually understood what I've gone through for the last 5 years speak to me.
Rather than hearing the usual 'lets do some injections!' or 'no narcotics' that seem to plague pain clinics and prejudice doctors alike in the great beacon of conservative pain control that is Ohio, the woman at the surgeons office stressed that I had a major surgery for a serious injury (nothing mild about it, as other docs kept wanting to blow it off as, stick a needle in it and see me in a few months) and that I'm going to have a lot of healing to do, considering everything that had to be done. 10 days out and she fully expected me to still be hurting pretty bad and said it could last from 6 weeks to 3 months before things got back to normal.
I just can't stress enough how vindicated it's made me feel to know that it wasn't all in my head, as many doctors can make people feel that way; it was almost to the point where I was starting to question myself and harboring some strange sense of guilt about being in so much pain for so long. Hard to explain.

Anyway, the woman was very kind and understanding, we talked about switching to the hydrocodone es and even though I still have some of the oxycodone left, she said she'd call me in a script for the hydros too and to just take them instead every 4-6 hours. I was pretty much shocked. I've never had such an easy time with any doctor I've seen here in Ohio before. It's literally always been a nasty or thinly veiled level of b_s or hassle on the other end of the line.

So... everything is going much better now. The hyrdos are working better and the regular time frame and shorter duration is doing the trick. It's been a great day today.
Finally able to smile.

 
Old 05-01-2012, 08:37 AM   #4
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Post Re: How long does post op Spinal Laminectomy pain last for usually?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brokend View Post
My surgery went well as far as I know. I can tell the nerve (L5-S1 area) that was squeezed has been released and I have nearly 100% relief in that regard.

I had my surgery 10 days ago. The incision has sealed and the steri strips have fallen off on their own already, so I think that part is healing well too.

The issue I am having at the moment though is on the 'inside' where the work was done to scrape out the disc area, unpin the nerves and also remove scar tissue from my first surgery in 2004.
I am neary through my Dexamethasone prescription for the nerve having 'woken up' as they put it, and while it has certainly helped some, the pain is still bad enough that OTC ibuprofen and tylenol doesn't begin to even take the edge off.
I called in and got another prescription for 2 oxycodone per 8/hr, yet I'd like to call in today and see if I can go down to every 6 hours again, as 8 hours apart is wearing on me a bit much. I am trying to heal but there are things around the home that have to be done, and while not running a marathon or anything, I am also not exactly resting all day either. Sleep is still proving difficult.

Is it common to still be this discomfortable 10 days after surgery? My lower back just feels... heavy(?) and constantly achy with some amount of a sharp kind of pain when it gets to the 8 hour mark of needing my next dose of pain meds.
I'm half afraid to call the surgeons office and tell them what is going on, because according to a few other sites I have read forums on, I should be mostly healed up and the surgeon could very well just assume I'm milking the meds from him, so to speak, and that's the last thing I want - to be discounted out of hand on an assumption and not addressing the possibility of either a miffed surgery or a un/common duration of healing period.

Thanks for any insight.

 
Old 05-01-2012, 08:51 AM   #5
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Smile Re: How long does post op Spinal Laminectomy pain last for usually?

I had my laminectomy on 4/4/12. They cleaned and scraped L2,3,4,5. I still have the worst pain right in the morning. I walk around,put my brace on and sit straight up in a chair for awhile then do a very easy stretch. I go back to see the surgeon for the post-op visit. I too would love a stronger pain med. I have Vicidan 5/500. Sometimes I just take 2 in the am just to get going.Some deep pain, different pain then before surgery. At times I still have pinched nerve on left side. I probably have same symptoms as most. I am also worried they think I am a pill hound. Who has had a laminectomy 1 yr post-op. How are you doing?

 
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