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babs17 11-19-2006 10:43 AM

Intense Pain without wearing brace
I am only 3 and a half weeks postop from a 2 level thoracic fusion. I have been wearing the brace ever sicne I left the really helps. On a usual basis, my pain is not totally under control at this point...I take Lortab 7.5 one or two every 4-6 hours or so...but it is a lot better than my first week back at home, so I am grateful for that progress. I have noticed that when I shower (I shower every 2-3 days), I am not wearing my brace and the pain switches from my right rib area (donor site) and incisional area, to my mid back where the instruments are. In short, without the brace, I can defintely feel an intense pain where the spine was fused. (oh, my incision is on my right scapula thru the lung...they went in sideways) when I wear the brace I feel the donor site pain and the incisional area pain. Its ONLY when I shower without the brace that I feel the fusion pain in the mid back. And that usually lasts all day feeling it there.

I am wondering, once I take the brace off at the 3 month period, how long will this intense pain last at the fusion site (I am guessing the muscles and my body are getting used to supporting the area)??

I can be wordy, so sorry I have confused anyone.

Be well

Babs :wave:

BlueAtlas 11-19-2006 11:24 AM

Re: Intense Pain without wearing brace
Hi Babs,
Nah, you're not wordy. You're just trying to make what you're going through clear to us. I'm almost 8 weeks post op, different from yours, mine was lumbar and up into lower thoracic. I still shower only every 2-3 days. It's just too much to do it everyday. I love those wet wipes that so many companies are putting out now (Charmin, Cottonelle, etc.). They make washing up at the sink on the not-showering days so much easier, so at least I don't feel yucky.

On those shower days, I still feel weak and unsteady out of the brace. I'm always anxious to get back into it (or else lie back down) as soon as I can. But I don't have pain that continues through the day afterward. When do you go back to your doctor? I would mention it to him and see what he says.

My doctor said I would wear the brace for 3-5 months. If you're not ready to do without it at 3 months, there's no reason why you can't continue to wear it past that. If you're still having this kind of discomfort at that point, he'll probably want you to hang in there with it a little longer.

Maybe there are others on the board who have had surgeries more like yours who can give better feedback.

You're still early on, though, so I wouldn't worry too much about it. Maybe you need a little higher dose of your pain meds?

A chilly Sunday afternoon... a good time to put on a movie and rest!

Take care,

babs17 11-19-2006 12:00 PM

Re: Intense Pain without wearing brace
Emily~You could be a Dear Abby for a site like this...seriously, I have read many of your replies, and to be honest, "nobody has ever said it better than you". You have a gift of sensitizing your words into a very warm and cozy response forthe readers. So, thanks for that.

As for me.
I see my doctor the week after this one. I can finally get many questions about my surgery answered...they did not communicate very well what happened during the procedure. I am a nurse, and have worked in the operation room and recovery, etc. for many years. I know the postop instructions very a way. (its very different when it is you) But I am having trouble putting together my own pains and troubles. Luckily, I did find this healthboard, and I am finding many of my questions answered. Thanks peeps.

As for my pain, I was originally on Percocet. It helped a lot better. But I live too far away from the office to pick up a script for a refill. I did offer to send my mom. They prefer to call in a refill...thats how I got to taking Lortab for pain. It helps occasionally, but today for example...not helping. And I am very cautious about my Tylenol intake due to liver failure related to taking over 4 grams. So, I really space out my consumption of of Pain meds. I will have to discuss this with the doctor as well. [B]Question[/B][]What works (dosage and meds) for other people?

I just wish I could tell what this pain is is it muscular, or nerve, or the instruments moving around. I also have a sharp pain under my right breast, that I have been assuming is from my rib being removed. I would love to know a definitive answer. But I am not gullible. I know that when it comes to the human body, not everything can be answered with such precision.

I am hoping that I do not have to wear the brace more than 3 months. I will if I HAVE TO....but, honestly, I am not in love with this thing. Also, I am used to be very active and I would love it I I could start more aggressive PT at 3 months and just move along....but I know that I have to go along with the flow of what my body tells me., what a challenge!

Babs :wave:

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