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Monty44 & Others - More Thoracic Pain

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Old 02-20-2008, 07:03 PM   #1
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Monty44 & Others - More Thoracic Pain

I was reading through past posts and came upon one from Monty44 and a few others who have experienced fusion of the thoracic spine. I'm reaching out again on this board for some insight into the severe degree of pain that I'm experiencing since my surgery on January 30th to remove broken vertabrae that were compressing my spinal cord and causing me to lose bladder control and experience pain, numbness and tingling around my chest and my lower extremeties. Well...bottom line: This has to be the WORST sort of post-op pain that I've ever experienced in my life and I've been through more than 10 spinal surgeries! When does this horrible chest pain go away?? It hurts to talk, to move, to breathe, to cough. In other words it hurts constantly. The pain goes straight around my chest and feels like a huge polar bear is giving me a very hearty hug. I'm still on the same pain meds that I was on when they discharged me from the rehab hospital. I'm a chronic pain patient and so even before surgery I was taking 120 mg. of methadone daily plus 15 mg. of oxycodone every 6 hours from breakthrough pain. I've been on the same amount of methadone since surgery but the oxycodone has been upped to an incredible 80 mg. every 3 hours!! Yes, that's 80 mgs. of short acting oxycodone every three hours. And even at that I'm still at about a level 6 on the pain scale at the best hour of the day. I go to see my pain management doc this Friday for the first time since my surgery and I know there is no way in hell that he's going to want to keep me at this level of oxycodone. And I sure don't want to be taking this much. So again I'll shout out to all of you who have experienced this type of surgery (T3-T5 fusion through the back, not through the chest) and ask: When will things improve?? Thanking you in advance for your time and your responses - Memere (K'Mac)

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Old 06-01-2008, 07:59 AM   #2
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Re: Monty44 & Others - More Thoracic Pain

Hi Memere, I am so sorry that you are in such pain at the moment. I too had a thoracic fusion, at levels T11 & T12. I had my surgery in July 2005, following rupture of these discs causing spinal cord compression. I lost control of bowels and bladder, and experienced numbness in my right leg and genital areas. This was emergency surgery, and I was very lucky not to have been left paralysed fro the chest down. I know exactly the pain you are talking about, it feels as though you are being crushed, you are afraid to breath too deeply. This pain continued for me for a few months, I was so breathless when I saw my spinal surgeon for a review, he sent me stright to re-sus, they were convinced that I had a blood clot on the lung. It turned out to be pluracy.
I know it's really hard to remain positive when you are in dreadful pain, but things will very gradually improve. It took at least eighteen months for my chest to feel any where near to normal.
When you think about what is involved in thoracic surgery, it's not really surprising that you are left feeling awful. If you feel things aren't as they should be, go back to your surgeon, and keep on going back until you get some answers.
I really hope you start to improve soon, take care of yourself.

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