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Meds prescribed following cervical acdf

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Old 03-02-2007, 07:44 PM   #1
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Meds prescribed following cervical acdf

I had a spinal acdf on C6/C7 on Wednesday. I was prescribed the following meds:

Methocarbamol 750 mg: 2 tablets every 8 hours as needed for spasms

Hydrocodone 5/500: 1 - 2 tablets every 6 hours as needed for pain

Ibuprofen 800 mg: 1 tablet 3 times per day

Almost everyone who posts on this forum states that they were told to stay away from ibuprofen as it inhibits fusion. I don't understand why my neurosurgeon would prescribe this treatment if this is the case. Has anyone else been prescribed this treatment? Has anyone had a successful fusion after using ibuprofen? I don't want to go against the doctor's orders, but I am concerned about this issue. Any advice?

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Old 03-02-2007, 07:59 PM   #2
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Re: Meds prescribed following cervical acdf

I too was told to stay away from ibuprofen for 6-8 weeks following my fusion surgery. That was from my surgeon. My rehab doc told me he too follows this advice but it hasn't really been proven one way or the other. Painfulneck

Old 03-02-2007, 08:23 PM   #3
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Re: Meds prescribed following cervical acdf

I took Celebrex (an NSAID like Ibuprofen) for arthritis regularly before my ACDF. My neursurgeon told me not to take it post-surgery for at least 2 weeks. I asked him at my 3 week post op appt if I should resume taking it and he replied that the longer I can avoid taking it until the 6 week point, the better. His explanation was that as an anti-inflammatory it would reduce the swelling and pain in my throat, but it is that same inflamation that helps to promote fusion in the first 6 weeks, which is a bigger priority.

Unless someone here has reviewed the research to know to what extent it slows down fusion, if at all, it is unlikey that anyone here would feel it appropriate to advise you either to ignore, or to follow for that matter, your neurosurgeon's prescription.

Would you feel comfortable calling her office and asking her about it?

Wishing you a speedy recovery,
Gurnee, IL

Old 03-02-2007, 09:21 PM   #4
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Re: Meds prescribed following cervical acdf

Since the ibuprofen was most likely prescribed for swelling and pain in the throat, I think I can get by without it. I am having most of my pain while swallowing, but the hydrocodone helps with that. I need to call the ns office early next week anyway, so I think I will pose the question to her or the nurse. I was just curious to know if anyone else had been prescribed this treatment. Thanks so much for your input.

Old 03-03-2007, 01:49 AM   #5
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Re: Meds prescribed following cervical acdf

Payton - I think the question about the ibuprofen is definitely worth getting an answer to as soon as you can.

Even though its often difficult to get a conversation with the surgeon he would be best person to speak to, or at least one of his nurses. If you speak to one of his nurses make sure you explain why you're concerned and also asked why it was prescribed. It is possible that he has good reason for prescribing it for his particular way of doing things - each surgeon has their own variations in their procedures.

Old 03-03-2007, 06:03 AM   #6
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Re: Meds prescribed following cervical acdf

I was also told to take ibuprofin then 2 months later when I found a post contrary to that advice I asked my Dr.s PA and was told they tell thrir patients to go ahead and take it. Said jury was still out on the ibuprofin debate, not backed up by science.

My choice is not to take it. If there is any chance at all it will interfere with fusing i will deal with the pain.

Old 03-03-2007, 06:21 AM   #7
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Re: Meds prescribed following cervical acdf


I was injured in a bad car accident in October of 2006. I had ACDF surgery at C5-C6 on January 30, 2007. After the surgery I was prescribed Percocet, Flexeril, Pepcid and Mederol Dose Pack (steroid). I called my neurosurgeon's office after the first week because I wanted to know what I could take for the pain - other than Percocet. (I was tired of feeling "loopy") . I was told to take advil (ibuprofin) - up to 800 mg. for pain as needed. The nurse said that nothing else would work, i.e. tylenol or aleve. I've taken it twice and it does help. After reading these posts, I too am concerned about the fusion. I go for follow up on March 14th and am quite anxious to see the x-ray of my neck with all the hardware. Hopefully all is well and the fusion is progressing.

Was anyone else given steroids? I also wonder why the Pepcid was prescribed. I've never had a problem requiring it before the surgery.

Oh well, thanks for everyone's input. I get more useful info here on this board than from my doctor's office.

Old 03-03-2007, 06:49 AM   #8
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Re: Meds prescribed following cervical acdf

I was prescribed a medrol dose pack as a conservative treatment prior to surgery. This is a steroid medication and is known to induce serious acid reflux. I actually had to go to the grocery store in the middle of the night on day 2 to get some Pepcid. If I were you, I would take it as prescribed.

Old 03-03-2007, 08:01 AM   #9
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Re: Meds prescribed following cervical acdf

2 things:

1) I posted a couple of days ago about having a nightmare headache and wondering if I could take aspirin. I knew I couldnt take ibuprofen. I ended up taking Vicodin instead. I researched on the web and it kept showing up to NOT take aspirin OR ibubrofen.

2) I also had to take steroid s(Medrol Dosepak) right after my surgery, too, due to a hellacious sinus infection. (which caused my headaches this week...grrrr) Nothing like having 2 chronic problems at once, I say! I pray it didnt interfere with the fusion.

Old 03-03-2007, 09:41 AM   #10
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Re: Meds prescribed following cervical acdf

THere are multiple schools of thought on ibuprofen. Your surgeon might have determined that you are healthy, good bones, and especially if you have internal fixation and collar that your risk of non-fusion is low. I also think occasional use is probably not the problem, its when you take it daily at the higher doses, but I am not a dr. or researcher so I don't know.

If you decide the benefits outweigh the risks, why not do something proactive to counter it, like take calcium, drink milk, walk.

Old 03-03-2007, 01:58 PM   #11
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Re: Meds prescribed following cervical acdf

I was also on Celebrex pre-surgery, and asked my surgeon about it. He also prescribed 1 ibuprofen to be added into my preop meds at the hospital. He says he always takes his patients off of it for lumbar and thoracic surgeries, but does not find it necessary for cervical ones. Must be some new research or something, as he is apparently seen as the foremost in this field in the mid-South, at least, and pretty up on his game. Guess it has something to do with the amount of pressure and friction generated in the lower vertebrae vs. that on the cervical area when a collar is in place. Guess we all just need to trust our individual MD's and ask lots of questions when we don't understand their line of thinking.

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