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  • 2 Weeks Post Op - Still in Agony

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    Old 02-15-2008, 04:07 PM   #1
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    2 Weeks Post Op - Still in Agony

    Just looking for a sympathetic ear and/or advice from folks who have had fusions. I am STILL experiencing tremendous, crushing chest pain, rib pain and back pain in a direct circle around my body at the T3,T4,T5 level. I know that 2 weeks post-op isn't really very long, but my previous fusions and surgeries have not caused this level of pain at this stage in my recovery! In fact, I think that in a way some of my symptoms are getting worse which is why I had hubby take me back to the hospital yesterday. My surgeon wanted me to come in (through the ER of course......10 hours wait time!!!) so that the spine fellow on call could take a look. After some xrays it was determined that the fusion is still in the same shape as it was 5 minutes after I was in the recovery room following surgery. That makes me feel 100% better mentally & emotionally. I've had so many fusions fail at this point with the hardware slipping out of position or adjacent vertabrae breaking once I return home from the hospital, that I'm extremely grateful that all is o.k. But: this pain is horrible and as of 2 days ago I can no longer hold my head up straight while using my walker to get from point A to point B!! I have to almost bend completely at the waist because the pain and muscle weakness in my cervical spine is so intense. Again, I explained all of this to the doc at the hospital and he says that folks who have surgery at the thoracic level will experience new symptoms (either pain, numbness, weakness, etc.) due to the amount and location of nerves, muscle, tissue, etc. that is effected once incisions are made and decompression is achieved. He said that the swelling may have gone down surrounding the initial breakage site, but may increase in new places. I can really live with all of this - but I'd still feel SO MUCH BETTER if I could hear from somebody on this board who has experienced this. Anybody??? Thanks - K'Mac

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    Old 02-15-2008, 04:48 PM   #2
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    Re: 2 Weeks Post Op - Still in Agony


    I am SO SORRY you have so much pain.

    I have to admit I'm confused. I realize you recently had the surgery, and post op pain is to be expected. But why are you being allowed to suffer so badly. I read your posts about how much pain you are in, and how much you can't do, and your language is very graphic. You are leaving me as a reader with no doubt about how bad the pain is. Yet no one appears to be listening to you. Are your docs telling you this is normal?

    I don't care what kind of surgery you had, or how complex it may have been, even if I subscribe to the notion that your pain is "normal," or that this level of suffering is "to be expected," I remain confused as to why your pain is not being aggressively treated. As I understand it, pain that continues after the normal healing process is over is exactly the kind of situation that causes chronic pain. If I am understanding things correctly, failing to treat this pain aggressively now sets you up for even more chronic pain later.

    Please understand, I am not venting against you at all. I'm just trying to make sense out of this and I cannot. I'm sure that you are letting your docs know how you feel, because you are so clear in these posts. What are they thinking?

    I can just feel myself getting angrier and angrier at your doctors. I hate it when friends suffer. In my opinion, you are suffering when you should not have to be suffering. I want to call your doctors and set them straight. Right Now!!!

    Do I have this wrong here guys? Am I overreacting?


    K'Mac - Again, sorry for venting. I really FEEL for you, and I want to be comforting and reassuring. I hope you can somehow see that it realy matters to me that you are hurting so badly, and I really wish that were not the case. I will pray for you. I will pray that the surgical fix holds, and that your pain lessens immediately. I will pray that your doctors treat your pain aggressively. Please keep us posted.

    Old 02-15-2008, 06:42 PM   #3
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    Re: 2 Weeks Post Op - Still in Agony

    Memere...Aw, I hate to hear that you're hurting so badly. I haven't had any experience with your kind of surgery, but I just wanted to let you know I'm praying for you!!!! Please make noise...lots of it...until your doctors treat your pain in an acceptable way for you. You deserve to be as comfortable as modern medicine can make you!!!!
    Love, prayers, and a big ol' HUG!!!!!!!!!

    Old 02-15-2008, 08:20 PM   #4
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    I am sorry you are in agony from your surgery I am sending gentle hugs and prayers that you have a speedy recovery.

    Hugs Nadine

    Old 02-16-2008, 06:50 AM   #5
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    Re: 2 Weeks Post Op - Still in Agony

    god Kathy i feel for you hon.sorry i haven't been actively involved in your surgical stuff,i have just been trying to deal with mine.i have to agree with steve here.just what are you currently taking for pain?if they keep saying this is 'normal' or to be expected then why are they leaving you in this horrid posistion,you know what i mean?they should be accomodating your pain if they know its going to be running really had alot of areas done,and that in itself can add,with each level it will have its own type of pain,you know what i mean?how were things pre op,any actual cord contact per your MRI?ifso,there could be a couple differentthings going on just because ofthe cord being affected.itskind of a different type of pain and a whole new ballgame if that was your pre op situation.(please excuse the typing,i am using one very lame hand right now to type).

    knowing just what they are giving you for pain and anything else you are currently taking would help in giving you the best possible advice kathy.are you using ice at all?one huge help for what i am going thru withmy post op really does make a big difference for my pain and i know sammys too.just a good suggestion that does really help with any real inflammation and swelling from surgery.since you cannot actually take any type of NSAIDS right now,ice is probably your best bet.can you describe just excatly what you are feeling right now?its the banded feeling that concerns me if you did actually have cord contact of some degree.i hope things will get better very very soon for you kathy,surgery pain just sucks for alot of us right now,but yours really sounds much more than just post op pain.if you could just describe it,it would really help.i did have some prety awful painwith my fusion in the c spine area but the worst of it was over after the first few days,not as intense as it started out to be?has the intensity actually gone down at all for you or is it staying the same or getting worse?wish i could say something more helpful kathy,really.suffering isn't something anyone should have to go thru,espescially when your surgeon has the power to change that for you.hang in there kathy,hopefully things will get better,if not make a call to your surgeon,this is just way too much for you,and your surgeon CAN help you but only if he decides to,thats the sick part.marcia
    3-22-01,herniated C-6-7
    11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
    9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.

    Old 02-17-2008, 12:34 AM   #6
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    Re: 2 Weeks Post Op - Still in Agony

    Sorry that you hurt. I haven't had thoracic surgery, I heard it is more difficult. Maybe you need to slow down and rest? I think every additional assault on our spine hurts with each added surgery. I agree with the others, phone the surgeon's office if your pain is not adequately controlled, after all, you are still early post-op. My wishes for a better time.

    Last edited by PNo; 02-17-2008 at 12:37 AM.

    Old 02-17-2008, 06:44 AM   #7
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    Re: 2 Weeks Post Op - Still in Agony


    I am so sorry that you feel this bad. I have not had any thoracic surgery but I wanted to post to chime in some support for you.

    Sending a soft gentle hug for encouragement!!!

    I certainly hope that you will start to feel better soon. I know as many do on this board how hard it is to get through these tough spots.

    Hang in there and I will send out some prayers your way.


    Old 02-17-2008, 05:43 PM   #8
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    Re: 2 Weeks Post Op - Still in Agony


    I'm sorry to hear you're feeling so poorly. I'm with everyone else on this. Shout loudly. You deserve to be comfortable. I really hope you get the relief you deserve.

    Thoughts and hugs


    Old 02-17-2008, 09:29 PM   #9
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    Re: 2 Weeks Post Op - Still in Agony

    I am sorry that you are in such a tramatic situation. I have had a couple of lumbar fusions that have failed and I have heard that the cervical fusions are even worse. I know at 2 wks. I still needed someone at home to help me, because the pain was too much to do anything. For me, I was sent home with Oxycontin and Percoset as needed every 4 hrs., but the breakthrough pain came on before that 4 hrs. was near. I am wondering if that is the type of pain you have. If it is more than that, you really should be receiving more medication.

    My dr. told me that if the pain was so much that I was not able to get up a couple of times ea. day, I needed to let him know, because the more pain you are in, the less you will get up and move around and not moving around, a little each day, will cause the fusion to fail. So, you can use that as a measuring stick, so to speak. If your pain is keeping you from moving, call your Dr. to let him know. I remember at 2 weeks, I was told to get up and walk from 1 end of the house to the other twice a day. (In addition to getting up to use the restroom.)

    I hope that was understandable, I myself am typing this in a lot of pain, so I am standing and tying and can not see the monitor. good luck and keep us posted.


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