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    Old 06-25-2009, 09:37 AM   #1
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    Jessarina HB User
    Question re pain and meds post ACDF

    I had ACDF 13 days ago on C5-6. I live almost 100 miles from that hospital and my follow up visit is scheduled for next Tuesday (18 days post op).

    I'd had a nerve pinched pre-op that involved the right arm to the fingertips; that has been resolved completely.

    I realized (once I got home) that the surgeon sent me home with a prescription for only 50 percoset 5/325 (the pharmacy that filled them used roxicet which I'd nver had before). I was to take these 1-2 every 4-6 hours and I did take 2 every 4 hours the first couple of days and them realized I would run out before the end of the week and tried to stretch them out.

    Thankfully I'd squirreled away some percoset from previous prescriptions otherwise I would be going crazy; they had a new presciption for me waiting at their office but I have no-one to send to go pick it up for me (3 hour round trip minimum).

    The pain has slowly been getting a little better (I described it as a 14 for two days after surgery, now it ranges from 5-10 depending on what I am doing - typing this is excruciating!) but I still have tremendous discomfort at the back of my neck and radiating out to my shoulders; the pain is distinctly worse on the left with intense burning and sometimes with wormy type nerve spasms I've never experienced before. This pain radiates through my shoulder and it worries me as it's similar to the pain I'd had on the right except it doesnt go any further down my arm.

    I kind of feel like the surgeon (knowing full well how far away I live) could have sent me home with enough pain meds to get me through to the follow up visit. I'm curious as to what others have been prescribed for similar surgeries, out of curiosity.


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    Old 06-25-2009, 04:30 PM   #2
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    Re: Question re pain and meds post ACDF

    Boy, this is really terrible because percocet or oxycodone cannot be called in, it must be picked up in person. This is really irresponsible of your surgeon. Obviously you can't pick it up. If it were me I would call the surgeon and ask if he/she can call in hydrocodone, which I think is the only narcotic pain med that can be called in. It is not as strong as oxycodone, so I would ask for the 7.5mg Vicodin or Norco, which I think has 10mg of hydro in it. There is a board here specifically for pain management and you may want to post there. There are lots of members on that board around the clock that can offer you advice.

    This is exactly why surgeons should never be in charge of pain management! I'm so sorry that you are going through this....

    Old 06-04-2010, 07:53 PM   #3
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    Re: Question re pain and meds post ACDF

    Jessica, what ddi the Dr say about you having the pain on the opposite side of the affedted side. I juat had acdf with bone spur shaved off on May 27th. all my pain was in left trapezoid area and some pain up neck. Whenwoke up from surgery alot of apin on right. the incesion wa made on the right and the wrote that pain off to that. Noq one week out, pain on right is so bad. It feels like it is in same spot that was on the left but nw on right. VERY DEPRESSED ABOUT THIS. I have been suffering with this pain for over a year and half and now this new pain come on. I wanted to be pain free. moat of the pAIN ON THE LEFT IS GONE.

    Old 06-05-2010, 06:53 PM   #4
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    Re: Question re pain and meds post ACDF

    For the 2 new folks who just had surgery. You need to understand that the pain you are having is from post-op swelling of the soft tissues in the area of the surgery. The swollen tissues press on the same nerves you just had freed up and can give you more pain that you had prior to surgery. It will go away as you heal. And don't expect it to go away quickly...takes a good year for everything to heal, maybe even 2.

    As for pain meds, Roxicet is the exact same drug as Percocet but made by a different company.......both are trade names. Did he give you any scripts for muscle relaxers? They can give as much pain relief as pain meds especially when the main pain is muscle spasms. Those can be called in by his office. Call and ask and give it a try. I gave up pain meds after 6 days with my 5 vertebrae laminoplasty but used the muscle relaxers instead. Fewer side effects and worked longer. When I broke my neck, I used both and now rely on the muscle relaxers for pain control instead of pain meds.

    You have to remember that your surgeons were working in a very tight area and after surgery, it doesn't get any looser for a while. Your esophagus and trachea were moved to the side during surgery and are now back in their proper places and putting pressure on your spine in the same area where the post-op swelling is. It will get better with time.

    I had both my neck surgeries from the back and even going in that way, there was so much swelling that I was kept on a ventilator for a day. You can't exactly ice down the inside of your neck to reduce swelling.

    It will get better.

    been there.................Jenny

    Old 06-05-2010, 07:43 PM   #5
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    Re: Question re pain and meds post ACDF

    Thank you Jenny for words of encouragemnet. I had read and talked to so manypeople that the pain I was having caused the huge bone spur would be gone right after surgery. Guess i had my expetations too high. had been in pain for over year and half. I just am not a very patient person when it comes to this

    Old 06-06-2010, 10:42 AM   #6
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    happynessa HB User
    Re: Question re pain and meds post ACDF

    I second the suggestion for muscle relaxer. I'm 7 months post op and when I'm getting stiff and painful I'll still resort to the relaxer at bedtime. I feel much better the next morning.

    Old 06-06-2010, 07:57 PM   #7
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    Re: Question re pain and meds post ACDF

    Perhaps they can mail you a prescription for more pain meds and also for a muscle relaxant. I'd never have made it through any of my spine surgeries without the muscle relaxants.
    Rt thumb fusion '13. R&L thumb arthroplasty '12 ; RT TKR & Bilat CTS' 11. Fusions: L5-S1('87), L4-S1('93), C5-C7('06), L3-S1('10), C4-C5('13). C5-C7 foraminotomy '08

    Old 06-09-2010, 04:18 AM   #8
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    LisaLoopner HB User
    Re: Question re pain and meds post ACDF

    Wish I had read Jenny's post prior so I could have adjusted my expectations earlier. I had ACDF with C6 corpectomy and cadaver bone fusion 6 weeks ago and couldn't figure out why my original right-sided pain is nearly gone, but now have increased pain on the left. I agree that the muscle relaxers (even cut in half) seem to help relieve pain. I do wish someone would have warned me about the dreaded brace, though. I was fitted preop for a Miami J collar and woke up wearing it PLUS thoracic extensions--which basically means brace from neck to waist. I have to wear it another 6 weeks, then a hard collar for 2 weeks, and then a soft collar for 2 weeks. Yikes! I don't understand how some people go home with no collar at all and then others like me are braced for 3 months plus. This has meant adjusting my expectations and lifestyle greatly. At the 3-month mark I go for a CAT scan to assess if bone is fusing and if so, then I go to just the collars for the last month. It has been a journey, for sure, with pain being my constant companion. I feel fortunate to have a good surgeon who provides me with meds as I need them and pray I'm nearing the end.

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