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    Struggling with post fusion pain
    usbaums posted:
    My 18-year-old daughter had spinal fusion surgery (T3-L3) on 6/5/09 and is having a very hard time managing her pain. We have no idea how close to or far from normal her experience is and her surgeon and his staff are not helpful. My daughter left the hospital on 37 mcg Fentanyl with Norco 10mg and Darvocet-N 100 for breakthrough pain along with Soma for muscle spasms. Under pressure from the doctor, she is now trying to wean off a 12 mcg Fentanyl patch with Norco 7.5 mg for breakthough to just Darvocet-N 100 mg every three hours. She is still rating her pain as 6-7 with the Fentanyl and the Norco and is really having a hard time with less. She can't drive and can't tolerate sitting at a movie with her friends without coming home in tears from the pain. She can sit at the computer or walk for maybe 15 minutes and then needs to lay down again. Her postop X-rays have indicated that everything is healing very well so there are no problems there.

    What I want to know is how much pain can realistically be expected during the first few weeks? Her surgeon acts like she is really having a great deal more pain than she should and is reluctant to give her more pain medication.
    Kelliwest responded:
    Hi I have not had a fusion but something less invasive and it takes awhile to recover your daughter is only just over a month out from surgery and to think she should not have pain is not realistic. There are other people here on the board that have had this surgery and can give you much better advise and can answer your questions, the weekends are kinda slow but i am sure you will get people to respond to you. I do think it is way to early to wheen her of meds though.

    I hope your daughter feels better soon...Kellie
    patb49 responded:
    HI, I am fused from T8 to S1. and it sounds like your daughter is trying to do way to much for just having surgery over a month ago. To this day I still am unable to go and sit through a movie without having pain. She should only be sitting no longer than 30 min. at a time yet. She should walk, walk and walk some more every day. A fusion takes at least a year to heal . sometimes even longer. Who is handling her pain meds? My surgeon did not do the pain meds. My Primary handles all my meds as he is the one that sees me more. Maybe you should have her go to her Primary and talk to him about the pain she is having. Surgeons tend to do their thing, tell you it is healing and thats it. they don't want to have to handle the pain as that means maybe they didn't fix what was wrong. Good luck & please keep us posted as to how your daughter is doing.


    littletwister1963 responded:
    Hello,I have a small suggestion. Perhaps her surgeon should refer her to a Pain Management Doc to help with her post -op pain or her PCP should take over with her pain meds.

    I agree with the others, she is trying to do way too much for what she has just had done. She has had a serious operation even though she is young she needs time to recover.

    Best of luck and let us knoew how she's doing.

    moonriver22 responded:
    Hi,I am so sorry your daughter is in so much pain,as far as your Dr.(surgeon) #1 they hate to give out narcotics. As far as darvocet they are trying to get that dangerous drug off the market. My Dr. will not give that drug to any of his patients. It can become very toxic& it really does nothing for pain. I would go to your reg. Dr. & tell him just how bad you hurt,I did that & he has been my life safer. He takes care of all my meds. now. I have had 8 back surgeries in 30yrs. so I know about pain. An MRI doe's not show everything,I wish you the best& will keep you in my prayers. I went thru 8 Drs. before I found one that would help me. Pammy

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