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    Post surgical patient two months out from scoliosis surgery. Why do I need a pain clinic?
    WLB14 posted:
    My surgeon refuses to prescribe opiates past the three month post op point. I have been trying to reduce from 10 mg of Oxycodone every four hours to one eveery six, and my pain level shot to an eight....all I can do is cry. Scoliosis surgeries are some of most painful surgeries going. Think about having your spine sliced open lengthwise in my case from just below my shoulders to my hips. The surgeon then places screws on both sides of each vertebra where he places rods, then he uses wire to pull the backbone straight, then he puts bone grafts over all that and closes with staples. I have a 24 in scar. I was in ICU for two days and in the hospital for two weeks. It takes a year for the bones to heal. I don't know how long it takes the soft tissue of the torso which was twisted to match the spine to conform itself to it's new spine. At any rate, what can I expect when I finally get an apt at a pain clinic?
    annette030 responded:
    Ask your surgeon what to expect and what to do.

    You might try decreasing the amount of oxycodone rather than increasing the time between the doses. But run it past your MD first. Make certain you are sent to a pain clinic that does both interventionalist medicine as well as prescribing meds if you need/want more meds.

    Surgeons are poor at pain management after the first few months after a surgery anyway. You are better off with a pain management specialist.

    Take care, Annette
    77grace responded:
    Hi there ,
    Wow , I also have Scoliosis and I cannot imagine the kind of surgie you went through and are recovering from !Ouch !!
    I agree with Annette ,Surgeons only prescribe for about 3 months ,you need to follow up with a Pain Doctor !I would think that you will need pain meds for awhile since your whole spine needs to remold and heal ! You should not have to remain in all this pain !
    Best of luck, 77grace
    77grace replied to 77grace's response:
    It's me again,
    It's a new day and I was hoping for a response but I understand !
    I had a major neck surgery about 11 years ago ,a!I have tumors that grow on the nerves ion my spine and one of them was growing into my spine and ws rying to severe the spinal cord !
    Recovery was the worst thing I have ever been through and sure your is terrible too,I'm here for you !
    You can post to me anytime and I will get back to you !
    Hang in there and God Bles You , 77grace
    ctbeth responded:
    Hello WLB,

    Absolutely! Scoliosis repair is a very tough procedure. The recovery is a full year at least.

    Back when I was a child, it required spending the entire school summer holiday in a children's hospital At nine years of age, however, the healing is much faster.

    At three months post-op, most surgeons do not prescribe opiate pain management.

    In your situation, it may be the best option to ask your surgeon to refer you to a pain management MD.

    May I ask: How old are you? Were you in a brace pre-op?

    Please write again and tell us how you're doing. There are at least a few of us who participate in this community who have had scoliosis repair surgery.

    Best wishes,

    WLB14 responded:
    Thanks so much for your replies. It has now been a little over three months and I am now going to my internist for the pain management. He was extremely upset about having to take this on. It was my understanding that the surgeon would refer me to a pain Doc, but he, or his staff, did not. My internist said a pain management Doc would not take my case. He upped my dosage of Lyrica from 50 mg 2x a day to three times a day. Kept the oxycodone the same. He said he would slowly wean me off the hard drugs over the next six months. I am now on Percocet. It seems to do better than the plain oxycodone. I am wondering if the intense pain I am having is nerve damage from the spondylothesis I had between L2 and L3. The pain is localized to that same area and much more painful than pre op. I am so glad all the pain in my legs and feet is gone, but the new pain is making life difficult. So how does one convince an internist to refer to a pain doctor? Just wait and hurt? I think the small increase in lyrica has helped dull the pain somewhat. Why must this be so very hard on patients? Is there not an advocacy group for chronic pain?
    WLB14 replied to ctbeth's response:
    I was never in a brace. In fact even though I have had scoli since I was little, i have had back pain and leg pain on and off as long as i can remember, but my scoliosis remained undiagnosed until two years ago when I went to a new chiropractor and said, I think I have scoliosis. Since then my condition rapidly deteriorated. My legs were numb in places and extremely painful in others, I was having night time bowel incontinence, yuck! Even though I am having this issue with pain, it is so very much better than before surgery. I think I was on the short road to paralysis and a wheelchair had I not had surgery. I am glad I had it. Maybe if I can get in to see a pain Doc I can get some real help for this problem.
    ctbeth replied to WLB14's response:
    I really do hope that your internist will refer you to pain management

    Do remember that it takes a full hear for the surgery to heal.

    My situation was a bit different as I was being repaired for scoliosis and spina bifida. The Harrington rods were used mostly for the scoliosis. The spina bifida repair used bone graft.

    It was a long time ago for me, but I do remember that it was pretty tough for months.

    Please keep us updated, and best wishes,


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