Are you suffering more pain than before surgery? Has anyone been able to get off pain meds with surgery, actually ANY type of surgery? I've DDD and herniated discs in my neck. Or is it disks? Anyway, tis painful and I must turn my body, not my neck whilst driving or having a conversation with a group of people at a party. It's embarrassing, people often ask me "Do you have a stiff neck" I tell them that I've gotten a viagra stuck in my throat. (sorry) Just yesterday, at the grocery store, a man asked me if I'd a stiff neck! I didn't think it was that noticable, apparently I'm wrong.
Did surgery help or hinder you? If you had to go back, would you do it all over again? How long was recovery? What is your favourite colour? Did the surgeon take time to explain everything to you? If one has fibromyalgia is the recovery time longer? Thank you to anyone that answers, it's very appreciated, Your friend, Lara
Thanks for asking this just *before* I have my surgery, Lara! *grin* I'll let you know a month afterwards! If the procedures take away the nerve pain, numbness, and locking of my tendon it will be worth it! :) The surgeon explained some things, but I had to ask about the meds I'm currently on -- and one delays my surgery. *growl* Favourite colours for wearing are black and dark red or purple. Favourite color for decorating, cobalt blue. *smile* Nikki
Yellow is my favorite color. My first surgery was an emergency surgery where I nearly lost my life but didn't have a choice. The second was a redo as I never fused and formed a pseudoarthrosis. When my new neurosurgeon went in he said it was a mess, bone spurs, scare tissues. The third I regret. At my 1 yr f/u my CT showed I had a few screws loose. Don't we all? I don't think it was necessary as quickly as we did it. It's been a year and I've yet to bounce back. You're fibro will increase pain and delay healing. Some people go down on meds prior to. My pain doc said no way. Not only will you have post surgical pain, you'll be chasing your fibro pain. Third one he ran the show, pain services at the hospital contacted him and were obedient as often some are shocked at what you're already on and raising it boggles their brains. I spent 4-5 days in the ICU just with a ketamine IV and PCA.
I was still in pain until they maxed out the PCA and let me push it every 3 minutes. The trouble came when I was stable enough to transfer to the surgical floor. Horror stories about the nursing care I got. We can talk about that later. I was out of work 4 months. Completely down 2. If get 3 opinions from 3 different neurosurgeons. My doc wanted to start me on high dose lyrica one week prior, my hospital stay and one week after to keep the fibro at bay. I was non-compliant one week prior due to my reaction to cymbalta, but they started it in the hospital, 2 days blurred vision and muscle constrictions, immediately taken off, so just such high doses of pain meds the nurses would talk about me. I have bat ears :) LoVe, Freezing lilac
Hi Lara! After doing a little research I found out that stopping the pain meds depends on the individual and the doc. (Duh!) If the pain is not bad, then, otc meds work. If it is, then, of course, your doc will prescribe stronger meds. From what I just read, strong pain meds after your surgery can/will be used short term. If I had that surgery, I'd probably be on them for a looooong time. I'm a wimp. I'm seeing a neurosurgeon in 3 wks regarding ddd and osteoarthritis and fibro. I've seen him a couple times and he put me through the whole gama of tests, and referred me out. I'm not going to do the surgery. Between ddd and fibro, I don't know about how long you'll be taking strong pain meds. I had a choice. Vicodin for the rest of my life or surgery on my neck. I chose neither. After the hysterectomy, I took demerol for 3 mos. Go figure.
Sheesh, Lara, I feel so bad that you have to go through this. I have to admit, though, that you have a healthy attitude towards the surgery. Humor can diminish pain. It can also serve as a mask for pain. God bless you, Lara. I pray the pain goes away and you can resume a normal(I never understood that word--normal) life. Love, Anna
Lara, I also have DDD. I hope you get relief soon.
Regarding the surgery I'm having for carpal tunnel and trigger finger I wish I had elected to do it sooner (it would have saved me a lot of 24/7 physical pain, so I'm guessing). We'll see how it turns out.
Dear Lara, Im sorry to hear you must have surgery, but I admire your spirit! I also have DDD, and I had surgery in 2002. The discs, C3-7, were sitting directly on top of each other. My neck would "crack" horribly and I had lost 85% use in both arms. They went in thru a small incision on the front of my neck. They put screws between the discs, affixed to a titanium plate. My throat was really swollen for a few weeks. But the relief was amazing and almost immediate!! It didnt impact my fibromyalgia very much, altho my fibro flares have become worse in recent years. I'll never regret having that surgery. I didnt stay on the strong pain meds long either. I returned to work in 6 weeks. If necessary, I would definitely do it again. My neurosurgeon explained every step to my husband and me. I felt very comfortable having him do the surgery. I hope this helps you some. I wish you an easy soul in making this serious decision. Im sure you will do just fine.
I have the DDD and herniations in my low back. I'm sure I have them in my neck too because my first chronic pain was in my neck-it is just that the low back pain shadows the neck pain. If my low back feels better, I notice the pain in my neck more. I havent had any cervical curve in my neck for years! I talked to a doc (actually two) about fusing my L5-S1 area and I chickened out. I'm too much of a pessimist and was afraid I'd be one of the ones who got worse after sx (sorry, surgery) They both told me 70% chance of getting better and 30% chance of getting worse or staying the same. At the time they were giving me more pain meds and I was pretty comfortable with pain meds but since they started cutting them back I have started to think about it again. I figure that I will know when it gets bad enough to risk getting cut.
I have heard a lot of bad stories too but really people tend to talk more about the bad outcomes than the good so I have to take that into consideration too. I'm still trying to hold off for now. I think if you have radiculopathy (pain shooting down your arms or legs) surgery can help that but it may not do as much for the local spinal pain and your fibro will likely flare from the extra stress. Both of my parents had two back sx each and my moms second one was very successful-she didnt even need post op opioids. My dad, neither of his was very successful. The second one got rid of the radiculopathy (pain down his leg) but he still sufferes from back pain and takes morphine for it. My older brother and I have both been told we should have sx. I think one knows when they are truly ready. If you are not decided then you are probably not ready.It is good to ask around before deciding though. I couldnt tell you my favorite colour because it changes from day to day.
To our dearest little apple pie, I can certainly understand your trepidation on having the surgery. While I've never had to have surgery on my back, I have had 6 arthoscopic surgeries on my right knee before having a total knee replacement 3 years ago. A smart person will normally weigh the benefits against the risk. I know you well enough to know that you've already done that in your mind and now you're looking for the validation (at least subconsciously) of your decision. You've lived with so much pain, for so long, that if the surgery would relieve some of it, no one would blame you for wanting it done and wanting it done now!! Whatever you decide, we'll be standing right there beside you for support and encouragement. Love 'ya, Lisa
A surgery "works" if you and only you feel better. No matter what happens to others it is you that counts. Your body is unique as is your pain and your healing.
Each day is your day. It is your special day, never to be repeated or done again. Enjoy your results and keep going. A lot is learned from what you experience. Things change over time. Never know what new solutions will arrive. Or What long term healing may provide. Stay strong. Keep the laughter going, I need some today. Thanks, Karen
Hi Lara, my 2 lumbar spinal surgeries didn't help, just caused a lot more problems due to a bone infection and repercussions of cutting through all that muscle, as they did surgery through the front first, the back second - so lots of muscle cut through and scar tissue, adhesions, etc. My neck fusion went well and helped a lot for about 10 years. Now, not so much. My torn rotator cuff in my shoulder was SO hard to recuperate from but it rarely bothers me now. Both carpal tunnel surgeries helped a lot! I've had some others that weren't spine/nerve related so won't bore you with those! I used a lot of breakthrough pain meds during my surgeries (I'm a wimp) and still take a lot of opiates even now. I've heard with fibro you need to supplement often with magnesium after surgery. Favorite color is Red. Best of luck to you! ElizaJane
if I had it to do over, I would not have the surgery. I have a plate in my neck and I still have to turn my body when talking with people. what they didn't tell me before is... when you have this kind of surgery, all the other disc' in your neck take on all the work that the ones that are fused are supposed to do. so, not only do I still have the pain from the fused disc, but also have pain in the other ones now too because they are working over-time... I have been like this since 2005... good luck
I had 2 procedures on Feb 13. I'm glad I had that Trigger finger procedure because that was fixed instantaneously. Verdict is still out on the CTS procedure, as I still have a numb thumbtip and fingertips, and some nerve pain in the digits (maybe it will take time to completely resolve?). I am still on gabapentin (reduced the daily dosage by 900 mg). Waiting for the palm pain to go away. It is worse when I do somethings than others. The surgeon thinks I should be off the Norco by now. *ppdftt* I returned to work in 10 days. I also have DDD. One in the lumbar region has been a bear lately.
The 3rd surgery was worth it, the first two was to fix what the first doctor did. That was in my mid 20's. Now I suffer because I had surgery in the first place. At the time I was concerned about working and a normal life. Now it's all I can do to make it through the day. Thank GOD I'm able to live, even if I have to be on medicine.
You said ANY surgery so... I had surgery about 3 months ago and am in more pain now than before. My endometriosis grows like wild flowers and binds my organs together. My colon and bladder have been bound to.other organs so it's pretty pain ful. I was on pain meds before but am now on even more and higher dosage. I'm only 23 with two kids and now I'm physically addicted to the meds they put me on. I don't use them to get high and want off them but the pain is so unbearable . Depression has kicked in bc of being in pain every day and now being physically addicted . Thanks for listening u guys. Hope every one feels better.
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