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Jonny
21st July 2004, 08:12 PM
I've got some stories to tell about this and I want to open a thread up for discussion.
just as some suggestions:
What do you take for pain relief, should you need to? What did they give you in hospital? How did you react to it? Was it easy to get them to give it to you?

My PCA didn't really work - I had to press it constantly for an hour and by then it would have accumulated enough in me to numb the pain a little and make me feel sick and drowsy, but it was certainly not instant. Tramadol did absolutely nothing. Voltarol worked very well but gave me horrid, horrid heartburn. Dihydrocodeine just made me feel sick. Eventually, after the second stage, they got a pain nurse in who put me on Oxynorm and I was forever indebted to her because it was WONDERFUL. It worked quickly and I had no side effects, but it was a controlled drug and SUCH an effort to get them to give it to me.

Sour moment in HDU after the posterior+thoracoplasty:

"What's your pain score?"
"Seven..."
"Don't be silly. I've seen children crying at three and four."
Thankfully my mum gave her an ear'ole and saved me as I was in no fit state to complain, having barely come round. Anya, her name was, an HDU nurse in Stanmore. Avoid her like the plague.

They sent me home on paracetamol and ibuprofen, which I'm not sure is adequate, at least judging by the fact that this hurts right now.

What's everyone else's stories?

BlueIce
21st July 2004, 08:31 PM
I think my PCA worked, but there was one night (i don't remember which one, probably the second or third after surgery) that I've spent the night pressing the button and ended up vomitting in the morning... The nurses said that it was probably the PCA that made me vomit so that day i hardly pressed the stupid button because there's more fun things than vomitting while you can't move, I'm sure you can imagine...
I think it was thursday or friday that they removed my PCA (surgery on monday) and then gave me 2 dafalgan 500 at morning, noon and evening. I was complaining about pain in between those times so i got two contramal's to use between the dafalgan. I reached the point where i can get through the day with one dafalgan (1000, so basically the same as what they gave me in the hospital) in the morning, after three weeks and a day.

So as you can see, not really much complaints. One of the anaesthetic people wasn't very nice though. He didn't mean to be that way, but his humor wasn't so funny to me. One time he stood there blaming me because apparantly i refused to move my feet when they woke me up during surgery. I mean, it's not like i meant to do that, and when you're lying there feeling quite miserable, that's not the kind of conversation you want to have. Luckily i didn't see that guy again after thursday :-)

Joy
21st July 2004, 08:36 PM
Yes, waking up is not pleasant at all. I was in SO MUCH pain after the posterior surgery. It's the only time I can remeber crying due to pain in the last few years.

The morphine didn't work for you? I was by no means pain-free but it definatly dulled it quite a bit. Made me really sleepy though, I could barely talk to my visitors! I went in on friday both times and they took it out on monday and sunday, I belive. I went home on tylenol 3. That's what they gave my friend when she had a bad ear-ache. Don't worry, the pain gets better really quickly. No med can comletetly eliminate it, but if you are in a lot of pain, phone the doctor and see if there's something they can do. The wouldn't let me take ibuprofen for a while after my surgery. Something to do with ansethetic...

Glad you're back and hope you feel better real soon. Don't overdo it!

Liv
21st July 2004, 08:43 PM
I was in a lot of pain when I was in the hospital, and no PCA pump! At home I took ibuprofen and paracetamol with codein. Pretty strong, but I loved that stuff! I don't know what else you can take to ease the pain, Jonny. Just lay down whenever it's getting too much for you and be patient... :hug:

Blair
21st July 2004, 10:47 PM
I was just miserable when I woke up after my surgery. I think I was crying pretty well, though I'm a little foggy on it at this point.

The PCA (morphine) worked well for me. I was also given either valium or vicodin (I forget which one because I was on both in the hospital) for muscle spasam on top of the PCA.
When they took my PCA away, I was continued on the valium or vicodin and they added either the valium or vicodin....

They gave me prescriptions for valium and vicodin when I went home, which I discontinued after about a week and a half because I was having very intense mood swings (bright and happy one second, and just unconsollable the next), chills and sweats, and they made my stomach feel pretty yucky.

My family doc wrote me a prescription for codine, which I took a few of, and then opted to just go with my usual 800 mg Ibuprofens, adding in Flexeril (a muscle relaxer), and I've been on Ibuprofen and Flexeril ever since...

I agree- at this point in the game, the best bet is to just lay down a lot. Use as many pilliows as you want. The surgery was great for me- I'm a total pillow hog- and now I really HAD an excuse to have a zillion pillows... ;-)
Normal furniture (aside from my bed) was uncomfortable for my back, so we ended up hauling in one of my grandparent's lawn chairs. That was comfy. I didn't sit without a pillow behind my back for probably the first week I was home....

Kayla
21st July 2004, 10:55 PM
I didnt like the PCA pump I didnt get it after my fusion but I had it with another surgery so they always just inject me with the higher dose of morphine every 4 hours

the meds they put you on paracetamol and ibuprofen all that is is just tylenol and motrin I would think they would give you something stronger codeine, vicadon, valium I dont know its just a surgery as intense as that tylenol and motrin wouldnt help me

Vicki
21st July 2004, 10:56 PM
I'm starting to think I'm unusual in that I haven't had any pain medication of any kind except for the morphine in the HDU after my surgery. I was off it when I was back on the ward, and to my recollection didn't have any other painkiller whilst I was in hospital. I don't actually remember much pain, I think I was totally doped up at the time, all I remember of being in the post-op ward is eating vast amounts of ice, and disturbing one of the nurses by crunching it with my teeth.

Now I just take solpadeine occasionally, but usually that's only if I have a headache or something, I have a tendency to just ignore back pain. I'm not sure whether that's a healthy thing or not really..

lindzi_11
22nd July 2004, 03:08 AM
I havent had the surgeory yet lol. . aw theres pain involved and lots of it!? :cry:

jfkimberly
22nd July 2004, 04:26 AM
Umm... for post-surgery people, I'd really like to know...

Could you please each post about your pain levels before and after surgery. Something like, "Before surgery, I had chronic mild pain in my neck and left shoulder area. At x months/years after surgery, I have occasional pain in the same areas, but now it's worse/not as bad as it was before."

Kind of a compare/contrast of your pre- and post-op pain. Please.

subey
22nd July 2004, 08:55 AM
I'll start off by saying i only had the PCA for the first 4 or 5 days in hospital...i think 5. After that i just had paracetamol (panadol)...not strong stuff...just the buy in a supermarket stuff. so yeah...fair bit of pain there


to answer the other question

before my surgery was getting pain most everyday but had nerve pain sometimes when i would bend over etc. after surgery have pain everyday, nerve pain is gone but the muscle and bone pain is worse

thats an honest answer and i know pretty much for a fact that there is nothing medically wrong with my back...nohting that can be fixed anyway

sins
22nd July 2004, 09:22 AM
I think those of us who had older type surgeries didn't have much pain at all.I had morphine injections for the first two days and then took distalgesics for another two and that was pretty much it.I was very comfortable and had no pain really.Then again we probably didn't have our rib cages rearranged or screws drilled into the bones and we were encased in plaster of paris jackets after being kept immobile for 2/3 weeks.
All I can say is I feel the pain will be worth going through as you'll have a much better result and longterm less problems.If the pain doesn't improve by next wek Jonny contact your GP or your ward at the Hospital and ask for advice.I've heard reports that taking Non steroidal antiinflammatories after surgery can interfere with the rate of fusion so don't self medicate.Be guided by your doctors at all times.
If your discomfort is very bad,have it reviewed.

Sins

floralgypsy
22nd July 2004, 11:24 AM
I didn't have very much pain in my back at all, after surgery. The majority of my pain was around the front of my ribcage and I was told that this was a mixture of pain resulting from having been sliced through the muscles in my chest wall and the costoplasty. I was allergic to the PCA, so after many attempts of giving me anti-sickness tablets, they decided to remove morphine completely and give me codeine and paracetamol. This didn't work too brilliant especially when the doctor said 10 days later that my body was "waif-like" to be having such powerful drugs. From that point on I had diclofenac and paracetamol. I followed this routine for about three weeks after I came home and then the pain sort of vanished. I was still quite stiff but I preferred not to take the medication because I am not fond of feeling like a walking pharmacy.

Pre-surgery I used to experience pain when I went to bed. I would get bad backache when I led on my side and also if I had done something that required physical energy such as dancing. After surgery I very rarely get any pain with my back. On odd occasions I may get some back ache when driving for long distances, but this is usually helped with some ibuprofen. I wouldn't look back =)

Marti
22nd July 2004, 04:31 PM
In the hospital I had a PCA with morphine. It worked very well. They took that out on day five. Then they werre supposed to give me tylenol with codeine, but the nurse decided to just give me regular tylenol because I was doing so well. the thing is, regular tylenol doesn't do anything for me. So after having my pain at 3 or less all week (basically), my pain was suddenly at a nine. Boy was that painful. Then I went home with tylenol with codein and it worked pretty well. I think tylenol with codeine is the medicine my doctor likes best, becuase any time I have pain he prescribes that.

to answer Kimberly's question: before surgery I didn't really have any pain at all. Now, a year after surgery, I have a bit more pain, but I still don't really have much.

and jonny, definitely take advantage of pillows. They are your friends.

Joy
22nd July 2004, 06:06 PM
My pain levels now are less then they were before surgery, but it's a different type of pain. Before surgery my whole back was sore and now it's more my shoulders and neck which are cramped and painful and pain running in streaks around my neck. My surgery was 18 months ago. It was totally worth all of the post-op pain and the stress of surgery though, my back just feels better even if the pain is about the same.

sins
22nd July 2004, 06:13 PM
It's amazing how many of us have painful necks after surgery Joy.
My neck pain started a year after fusion......maybe it's something to do with being fused up so high.I saw several doctors about it and never did anyone suggest it was related to having scoliosis.Good news though is that it comes and goes and usually settles after a short while.21 years later it bugs me on and off but like Vicki I just tend to ignore it mostly.
How's the body feeling today Jonny?
Sins

Kayla
22nd July 2004, 07:07 PM
I didnt have any pain before the surgery concerning the scoliosis but I was in stage where my headaches were gettin really bad but we couldnt do anything about it because I had to go throught with the fusion we had put it off too long already so we waited after after surgery and my headaches decreased a little but then came back ummm a few months after surgery

lucinda
22nd July 2004, 07:22 PM
Jonny - in both of my spine surgeries I had a PCA which worked fine for me. To begin with, I was reeeeally nauseous from it, but since I had such a good experience pain relief wise with it in my neurosurgery for the Chiari, they decided to prescribe anti-nauseous meds (Stematil, I think - unsure of spelling!) and keep me on the morphine. I think they took the PCA away on the sixth day in the first spine surgery, and then the eighth day in the second. After they took that away I was on paracetamol, codeine and Tramadol; the Tramadol which my body loved! By the time I was at home, I was on paracetamol and codeine and only took Tramadol when I couldn't sleep or when the pain was extra bad. Oh and, can I just reiterate what Marti said here .. pillows are your friend! Have an open relationship with many many pillows and you will be a happy thing!

Kimberly - I had pain before surgery but it was more a sense of discomfort than pain, and mainly problems with muscles and a feeling of being unbalanced. After surgery (December of 2001) I do have pain .. but it is hard to differentiate between which pain would be due to that, and which is from other conditions. For example, the Chiari can severely mess around with my head and neck and shoulders, but as you would have just read above, so can the surgery .. Also, when it is cold I get really bad pain in my bones, particularly my right shoulder blade and my rib cage. Other pain in my back I've learnt to ignore like Sins and Vicki.

The thing is, it's only really unbearable if I don't look after myself - ie, if I don't get enough sleep, drive for too long without a break, sit in a class at Uni for too long, skip my meds, go out to a bar and sit on a stool as opposed to something with a back .. that sort of thing. When it does get unbearable I just lock myself away for a little bit and sleep it off before hitting the meds, and it turns out just fine. I won't lie to you, it was a horrible experience, but I don't regret the surgery at all. :oops:

lucinda
22nd July 2004, 07:35 PM
Originally posted by sins@Jul 22 2004, 08:22 AM
I've heard reports that taking Non steroidal antiinflammatories after surgery can interfere with the rate of fusion so don't self medicate. Be guided by your doctors at all times.
If your discomfort is very bad, have it reviewed.

Yes, I was told by the pain management team on my ward and also by my surgeon to stay away from ibuprofen (which falls into that category of nsaids, right? I'm a little sleepily muddled right now .. :yawn: ) for six months after surgery as it would slow the rate of fusion.

Jonny
22nd July 2004, 09:11 PM
Thanks for advice - um, keep talking as this thread was meant to be more a general discussion than an I-need-help, but thanks anyway. Will try to get to the GP tomorrow morning as this is pretty unbearable right now. Hope there's a good outcome and he sends me home with codeine or something.

jfkimberly
23rd July 2004, 12:41 AM
Thanks everybody for telling me about your experience... To summarize, what I am hearing from you guys is 'Yes, it hurts, but it's worth it.' Some of you, like me, didn't even have [much] pain at all before surgery, and I'm still hearing from you that it's worth it. So I feel better about trying to do this. Thank you so much. I think I asked about pain out of nervousness... my ortho appointment is tomorrow. *grin*

lucinda
23rd July 2004, 03:16 AM
Yay a Kimberly grin!

Jonny, to keep the discussion going .. has anybody here tried pain relief in a gel form? As in, it comes in a tube and you rub the gel onto the area where you are in pain? I saw it in the pharmacy today when I was getting a prescription filled and wondered if any of you had tried it .. and if it worked! As it was a touch exspensive for such a tiny tube!

titch
23rd July 2004, 11:28 AM
There is definitely a link between some NSAIDs and poorer rates of fusion, however, the impression given to me by QMC, and which seems to be borne out by the fact that Stanmore also prescribe diclofenac, is that in the initial stages, it's actually more important to get adequate pain relief, and that reducing inflammation is a good way to do this.

I *think* it's long term use of them that is problematic - so the first month or so doesn't entirely count. I did actually try to ask about this when I was in QMC after revision, and was just reassured that it didn't matter at the amount I was taking and how long for.

Lu, I get some relief from ibuprofen gels, and have yet to try voltarol (diclofenac) gel. What I find the most use is Deep Relief, which is an ibuprofen gel with menthol - the burn from that is just wonderful :D It's excellent for putting on my neck just before going to bed. It even helps on my lower back, where the nerves haven't entirely recovered so I don't really feel the burn, so I wonder if the menthol helps penetration of the ibuprofen. Not cheap stuff though - a 50g tube costs 4.99, so it's just as well you don't need to use much of it!

Jonny
23rd July 2004, 12:37 PM
I have some of that right here and at some point when I'm feeling up to it I'm going to get it slathered on my back muscles and see what happens.

GP appointment successful - it's so nice to be taken seriously! - and he first suggested diclofenac to replace my ibuprofen, but I told him about the heartburn, and he gave me co-codamol to replace the paracetamol instead. Hope it works.

tonibunny
23rd July 2004, 12:58 PM
I bought some Deep Relief cos Titch recommended it, and I totally agree with her - it's magical stuff!! :) Like a lot of people here, I have trouble with my neck muscles going into spasm, and Pikey's suggestion of using ice didn't work for me. I find that a good hot bath followed by application of Deep Relief gel just before bed works wonders :D

mark
23rd July 2004, 01:53 PM
Justine was given Diflafenac tablets as she left hospital for pain relief from the section she had

Did'nt know it was an antiinflamatory as well but thinking about it, it seems the right course of pain relief as there is a large swelling and bruising around the stitches

BlueIce
24th July 2004, 10:51 AM
I don't like dicloflenac.. I used it for a while but it would always upset my stomach and it didn't relief the pain so i switched to mesulid. (that was pre op)

Jonny
24th July 2004, 11:11 PM
Settled with co-codamol and it's definitely making a difference - I'm far from pain-free but feeling a lot more human.

BarmyArmy
24th July 2004, 11:44 PM
I'm glad that you're able to get something to help reduce the pain Jonny.

Obviously my type of back pain will be nowhere near the type you're having after surgery Jonny but I take Tylex painkillers(and have for 10 years) and recently started taking Methacarbamol(sp) as well to help with the muscle spasms. The Methathingies are the third type of pills I've tried and they are finally helping me. I was on Tramadol but it was making me really dizzy and a bit scatty(so I'm avoiding them like the plague), I then tried Diclofenac but it wasn't strong enough. My GP was tempted to prescribe Diazepam but was worried about long term effects.

I was working all day today and have had a lovely mixture of painkillers and muscle relaxant pills so I'm a bit fuzzy at the mo :hunny:

Blair
26th July 2004, 04:55 AM
Well, this stuff definitely isn't for post op pain.... But I thought I would include it.

Tonight my shoulders were really tight and miserable in spite of taking my meds. So I stopped at the drugstore and picked up this rub called Theragesic. I think I may be in love... LOL. It works well, but my skin isn't getting irritated from it like it has in the past for other rubs.... I also am using it on my knees, shins, and ankles.....
I smell very minty!

jfkimberly
26th July 2004, 05:24 AM
I tried IcyHot for some pain in my shoulder last summer. I don't know if it worked, but I smelled minty fresh.

Kayla
26th July 2004, 07:39 AM
I swear they put that stuff in Altoids!!! thats what it smells like to me lol I lvoe Icy Hot we but it all the time at Costco where its bigger bottles :-)

Blair
26th July 2004, 05:01 PM
LOL! I think you may be right Kayla. Altoids are hot little snorters, that's for sure.

I just got back from my family doctor... It figures- my shoulder muscles were really knotted up for THIS appointment. Why couldn't it have happened at my surgeon's appointment instead???? Could have saved myself some money taht way. Anyway, hee agreed that I should try to discontinue my Flexeril since I've been on it a LOOOOONG time. He prescribed me:
Two muscle relaxers Methocarbamol and Diazepam (aka Valium) to use when needed.
Two pain meds: Propex Compound and Apap & codiene
Those are all just to use if I'm having a lot of trouble with the spasams, and to just continue using the Ibuprofen 800's as needed.

He wants me to tinker around with different combinations of meds to see what will work best for me. I know the diazepam was pretty effective following my surgery, but I'm not sure it's something I want to do long term... But if it works, I guess I will...

He also said that he was going to prescribe getting a really good 5-gaited Saddlebred (their gaits are SOOOOOO smooth) and that he'd give that order to my grandfather. LOL

Kayla
26th July 2004, 06:28 PM
oOo I like valium lol (im not a druggie I only had it like twice in the hospital)

Jonny
26th July 2004, 06:48 PM
Been getting my back slathered in Deep Relief, each side of my dressing, and although it's weird having it put on seeing as everything's numb or super-sensitive, it does work, even if only for an hour or so.

Pikey
26th July 2004, 08:15 PM
when i came home I had Codeine and aspirin and I could also have Ibuprofen as well .That seemed to work .

Marti
27th July 2004, 01:52 AM
I tried one of those rubs once because my foot was really messed up for awhile. But the stuff didn't work for me. It was supposed to help your muscles relax and feel hot, but my feet were really cold and I couldn't get them warm. I had about five pairs of socks on and my feet still felt like ice! it was actually pretty funny...

Kayla
27th July 2004, 04:39 AM
its actually hot on contact and then it gets cold

Kayla
28th July 2004, 03:14 AM
wait no I have that wrong its cold on contact then hot oops

Carly
28th July 2004, 03:43 AM
Confusing.....

Jonny
17th October 2004, 04:50 PM
Originally posted by Jonny@Jul 21 2004, 08:12 PM
Sour moment in HDU after the posterior+thoracoplasty:

"What's your pain score?"
"Seven..."
"Don't be silly. I've seen children crying at three and four."
(my mum has a go at her, me too drugged-up to be able to answer her)
In fact it was the worst pain I had ever experienced, so deserved a 10.
We put in a complaint about this intensive care nurse, Anja, and just had a reply from the hospital - quote:

With regard to your concerns about the way in which Staff Nurse Anja Szkodowski treated Jonathan in respect to his pain scale, she reports that for the period in which she looked after Jonathan, he used a 'Patient Controlled Morphine Analgesia' (PCA). To minimuse the pain she has advised that she encouraged him to use the PCA button, which he was in charge of. On an hourly basis she checked the amount of morphine he was using and asked him what degree of pain he was in.

You have stated in your letter that Jonathan was given a scale of 1-10 to describe his pain. On the Alan Bray Intensive Care unit they use a pain scale of 0-3. Jonathan at this time self-administered a large amount of morphine and it was considered that he was in a great deal of pain. To achieve comfort for him, Staff Nurse Szkodowski advised that she also gave him Paracetamol - 1g on a regular basis, as prescribed. He was also prescribed Diclofenac, which was administered twice a day. As Jonathan had already received his first dose of Diclofenac during the operation he could not be given his next dose until 22:00 that day as per pharmacy regulations.

Staff Nurse Szkodowski is very sorry that you feel that she did not fulfil her duty to Jonathan during his stay on the ward. She does recollect having a conversation with Jonathan when he stated that his pain score was 3 (highest score). She asked him to be sure he understood the significance of saying his pain was extreme. Staff Nurse Szkodowski advises that she never intended at any time to cause distress of accuse Jonathan of lying or exaggerating and she can only apologise if her comments were interpreted this way.

We do believe that this nurse behaved in a professional manner and all actions that were undertaken were to provide Jonathan with the best possible care. Staff Nurse Szkodowski apologises if there was any misnderstanding with your family and does welcome the opportunity to re-evaluate her care to ensure breakdowns of communication do not occur in the future.


They asked me for a score from 1-10, as they had been doing for the past week. I told her 7. I actually meant 10. She said 'children' were crying on 3 and 4. She told me that I couldn't have been in that much pain. I was too helpless to answer.

What a load of rubbish - Anja desperately covering her behind.

Becky
17th October 2004, 04:58 PM
If they were crying and in bad pain, then shouldnt they of said 10???

Only you know how bad your pain was and she should have listend to you.

Becs x x

Marti
17th October 2004, 05:16 PM
BS! That is such a load of crap. it makes me mad!!! I say we all go down and give them some good whacks.

Jonny
17th October 2004, 05:43 PM
Becky, yeah, she's screwed up. Marti let's just give her a good thwack
SSO---> :twak: <---Anja
because the rest of the nurses were wonderful and supportive :-)

BarmyArmy
17th October 2004, 07:06 PM
Well let's hope I never meet this Anja or there may be some :hammer: going on.

Some people just give the medical profession a bad name *shakes head in disgust*

tonibunny
17th October 2004, 07:42 PM
I'm sure Anya would have got a slap on the wrist anyway, even if it didn't say so in the letter, so at least you can be sure she will think twice before belittling a patient's pain again Jonny!!!!

Kayla
17th October 2004, 09:23 PM
thats why I never answer on the pain scale and they get mad at me but how are we supposed to rate our pain? and how are they supposed to know how it feels? I hate the pain scale

Blair
18th October 2004, 01:15 AM
I agree! I don't like the pain scale either.
How the heck do I know just how bad I should feel if the pain is a 10? What's a 5?
Another thing is that I can have what I consider to be in fairly severe pain and not have it stop me from doing my day to day activities...
I remember being in bed after my surgery with my GI tract pretty much completely shut down, in absolute agony (chilled to the bone in spite of a heap of blankets, nauseous, and truly wishing to be dead) and telling the nurses that my pain was a 6. How can you really know just how much worse you can possibly feel?

Marti
18th October 2004, 02:08 AM
Exactly. because 10 is supposed to be the worst pain you've ever felt. But what if you feel worse the next day? is that an 11 then? Also, I was saying my pain was about a 2 sometimes in the hospital. But it's all relative. Because if I stub my toe, that pain right then could be a 5. But it wouldn't really be worse than the pain in the hospital, just more instantaneous. If that makes any sense.

Kayla
18th October 2004, 04:11 AM
also if you really hurt and you give a random number just because how are you really supposed to rate your pain so ex you give them a five but you hurt a lot then they think oh well your not in that much pain and think you want the pain meds just to have them not that your really in pain

Becky
18th October 2004, 09:23 PM
and anyway......little kids are most likely to cry, they will cry at a paper cut! and they probally didnt even think about the number and just said anything.

Amazed Jean
18th October 2004, 11:57 PM
Isn't it amazing that they expect us to rate our pain on some scale? I'm always tempted to say get me some heavy and sharp objects and you stand right here and let me show you how I feel. (Evil aren't I ?) In reality I a'm still blown away by the fact that way back in 1965,66,67 etc. I sat there with my mouth shut when the doctors said it doesn't hurt her. I guess that its good that the particular doctor is dead now. (Oh, I'm sure he was in no pain.)

Kayla
19th October 2004, 02:33 AM
Or hit them with the shovel and ask them to rate their pain

Jonny
3rd March 2005, 10:05 PM
I hope this is the last time I have to resurrect this thread...

but when I go in I will probably be offered a choice between a morphine PCA and an epidural. The epidural may also be patient-controlled or a continuous infusion, I'm not sure.

I chose the PCA last time. The anterior fusion was never unbearable, just uncomfortable, with the PCA not providing immediate relief but just numbing everything over time.
But the posterior fusion and thoracoplasty was the most pain I've ever been in in my life, and the PCA didn't help at all until I'd been pressing the button continuously for an hour. After that, enough accumulated in my system for me to feel sick and be able to go to sleep.

Question is, if I get offered the choice again, which do I go for? I know the PCA didn't really work properly, but the surgery won't be anywhere near as painful. I could go for an epidural, but then there's the risk of a dural leak and stuff... and I know I can tolerate morphine fine, even if it doesn't work too well.

By the way, has anyone else had epidural anaesthesia for anything other than childbirth?

Advice please.

tonibunny
3rd March 2005, 10:23 PM
Hi Jonny, in my opinion the costoplasty is by far the most painful procedure you can have.....hopefully the fact that you don't have to have that redone will be of some reassurance to you! There was a girl in the bed next door to me when I had my surgeries at 18, she'd been given an epidural after her fusion and said that she couldn't feel a thing - no pain or anything.

Jonny
4th March 2005, 01:35 AM
Ooh, sounds promising. Another thing: I am NOT going to let them send me home on ibuprofen and paracetamol again :evil: they even wrote diclofenac on the discharge prescription, but crossed it out!

I went to the GP afterwards and he put me on co-codamol 8s which were still nowhere near enough. This time (especially as I want and need to get back to school ASAP afterwards) I will make sure they give me either co-codamol 30s, co-dydramol 10s or diclofenac.

Blair
4th March 2005, 07:20 AM
Well, everybody is different... I managed very well with my posterior fusion with the PCA... I think you'll probably do a lot better since this won't be as big a surgery as the last one.... If the one is innefective, can you be switched to the other?
I just can't imagine doing an epidural, personally... stickin stuff in your spine.... *shudder* (LOL... as if I don't have lots of stuff stuck in my spine anyway... I guess it's a little silly on my part, eh?)

And definitely kick their butts if they send you home on ibuprofen again! I wasn't down to ibuprofen until 2 or 3 weeks back at home.... It just kind of seems to be cruel and unusual punishment to me!

sins
4th March 2005, 02:26 PM
I think Abbi has some info on epidural anaesthesia from someone on spinekids.

Phil
9th March 2005, 05:41 PM
One of my good friends is a hospital pharmisist. I spoke with him last night and in his opinion PCA morphine backed up be codine if needed is best. Also, only a really specialist nurse or Dr can deal with epidurals, so if you have a problem at night you may find it hard going getting something done, apparently junior Drs like to keep away from them.

However he did say the epidural is more effective, it kinda nums the body down from the point its put in. But you still have sensation or something.

Anyway, that was probably little help or made little sense, but if you require any drug help or info, he will give me the info.

Abbi
9th March 2005, 08:02 PM
Originally posted by sins@Mar 4 2005, 02:26 PM
I think Abbi has some info on epidural anaesthesia from someone on spinekids.
do I? :-? maybe I do.....I will have a little look! I am being offered an epdurial......my surgeon says I will be very comfortable for the first three days......but there are risks involved! I'm not sure what one to go for....but I have a long time to think about it!

I hope that you can get the best and better pain relief this time round Jonny!

BlueIce
9th March 2005, 09:17 PM
I *think* they gave me an epidural just before surgery. I had to turn on my side and they put a needle between my spine.. I just let them, I was calm and a bit fussy because of the medicin they had given me. I had a PCA too. I have definatly felt the difference once it had worn out, which was around wednesday (surgery was on monday). Tuesday, when I was back to my senses, wasn't as bad as wednesday, when I had much more pain and started feeling really miserable. Could have had something to do with the general aneasthesia too though, not quite sure... I'll ask my doc if I had an epidural when I see him again (at the end of this month), although it'll be too late for you, it might be usefull for some others in the future

Abbi
10th March 2005, 02:36 PM
what?! so like while u were awake they put the epidural stuff.....hmm....I thought they did it during or like after the op.....eek wasnt it sore??

Sarahs Mum aka Chrissy
10th March 2005, 03:33 PM
Originally posted by tonibunny@Mar 3 2005, 10:23 PM
Hi Jonny, in my opinion the costoplasty is by far the most painful procedure you can have.....
Sorry - I don't want to intrude on your parade Jonny,
but it's something I need to think about when Sarah goes in to have her posterior and costoplasty op.
Was it very painful Toni? She is only 12 and the surgeon said he will do both operations. Obviously he knows best, but I don't like the sound of it at alll.
I know the results in the end will probably be worth it, but I hate to think We're putting her through so much pain!.

tonibunny
10th March 2005, 08:15 PM
Hi Chrissy,

I had a costoplasty along with my first fusion (thoracic) when I was ten and I breezed through those surgeries, with no real problems with pain. I then had another one done with my lumbar fusion at 18, and had a lot more pain. I had my final costoplasty at 26 and had tons of pain. It really seems to me that the older you are, the harder the pain gets......I can't promise that it'll be easy for Sarah, but it'll be good for her to have it done and out of the way.

BTW it is very rare to need more than one costoplasty. I don't know anyone else whose ribs continued to curve following thoracic fusion! So please dont let that worry you.

jfkimberly
11th March 2005, 03:40 AM
My ribs continued to curve following thoracic fusion (done when I was an infant/toddler), but I wasn't a candidate for costoplasty due to insufficient lung capacity.

Thaleias spirit
16th March 2005, 09:36 PM
I've only ever taken either paracetamol for pain relief or on a bad day Distalgesic.
(and that would only happen maybe once every 6 weeks)

However lately, especially the past week, the pain has gotten to chronic levels .. some days it felt like somebody was crushing the lumbar area of my spine ... I felt like I was being twisted in different directions and I couldnt sit for long, couldnt stand for long, lie, walk etc etc ..

So I rang my doctor and explained that I was getting no relief from the pain and I was taking meds on a very regular basis - as in every 8 hours (which is very unusal for me.)

So she prescribed Difene 75mg (Dual Release Diclofenac Sodium) for inflamation and I've to take those for two weeks. She also prescribed Tramake 50mg (Tramadol Hydrocloride) fo pain relief.

I've noticed the Tramadol made me feel slightly drowsy a while ago but to be honest, I'd prefer that to the pain I was in. :yawn:

Jonny
16th March 2005, 11:34 PM
If you're usually on paracetamol I could see diclofenac and tramadol being nice and effective Chele. :yawn:

Thanks for advice guys. From what you've said I think I'll go for epidural if I'm offered, but I will ask the anaesthetist for advice.

Jonny
31st March 2005, 06:42 PM
The anaesthetist came and I grabbed him by the ankles and asked for an epidural before he had a chance to offer! The problem was that it was a high fusion (to T1) and there was a very good chance he would have trouble getting the cannula in above that. He said he'd try, but if not then I'd wake up with a morphine PCA machine. I woke up with the PCA machine.

It worked better than last time, giving me nice pain relief every time I pressed it (although not instantly like I have been led to believe it should be).

I also insisted that the anaesthetist prescribe me Oxynorm (oxycodone) to move from morphine onto. I moved onto it and it worked just as well as I remembered it did last time. From there onto DF118 (dihydrocodeine 30mg) which I stayed on for the last few days and was sent home on. It works, surprisingly, after last time it didn't but made me feel sick!

I'm in such low levels of pain now that I'm onto about four co-dydramol 10s a day, and I'm going to see if I can stop altogether in the next day or two!