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MIS TLIF, normal recovery pain 3 weeks post-op?

Hi to all those recovering,
I am writing to inquire if anyone has had sore throbbing muscles around the surgical site. I had a MIS TLIF (L5-S1 region, one level with bone graft+Z plate) on 5/27. I stayed in the hospital for 4 nights prior to going home due to pain control.
I am not sure if I am just sensitive with the recovery process? From 6/5-6/10 I was taking 1 Percocet (5/325) every 4 hrs with valium (5 mg 1-2 per day). I've worked myself down to around 3 Percocet per day with extra strength Tylenol ( 3 pills per day, 500 mg, don't want to take more than 3000 mg of tylenol), started this routine on 6/12. I am still in quite of bit of pain, since reducing my meds I've been getting less sleep due to the discomfort (5hrs of sleep per night). I am on valium but try to avoid taking it during the day because it makes me lethargic.
My neurosurgery service wants me to transition to just the extra strength Tylenol if possible. My Percocet script runs out in 2 days.
Has anyone delt with this after surgery. I am only 3 weeks post-op ;/


  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,241
    I'm sorry, I have not experienced what you are going through.

    But I wanted to remind you of the __search__on this site.
    If you type in your concerns, you may learn more about others experiences and also there may be videos re your surgery.
    A little info may lead you to have more questions for doctor, to help him better understand your pain.

    Please tell doctor all your symptoms including that you are not sleeping well.
    When I am sleep deprived my pain feels magnified, making my situation even worse.

    Wishing you the best in your recovery. Please keep us posted!
    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • I had an L4 - S1 (2 level) ALIF with PLIF surgery on the same day you had your surgery. I have a running post under the Neck and Back Surgery post titled L4, L5, S1 Fusion Coming Soon.

    I have a lot of muscle spasms around the back incisions. I am thinking that is what you are meaning by "throbbing". I was off the Percocet script before the end of the first week home and I went back to my regular prescribed medicines that I was on pre-surgery, minus any anti inflammatory scripts. I was taking the Percocet every 4 hours like clock work because they simply weren't working well at all. I was with pain management prior to the surgery, and the very next day that I switched back to my normal meds, I was back on track only taking them every 6 hours. I really didn't have any success with the Percocet and I was glad when I was told I could switch back to my other meds.

    You really shouldn't be on Percocet this long after surgery and the valium isn't for muscle spasms. I would suggest that you ask your surgeon for a muscle relaxer and maybe something other than Percocet for break through pain. The muscle relaxer would help with your muscle spasms and probably allow you to get some sleep.

    I hope everything works out well for you and that you get some relief (and some sleep).
    Sept 11, 2009 L4/L5 Microdiscectomy
    April 12, 2013 C6/C7 ACDF
    May 27, 2015 L4/L5 ALIF with PLIF
    Too many cervical and lumbar injections to list, including RF Ablation C3-C6 on the right and left.
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