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Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board


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A lot of the fatigue is from the anesthesia they use for spine surgery. It is extremely deep(don't want to to move even a millimeter) and as a result, it leaves you with a lot of fatigue. I thought at first it must be blood loss or something of that kind but everyone has the same problem and the only thing we have in common is the very deep anesthesia so that must be it. ACDF's have very little blood loss and my first surgery didn't either but my second did but that still can't be it. But anesthesia for spines is like no other I've ever had and I've had over 30 surgeries. I wasn't as fatigued with double knee replacements as I was after the spine.

I've read that it can take your liver a full year to recover after anesthesia and I bet it's even longer after spine surgery. Just tell your boss that it will take time for all the anesthesia to get out of your system.

I don't even remember waking up after either spine surgeries and yet I do remember quite clearly all of my others. That is deep!

Blame it on the anesthesia!

hugs.........Jenny
You know, I remember being told as I was going in for my ACDF that they would deliberately keep the anesthesia light as they needed me to respond to commands during the procedure. In fact, I remember being introduced to a doctor in the pre-induction room who told me his entire job was to monitor the health of my spinal cord during the surgery. He told me he would continually be watching my reflexes and would be asking me to wiggle my toes and fingers during the operation to ensure no damage was being done to the spinal cord.

Anesthesia is actually comprised of the careful dosing of several drugs at once. One of the drugs in the mix is a drug that makes the patient forget anything that happened during the surgery. If they keep the anesthesia light to allow the patient to respond to commands during the procedure, it would not surprise me at all to hear that after the procedure was finished they might give a larger than typical dose of the memory impairing drug. No one wants memories of events in the OR when they are the patient themselves! :(

People can be tired out after surgery for a prolonged period of time due to several reasons. Even just a few days of bed rest can cause significant deconditioning. Deconditioned muscles are more readily fatigued and take longer to recover once the patient is up and about again. Use of painkillers after the surgery can also contribute to fatigue. Finally, your body has just been through a traumatic event. Its own release of stress hormones and natural pain relievers can contribute to ongoing feelings of tiredness as your body continues to heal.

It does take time to really feel back to normal. Just do your best and take things a day at a time.





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