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Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board


Spinal Cord Disorders Board Index


There is a big difference between the short term needs of post-op pain management and the long term management. Most docs now recommend Dilaudid for post-op pain management. It works best for bone surgeries of any kind...better than morphine. But an ACDF is not particularly painful compared to the posterior neck surgeries and you may not need much more than what you are on now. In fact, I've know people who have needed less after surgery as the source of their pain is now gone.

But ask about getting Dilaudid in the hospital. Whether they will let you have it for home is another question. It's pretty powerful stuff.

But if I may, let's talk about pain thresholds. If you need extra novocaine at the dentist, then you have a low pain threshold and not a high one. If you have a high pain threshold, you might not need any novocaine. Novocaine blocks the nerves from sending pain signals and if you still feel pain, it means you have a low threshold and need additional blocking agent in the area. The reason this is important is that docs, especially pain docs hear all the time that people need more and higher doses pain meds because they have a high pain threshold and they tolerate what they are taking. And most docs don't believe it....one of the reasons they don't give you more.

But if go honestly into the pain doc and tell them how you even need extra novocaine with the dentist and you have a low pain threshold, they are far more likely to give you the extra you need. They know that people with addiction problems often use the excuse of having a high pain threshold. And it's perfectly okay to have a low one....you should how my hubby is with pain...YIKES...that man has major pain with a blister.

People with high pain thresholds don't take pain meds for the most part. I've had a very bad low back for 35 years and never took anything for it except when I was first injured. And I never took anything for my neck problems either. I was off all pain meds by 6 days post-op with a 5 level laminoplasty where they re-built my entire cervical spine from the back. Three months later I tore a ligament in my neck and dislocated 5 vertebrae, breaking numerous small bones. The ER staff thought I was so comfortable with so little pain that they didn't even take an x-ray......for 27 days I walked around with a broken, dislocated neck because I didn't need any pain meds. I'm expecting to have a C4-5 ACDF fairly soon and don't think I'll need any pain meds. That is what it's like to have a high pain threshold....not that you need more than most.

If you keep telling them you have a high pain threshold yet ask for more and stronger drugs, they will chalk you up to an addict. Tell them what it really is...you have a low pain threshold based on your need for extra novocaine for dental work. That will get you what you need.

It's called getting to know what the doc's want to hear and what they believe. Speak their language and you'll get what you need.

Jenny





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