Following any kind of invasive surgery, including spine surgery, patients are prescribed pain medication. Your spine surgeon will discuss with you beforehand any preferences or allergies you have with medications; if you do have any allergies or preferences, be sure to let your back surgeon or their medical staff know before your surgery.
Let’s talk about how pain relief works after having back surgery, and where you can go in Colorado Springs to see an experienced spine surgeon who can help you finally achieve lasting relief from your back pain.
Treating Postoperative Pain After Back Surgery
Patients who undergo spine surgery will experience some degree of pain and stiffness when healing. Postoperative pain occurs as various pain mechanisms are activated, including:
- Nociceptive pain — from tissue trauma
- Neuropathic pain — from nerve trauma
- Inflammatory pain — from increased sensitivity due to immune-system response
The intensity of your pain post-op can also depend on the number of vertebrae and nerves that were directly affected in the operation.
Your orthopedic surgeon will work closely with you before, during, and after your spine surgery to address your needs. Many types of medicine are available to help you control your pain, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. They are as follows:
Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
This type of pain medication can reduce soreness and swelling. NSAIDs are usually used to treat mild to moderate pain. The pros of taking NSAIDs over other pain medications include:
- NSAIDs will not induce drug dependence or addiction.
- NSAIDs have fewer side effects than opioids.
Some examples of NSAIDs are:
- Naproxen (e.g., Aleve brand)
- Ibuprofen (e.g., Advil or Motrin brand)
- Aspirin (e.g., Bayer or Bufferin brand)
However, NSAIDs cannot provide sufficient relief from more severe pain. In these cases, additional pain medication will be required.
Local anesthetics can be injected by your back surgeon to block pain in a specific portion of your spine. The injected medication will stop the pain signals from traveling from the nerves in your back to your brain. This can be done via multiple shots during your recovery.
Anesthetics do not cause the side effects opioids do, but they do pose possible risks, including:
- Allergic reactions
- Nerve damage
- Muscle spasms
To lessen the risk of these issues occurring, discuss your complete medical history with your orthopedic surgeon. Depending on the condition, pain medication is usually only prescribed to last for one month after spine surgery.
Spine Surgeon in Colorado Springs, CO
Here at Front Range Spine and Neurosurgery, we’ll address your back pain and provide individualized, effective postoperative care. We have multiple locations in Colorado, including Colorado Springs, Lone Tree, Parker, Castle Rock, and Centennial.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment with one of our outstanding spine surgeons to discuss treatment options for treating your back pain, contact our friendly staff today by calling us at (303) 790-1800 or by filling out our convenient online request form now. We look forward to serving you!