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Date of last update: 8/19/2017.

Forum Name: Surgery Topics

Question: Post Reangulation surgery on Left arm PAIN question,

 shiv - Thu Jan 24, 2008 10:51 am

had surgery last week on my left arm to repair non union in an old fracture. the surgeon rebroke arm, placed bone graft in to reangulate head of bone to wrist, and put 6 screws and a plate on it. they have me taking 2 vicoden(.5 mg) every 4 hours and just as needed at night(for 3 nights so far). the pain meds have finally started working for me over the past 3 days took a while to get pain under control. still taking
2 every 4 hours during
the day and down to about 2 pills only at night now. its time for me to call for a refill but what i am wondering is how long will i be taking the vicoden for? i know atm i still hurts quite a bit (a fly could fart on it fifty paces away and id cry because i felt it) should i be concerned at all for still being on the vicoden after only a week or should i get used to the idea of taking it for a while?? im wanting to say the doctor said wed take vicodin for a while then switch flavors of pain meds (change type) after a while. not sure but thought he said 3-6 weeks does that sound about right?

 Debbie Miller, RN - Wed Feb 06, 2008 8:07 am

User avatar Hello,

This is the new post with related information to the first:
Hi, i had surgery on the jan 17 '08. The dctr has me on vicoden 2 every 4 hours as needed for pain. Its been alittle over a week after surgery yes still hurts but how long can i expect to be on pain med like the vicoden before a non narcotic med will work? tramadol and/or advil dosnt help the pain at all yet..only the vicoden. has the bone rebroken in surgery , a graft (bone) put in to reangle the head of bone to wrist to correct position and have a plate w/6 screws holding it all together. I have an appoinment to change the splint/bandage on tues. 29th. i don't take the vicoden at night anymore i just try to sleep thru it hurting im down to about 6 -8 vicoden a day depending on how it feels ( cold is making it hurt alot also) how long can i expect to be able to get vicoden for pain seeing as nothing else works atm? im afraid to try anything diff. until it dosent hurt so bad so i wont get into a bind of uncontroled hurting again.

Pain is experienced differently by each person. Because the brain interprets the pain sensation, some people seem to have a very high tolerance while others very low and everything in between. It is impossible to say how long you will need to continue the narcotic in order to get adequate pain control. But, at this point you should be able to miss doses to challenge yourself and see how you do without going back to the "out of control" pain you may have experienced early on and which can be much more difficult to relieve. If with only the non-narcotic pain relief your pain returns, you can go ahead and take the Vicodan. At the very start, you need to stay on top of it for maximum relief but by now probably not so much.

You can also just stretch out the time between meds gradually or reduce the dosage. You can break these tablets in half to achieve the level of pain control you need.

Other non-medicinal pain relief measures may also help when you skip the narcotic. Listen to relaxing music or use other distractions so your brain shifts the focus. Music therapy is an excellent and safe addition to other measures. If your doctor has instructed you to elevate or use heat, do those things as well. Swelling at this point should have subsided for the most part so you are probably past the point where ice would help.

Good luck in the healing process. Time is your friend.

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