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Suboxone Patient Post Op Pain Management

Started by lillie81 on 09/25/2017 11:41am

My husband is 11 days post op. He had an anterior lumbar interbody fusion, without any complications. The problem is we are both in the process of tapering off Suboxone, which we began due to hydrocodone dependencies. We've both been taking it for 6 yrs, and have gotten down to 4mg per day. He has not taken any for the past 12 days, with the intention of not returning to it at all, since it is much easier to stop taking medication. I am incredibly supportive of this idea, but I am beginning to worry it is not an option. The 10/350 oxycodone's he recieved are not sufficient for treating his pain, which I know is due to his long term suboxone use. After my own Cesarian 3 yrs ago, I learned that suboxone is a much superior pain medication, equavilent to sev. mg of pain meds. He is either in severe pain, or sleeping (sometimes while walking). The muscle relaxers help, but only cause more drowsiness, he has taken all of his pain meds (90 of them), and has no intention of getting more, or taking suboxone again. This scares me for many reasons, but I also am not able to continue sitting at his side, waiting for him to wake up hungry or needing to use the bathroom. Our life's demands are plentiful, and can no longer be put off. My question is, how long will this pain continue, and should he go back to tapering off suboxone, put the tapering process on pause temporarily, and resume taking it for the time being, or ask his doctor for a much stronger pain medication? Also, is it normal for him to be so sluggish and out of it?

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1 Response


Hi, lillie81--thank you for your question! Spine surgery is a major operation, and it's one that takes quite a bit of time to fully recover (it could be many months or upwards of a year to be completely healed).

Being only 11 days out of his procedure, we are sure your husband is experiencing a lot of pain. While unpleasant, pain after spine surgery is totally normal. We can't recommend whether he should continue tapering off suboxone or change his medication dosage, but we think this is an excellent conversation to have with his treating surgeon. Perhaps a temporary pause in the tapering approach is the best solution until your husband's pain reaches a more manageable level, but your surgeon may have another recommendation that will allow your husband to continue tapering from suboxone.

We'd also like to pass along this article, as it may be of interest to you and your husband: ( Surgery Recovery: From Hospital to Home ).

We hope this information helps, and we wish your husband a smooth and successful recovery!