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Dr. Rick, MD
Dr. Rick, MD, Board Certified MD
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 10553
Experience:  20+ years as a doctor. Internal Medicine Internship in NYC
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I am 7 weeks post op for l2-3 fusion (with screws, rods, and

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I am 7 weeks post op for l2-3 fusion (with screws, rods, and bone graft) and multiple decompressions at lower levels. My operating time was slightly over 7 hours and, as it turns out, as a result of that amount of time and possibly other factors I developed extremely painful (I was re-admitted 4 days post discharge for excrutiating burning pain) meralgia paresthetica. The MP has persisted as nearly the level it was at that time with only a little improvement. My orthopedist says that despite the fact that NSAIDs are the first line treatment for MP, I cannot take them for at least 6 months post op because of their deleterious effect on bone growth.

I am not specifically questioning or challenging my surgeon's judgment, but I would like to know if the prohibition of NSAID use in cases like mine is because of proven and widely accepted concern over the high risk of inhibition of bone growth, or is there differing opinion or conflicting research on the matter. I realize that this is a judgment call at the end of the day, but any information or insight you could give me would be greatly appreciated.
There are a number of very good studies that have shown beyond a reasonable doubt that NSAIDS interfere with bone healing. This is especially true during the early phase. In this light, there is no question that there is a deleterious effect on bone growth.

Now, how long to stay off these medications is where the controversy comes into well as clinical experience of your surgeon.

I would have to say that, after all you have been through, you should err on the side of caution and avoid NSAIDS if at all possible. While NSAIDS may be the first line therapy for MP, they are not the only therapy.

So. What is the take home message here? I'd follow your surgeons advice in this matter.

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Dr. Rick

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