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Avatar universal

Middle/Upper back pain after surgery?

I had a, exploratory laparoscopic abdominal surgery a week ago today (they didn't do much, mostly looked around). Since then, I've had increasingly severe back pain in a place I've never had pain before - my upper/middle back, and it has gotten progressively worse over the week. It starts in between my shoulder blades (almost below them) in the center and goes down a short way (not all the way to lower back, but close). It hurts most along my spine, but towards the upper part, there's a burning and pins-and-needles feeling that radiates out across my whole back. It is very uncomfortable. Tylenol and meloxicam (a prescription NSAID) don't do anything at all to the pain and burning. Sometimes I almost want to take a narcotic pain pill (I have quite a few left over from surgery) just to make this pain stop for a bit, but I have not. It's only better when I'm lying down on my side (which is usually how I sleep). It hurts most when I'm sitting or standing....so any time I'm not lying down, lol.
I'm getting tired of it and it's getting worse every day. I don't know what I should do!
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Avatar universal
For the record, I have lower back pain on my right side, but that's from kidney issues. I knew I had an 8mm stone in there, saw a urologist today about it...urinalysis also revealed high creatinine and a good deal of blood (no bacteria, so no infection)...so my kidney(s) aren't doing so well at the moment either. I'm only 26, shouldn't have these many problems and so much pain. My back is killing me today...the lower right side but also in the middle with the burning and pins and needles spreading across my back. Ugh!
7721494 tn?1431627964
Hello and welcome. I don't believe I can help you with such limited information.

First, the kidney problem. Creatinine and blood in the urine indicate broken tubules, a byproduct of stones, which can be very painful. Save the opioid analgesics for later -- you'll need them.

The pain in your back may be radiating pain from the kidneys.

Still, report this change to your surgeon, who knows what was disturbed during exploratory procedure. Also, report to your primary care physician.

Burning, pins and needles -- what doctors call dysthesias -- are other forms of pain. Other treatments, for example the medications gabapentin, or pregabalin, may help with this kind of pain.

Don't tough it out -- seek treatment. I'm sorry it is Friday night, but call your PCP's office tomorrow and leave a message for the covering physician. You may be directed to an emergency department.

I think it is important that you have this looked at.
Avatar universal
Really appreciate your feedback. Last night, I was in a ton of pain, and was very nauseated and dry heaving. Also shivering, very cold, but was not running a fever (temp was 97.5F). I was hurting so bad, I couldn't sleep. I took hydrocodone (I have oxycodone but am saving that for if it gets even worse!) and phenergan but neither really helped with any of it. I called my surgeon's on-call nurse. She said she'd suggest me go to the ER but I REALLY didn't want to since I'd been there twice this month (which is what led to the stone discovery, also let to the exploratory abdominal surgery)...I don't want them to think I am some pain pill seeker or something, you know? After all, I HAD pain meds, so I don't think they could have done much for me in that aspect. I told her so, and she suggested I call the urologists office and get their on-call number (It was 3am at this point)...so I did that. They paged the on-call urologist but he didn't call back till 9am, at which point, I had finally already gotten to sleep, so I didn't hear the phone.
I'm not hurting quite as bad today, but very tired and nauseated. I can barely eat. I've taken zofran as well now, and it is not helping. I took literally 2 small bites of food and feel quite ill. And my head is pounding.
I'm so tired of feeling awful! I'm only 26! :( I'm scheduled for the stone to be broken up and a stent placed on thursday.
I really don't want to go to the ER if it is unnecessary, I don't want them to think I'm a pill-seeker, because I am not. I usually prefer non-narcotics for pain, and would always request toradol even though my insurance does not cover it and I have to pay out of pocket....but they of course do not want me to take toradol right now since it's so hard on the kidneys. So I'm just chomping tylenol (not in combo with hydrocodone or oxycodone, though, since it has it in it) and phenergan or zofran, but it isn't really doing anything that I can tell. I am not one who is prone to nausea, but when I do feel it, I hate it even worse than the pain, usually. :( I don't want them to think I'm so hypochondriac, either, or that I'm making things up, but I feel so darn sick - dizzy, hurting, bloated-feeling, constant heart palpitations,  and nauseated as heck. Tired of it!
Avatar universal
Oh, forgot to say, last night when the pain was so bad - it was lower back, but not just my right side. Right AND left sides, on the back, right where my kidneys are. It was exclusively on each side, not all the way across. Felt like I was being stabbed in both of them. My left one is hurting more right now, for some reason. The 8mm stone is in my right kidney.
I don't know what is going on. I would figure that if I had a kidney infection (which is what the nurse thought it might be), it would just hurt in one kidney, and I'd have a fever. So heck if I know.
Avatar universal
ehh, wish I could edit these posts. Sorry. Wanted to add that today I notice my urine smells...I don't know...not normal, very sour and upleasant? I wasn't checking it, the smell was just very strong, couldn't miss it. I haven't eaten anything weird, not taking any new meds. I know it's kinda gross, but there it is. I have never had kidney problems in my life until my first stone (right kidney again) last year.
7721494 tn?1431627964
You may have an infection, or you may be dehydrated.

Are you passing less water?

Are you drinking enough fluids?

Keep drinking -- water and fruit juice are both good. Some urologists will recommend cranberry juice, while others will tell you it does no good. Drink it if you like it.

Stay hydrated -- 6 tall glasses of water a day.

Do you still have blood in the urine? How's your temperature?

If you are passing blood, have an elevated temp, or continue to have dark urine, go to the ER -- don't worry about what they think.

Get treatment.

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st. louis, MO
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