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Would my recent surgery have exacerbated my fibro pain
28 Replies
archie8 - March 13

I had a Total Knee Replacement 9 weeks ago and had expected post surgery pain in that leg and knee area and took analgesics to help. My concern is that now that my new knee is healed and I have noticed I do not have any discomfort there I am still needing to take the larger doses of oxycontin for upper thigh pain in both legs and also migrating pains all over like my shoulders, hips, arms, face. Do other people know if surgery can cause fibro to be worse or is it just a short term flare up. I know my doctor is going to ask me why I still need the stronger pain meds seeing that my surgery is healed. Thank you for your help.


Jocelyn - March 13

I don't think enough is known about the effects of surgery combined with a person who has Fibro. Trauma can case a Fibr flare, so surgery can be consider to your body as a trauma. I have had back and gallbladder surgery and I usually feel like I have been run over by a truck, but it subsides after a while. I was thinking it was the anesthetic that they use, perhaps, it was the actual surgery. Hopefully, someone else who has your exact problem will write.

Fibrmyalgia is an unpredicatable syndrome, I don't even think a doctor knows what surger will or will not cause.

I sure hope you feel better and your flare goes down quickly.


January - March 14

Hi archie8 - I certainly have had a tougher time than "normal" recovering from surgeries. Anesthesia takes a while to get out of your system and, as Jocelyn said, trauma can cause a flare. I have had problems too with increased pain after surgery. It did eventually go away, but it took much longer than the dr. expected. (This was before my diagnosis with fibro.)

There is some research about fibro patients having higher levels of Substance P in the brain and spinal fluid. This has an effect on our perception of pain. In general, I think we do tend to have a harder time with pain.

I'm wondering if you threw your whole body out of alignment with the post surgery limping, so that you have over-used certain muscles. That doesn't explain face pain though, but when we get a pain cycle going it can hit us in many ways.

Google Dr. Elaine Aron and check out her work on "Highly Sensitive People." She has a wonderful book out on this subject, and it includes our decreased tolerance of pain. She has suggestions in the book on how to speak with medical professionals about this extra sensitivity. Hope you heal well and feel better soon!


archie8 - March 14

Thank you both for your replies. I probably shouldnt have mentioned the face pain as I started to us my cpap again and it always leaves me a bit sore from the straps. I agree that I have most certainly been walking different getting used to the new knee. I am very interested in the book you mentioned and i will check it out. I always feel embarrassed mentioning my pain to my doctor as I think he either thinks I am seeking drugs or am making it up. I am going to see him again next week and I would like to try Lyrica as it keeps popping up in the literature that I read. Thank you again.


January - March 14

Uh… before you take Lyrica, please carefully research it. Most people experience a significant weight gain (not good if you have knee problems)! Drugs (dot) com is a very good site - especially if you scroll down and read the information for medical professionals. If you google "lyrica side effects" you should get this website on your screen.

Lyrica can cause a lot of nasty side effects, so at least be informed. If you decide to try it, start at a low dose, and give it time to work. Then, very slowly taper up to find the dose that works for you. Also, be aware that you will, in effect, become addicted to Lyrica and stopping it might cause you some problems.

I don't know how much you know about the pharmaceutical companies and their marketing strategies. You might want to google "Big Pharma." There is a fair amount of corruption these days in the FDA. The pharmaceutical companies are mainly concerned with profits (selling as many drugs as they can) and some of the big ones have been fined for misrepresenting what their drugs do, downplaying the risks and side effects, and also for bribing doctors to prescribe more drugs. Educate yourself about this, we all need to know what the truth is.

There are people on this website who say Lyrica has helped them. However, I know many people who have NOT been helped by Lyrica, although it is one of the "approved" drugs for fibro. Their doctors increase and increase the dose; then they develop many side effects and need other drugs. It is a money maker for drug companies due to the patent. Physical therapy and a regular pain reliever might treat your pain better, and be less expensive. I believe Lyrica is supposed to work on nerve pain, and I read somewhere that only about 50% of the people who take it get pain relief. If your pain is due to misalignment of your muscles, Lyrica might not help you at all.

Good luck with it, I know it is very frustrating to be in pain, and to get adequate treatment with the lowest level of side effects.


archie8 - March 14

Gee! Thanks January for the great advice. I will look up the info you have suggested. I guess I need to get over my embarressment of requesting adequate analgesia from my doctor.


Jocelyn - March 14

As January stated above Lyrica has a lot of side effects, so make sure you want to go on it. There is also an increase of 1% for cancer from using this drug. My doctor subscribed it for me when I was in a bad flare, I almost took it, but started reasearching it and couldn't stop until I found out everything about it. So...instead I when to a phsyical Therapist and he used some laser treaments to get my pain down and now I am doing muscle stregnthening exercises and my flare is down and I didn't take the Lyrica. I know we are all different and you may need to try it. I have a whole prescription filled out that I won't use. Oh well...another one hits the dust. Please get well and ASK your doctor about the cancer risk of Lyrica! My doctor was shocked when I brought it up...he just looked at me and said, yes there is an increase, but it is very small. Well.....


January - March 14

Jocelyn, GREAT POST!! Yes, everyone should be aware of these risks, and the doctors do NOT tell us! It's up to us to do the research on every med before we put it in our mouths!

Sorry to hear you're out the price of the Lyrica, but you probably saved yourself a lot of grief, if only just from the weight gain. And glad to hear the PT helped. Can you say what kind of laser treatments you got that helped??


fibromite.u.k. - March 17

I feel sure that having surgery makes us feel a lot worse for a time. I had surgery last October for something unrelated to my fibromyalgia, but had a really bad flare-up after it, which lasted right up until Christmas. Last week, I had to have a biopsy of my tongue taken as I have had an ulcer on the side of it for 15 months now, and although the biopsy was nowhere near as bad to have done as I had expected, I feel so exhausted now and just generally low in myself, so I think it has knocked me back just having that done.

I have been on Lyrica for four years and don't feel I could managed being without it, but I have to say I have gained weight on it. However, I have not really been very careful about what I eat, so it might not be the fault of the Lyrica. Also I often have to go on courses of steroids for asthma, and at the moment to help the pain of arthritis, and of course that can cause weight gain. I have never heard of a risk of cancer with Lyrica and it certainly doesn't mention that in the notes given with it. I will have to look in to that.

One thing to remember, is to never give Lyrica up suddenly, but to taper it off if you need to come off it. I was put on Gabapentin before the Lyrica and it didn't suit me, so I came off it. I came off it suddenly, not knowing I shouldn't and I had terrible side effects from doing that.


Jocelyn - March 18

Hi January,

My Physical Therapist uses a machine with a hand held laser that he can move over your body. There are no side effects and no weight gain, just kidding, , but when he uses it, it feels so gooood! I can feel the warmth on my spine and my legs and feet tingle, it is a nice sensation! I will ask him what it is called. I am seeing him on Thrusday of this week.


Jocelyn - March 19

Hi January,

Yeah, it was best to toss the Lyrica, and lose the money. I'd rather work on things differently and skip as many drugs as I can. If possible.

I actually took my dog for a walk this afternoon. That has happened in a very long time. Physical Therapy is working. I am being cautiously careful. I will see how I feel tomorrow and if no flare, then another walk with the dog. I hope to be on a roll even a short one will be nice! Now...on to losing weight!! I can only hope!


Jocelyn - March 19

Hi Fibromite.u.k.

I tried posting a link to show you where Lyrica is known to have a 1% increase in cancer, I even put spaces in between the links, but the post wouldn't go though. Try looking up Lyrica side effects and at the bottom of a long list of side effects. If you listen carefully to their TV commercials, I swear they mention it very quickly as they go through the side effects. However, if you are doing well, it may be best to stay on it.

Please take care and stay well!


January - March 22

Hi Jocelyn, thanks for the info about the laser. I've been put under an infrared lamp before, and the heat from that feels great! I "flunked" PT several years ago… also, it is so very expensive, I decided to ask around for a well qualified physical trainer who could work with me at the gym. However, the doctors I asked avoided giving me any referrals to exercise trainers.

Maybe it's because they were trying to sell me on surgery or shots. But someone told me doctors are getting more hesitant to write referrals because if a practitioner you are referred to causes you an injury, the referring doctor can be sued…

Sounds like you are doing really well with PT, good for you. Hope you can keep exercising.


valjoy - March 24

Hi Archie, another Australian on the site, I am from Mansfield, Victoria. I am like you, don't know what is fibro and what is a bug when I come down with one. Any way I had my thyroid removed last October and it really flared the fibro up, I think it was the anaesthetic, not the operation, it did take a few weeks to come good but finally I got rid of the drugs out of my system and felt a lot better. Yes, an operation does take it out of you. Keep drinking plenty of water, that is what I did and stick to a Gluten Free Diet, that helps a lot. Keep strong. valjoy. (Mansfield, Vic)


valjoy - March 24

Dear fibromite, how amazing about your ulcer on the side of the tongue. I had one too and it lasted for 10 months, no one once again knew what it was from and it was huge but finally left when it was ready and I just put it down to fibro? You do get some strange things with this problem. Hope you are fine now. valjoy.


Jocelyn - March 24


there is a dental paste that will help your mouth sores go away quickly. I have it and it works. I used to have those sores for months and did they hurt. It is a prescription though. If you are interested I will get you the name. I have put in in other post that I have done.


valjoy - March 24

Dear Jocelyn, That would be good if you could give me the name of the toothpaste, I get a bit lost on all of these posts and would never find it so that would be good. I wonder if you can get it in Australia? Also thank you for mrsboltons gmail address, I shall write to her. Have a good day. valjoy.



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