Recovery Protocol for Hernia Mesh Pain Patients


These are instructions specifically for my patients recovering after hernia mesh removal.

  • For the first week rest at home. Act like a house guest in your own home. Do not drive.
  • For the next six weeks you can do casual walking and lifting not more than 20 lbs.
  • You can go back to work on light duty, as above. in 10 days.
  • Sex is okay in two weeks.
  • After six weeks you will begin your activity rehabilitation.

Activity Rehabilitation - Number One Rule - Never Push Through the Pain

RecoveryThe idea of activity rehabilitation is to start out  light, then slowly and carefully increase your activity. On the first day of your rehab you will not go fly fishing or rock climbing. The first day walk 5 minutes, next day 10 minutes, next day 15 minutes and so on until you are sick of just walking. Then introduce a new activity like bicycling. First 5 minutes, then 10 minutes, then 15 minutes and so on until you want to start a new activity. Start lifting dumbbells, first 2 lbs., then 5 lbs., then 8 lbs. and then 10lbs. Go as far as you want as long as you are not causing your pain to flare. Your pain will eventually flare. It happens to everybody. When It happens stop and rest a few days then introduce a new activity like light running or swimming. Start light and slowly advance. When your pain flares it is because of a phenomenon called "Central Pain Sensitization". For more information about pain flares click the preceding link. The pain neural pathways in your spinal cord, brain stem, amygdala and somatosensory cortex are sensitized and easily stimulated. If you can avoid aggravating the central pain sensitization and increase your activity and exertion the pain neural pathways will eventually renormalize and you will be doing what you want with little to no pain. This happens over different periods of time for different patients. Some patients are recovered in 3 months, some 6 months and some one year. I even see some patients still getting better at 3 years. If you push through the pain you will never get better. Unfortunately not all patients get better but most do.

About Law Suits, Blogs, Anger and other Negative Emotions

Emotions play a very important role in chronic pain. Of course controlling emotions is much easier said than done. If you have anger and you want to recover from your pain let go of your anger. If you want to pursue a law suit out of anger give it up. If working with a lawyer stirs up your anger drop it. If frequenting blogs stirs your anger stop it. Go there for support, not constant validation of your anger. Yes you have a right to be angry. Get over it. Seek positive things in your life. Fix the anger, fear, isolation, anxiety, bitterness and hopelessness. Hold on to these emotions and you are much less likely to get better. There is a physiological reason for this which is explained elsewhere in this website.