Incision pain caused by vigorous exercise 10 weeks after surgery?

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CrohnsGirl2004
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 7/13/2011 9:13 PM (GMT -6)   
I had my resection surgery done 10 weeks ago. Last week my surgeon gave me the all clear to resume all activities. I have a 6 inch vertical incision, btw. On Monday I did a class at my gym that involved some intense ab work. It didn't even occur to me that I should take it easy. about halfway through the reps (using a weighted medicine ball and a row-like motion) I suddenly felt a burning and stabbing sort of pain at the top of my incision. It felt like my incision was ripping open! I immediately stopped and even lifted my shirt to check it out right there on my mat in the class! It was (and is) still intact... ;)

I put an icepack on it the night of the class and took it a little easier than normal yesterday. This morning I woke up and took my usual brisk 1 1/2 mile walk and took a Zumba class tonight (no ab work really). I feel very tender with stabs of pain here and there and that weird burning sensation on occasion still. I'm experiencing the pain/burning when just sitting around, too.

Anyway, it has been two days and it's still extremely tender. Is this something I should worry about? I've never had abdominal surgery before, so I have no idea what to expect in this regard. The same class is being offered again in the morning. Should I skip the abdominal exercises or push through this pain a bit?

I just don't want to do anything to slow down the healing.
CrohnsGirl
Diagnosed with Crohn's in 2004...14 years after the onset of symptoms
Bowel resection surgery in 2011 (12 inches of colon and 6 inches of small intestine removed)
Currently taking Asacol, probiotics, fish oil, and a multi-vitamin

CrohnsGirl2004
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 7/13/2011 9:17 PM (GMT -6)   
I figure I should also mention that all of the muscles we worked during that class were/are sore! I expect that my abs will be sore, but I'm concerned by the fact it's definitely incision pain. I've still been experiencing pain when sneezing, but I'd pretty much gotten past incision pain unrelated to sneezing.
CrohnsGirl
Diagnosed with Crohn's in 2004...14 years after the onset of symptoms
Bowel resection surgery in 2011 (12 inches of colon and 6 inches of small intestine removed)
Currently taking Asacol, probiotics, fish oil, and a multi-vitamin

Dagger
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1522
   Posted 7/13/2011 9:32 PM (GMT -6)   
Be very careful! You do not want to get a hernia. It drives me crazy that surgeons give the all clear allowing people to think they can just go back to what they did before. It is much safer to start slowly. Very slowly. Your muscles and nerves were cut and that takes a LOT longer than 10 weeks to repair.

I ended up with a hernia in my abdomen. It was mid-ab, about 3 inches to the right of my belly button and bulged out about as big as a softball. I looked like I was giving birth to an alien. It started with burning and stabbing pain after I had lifted some boxes. The surgery to repair it was awful, mostly due to the "nurses" at the hospital. I ended up with complications for 6 months and another hernia. I was not allowed to lift more than 5 lbs for almost a year.

Don't ignore the burning pain and if you notice a bulge, check in with your doc. Be careful.

CrohnsGirl2004
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 7/13/2011 9:46 PM (GMT -6)   
YIKES! Okay, I think I'm going to skip the class and stick with my gentle yoga classes and walking...and Zumba. I lifted a laundry basket today filled with a bunch of heavy school books, so I suppose I will stop doing stuff like that, too!

I sure hope it's possible to have that burning pain and it not be a hernia. I do NOT want more surgery! I don't notice any bulging, other than the already weird tiny bulge at the top of the incision from the way the stitch was closed off.

Thank you for your response. I figured I should probably listen to my body, but then I've heard other people (not here) say that if you baby it...it will never get better.
CrohnsGirl
Diagnosed with Crohn's in 2004...14 years after the onset of symptoms
Bowel resection surgery in 2011 (12 inches of colon and 6 inches of small intestine removed)
Currently taking Asacol, probiotics, fish oil, and a multi-vitamin

Dagger
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1522
   Posted 7/13/2011 11:42 PM (GMT -6)   
The burning pain is rather common after surgery so you are probably fine. The nerves take forever to heal. I just wanted to warn you about overdoing it. I still have some burning pain and my last surgery was 2 yrs ago.

It's weird how surgeons all seem to give different instructions after similar surgeries. I would have been allowed to go back to normal six weeks after my hernia surgery if I hadn't had complications. A coworker had a hernia repaired by a different surgeon and she wasn't allowed to lift more than 10 lbs for 6 months.

If you find that the area gets sensitive to touch, try wearing a snug spandex tank top that covers the area. I tried wearing baggy shirts but the occasional touch bothered me more than the constant touch from the spandex.

jeanneac
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 1611
   Posted 7/13/2011 11:48 PM (GMT -6)   
My incision area was tender for a long time after surgery. Do take it easy. Even now, 8 months later, if I wear clothes that are too tight and the waistband rubs the incision, it is tender, especially around the navel. Good thing are you feeling great enough to do all those work outs.
d 1/09 with colitis sigmoid colon with some diverticular disease as well, IBS, Colon resection Nov. 2010, now in remission
inflammator arthritis, asthma, skin scleroderma, VSL#3 probiotic, Vit. D, nexium, wellbutrin, synthroid, plaquenil, tramadol
Blood test positive for Crohn's via prometheus ibd serology panel ASCA. Positive ANA speckled pattern 1:180, high sed rate, weakly positiveRF

CrohnsGirl2004
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 7/14/2011 1:21 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you both for responding! I'm definitely going to take it easy. I do have quite a bit of energy...which is fabulous! My incision was just a tiny bit tender at the top and still hurt a little to sneeze, but other than that it wasn't really bothering me. It's frustrating that now the pain is worse than it was, but hopefully after taking it easy for a few days it will feel better. I'll plan to ease my way into abdominal work, but I definitely won't do any until this is feeling better again.

Is burning pain common this far out from surgery...if I hadn't experienced it before now? I guess my biggest concern is that I basically had very little or no pain anymore other than when I sneeze...and now it's worse.
CrohnsGirl
Diagnosed with Crohn's in 2004...14 years after the onset of symptoms
Bowel resection surgery in 2011 (12 inches of colon and 6 inches of small intestine removed)
Currently taking Asacol, probiotics, fish oil, and a multi-vitamin

LondonGirl22
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 1629
   Posted 7/14/2011 4:43 AM (GMT -6)   
I would take it easier with the exercise and just do something gentle. The burning pain could have been scar tissue stretching but there is a possibility that you are not fully healed yet so you shoould definatley listen to your body if you get that pain again.
See your doctor to get the wound checked if it doesn't get any better, just to be on the safe side.
Take care
Tori xx

Forum Moderator - IBS and UC

westat
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 165
   Posted 7/14/2011 5:40 AM (GMT -6)   
Goodness I am 17 weeks post op with an 8 inch scar from belly button down. I can't even imagine doing any type of ab work right now. My doc told me atleast 6 months for anything vigorous. I am only doing walking right now.
Try to slow down a little. You will be back to your old self soon enough. With a little rest the burning pain should settle down. It is quite possible you just pulled some newly healed muscles and all will be well once it reheals.

Tanya

CrohnsGirl2004
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 7/14/2011 11:41 AM (GMT -6)   
Interesting, Westat. My surgeon released me after 9 weeks and said I could do yoga, lift weights, and whatever else! I didn't specifically ask about ab work, but he didn't advise me not to do it, so I figured it would be okay. I'll just hold off on that for now! I don't want to do anything that would cause more surgery to be necessary. So, walking and yoga will have to do for now!

Thanks, everyone!
CrohnsGirl
Diagnosed with Crohn's in 2004...14 years after the onset of symptoms
Bowel resection surgery in 2011 (12 inches of colon and 6 inches of small intestine removed)
Currently taking Asacol, probiotics, fish oil, and a multi-vitamin
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