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Swelling and pain 6 months post op fusion L5,S1. Why??

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:27 AM in Lower Back Pain
Hello. I've had L5, S1 fusion with titanium instrumentation over 6 months ago. I was recovering well up to about the 5th month period, then things started to take a turn for the worse. Swelling deep in the tissue (muscle?) at the fusion site started to develop. It has been getting worse by the week since then. I am now 6 months post op and I had tests last for infection and another cat scan scehduled soon. Test result should come tommorow. Is this a common thing with this type of surgery? Has anyone had these issues or heard of anyone with these same issues? I'm starting to get concerned that this may a condition I will be dealing with for a long time to come??? Can anyone give me some insight? Thanks, Frank


  • It sounds like your doc is trying to find out what is happening. Let us know what the results of your cat scan is and maybe someone can relate. There is nothing simple to these surgeries and healing takes a year or more. I hope your results tell you something that will ease your mind.
  • I'm sorry to hear about this turn of events and I hope it's not an infection. I haven't had this happen to me, but I did have a 2 level fusion on L4-S1 8 months ago. I had developed other problems like recurrent herniation and retrolisthesis at L4-5, along with nerve compression from L5-S1 (see below). What happened with me was that the pain never let up post surgically and it continue to escalate.

    Only your surgeon can tell you what is going on, and I hope they have some answers for you. It is common for them to send you in for a ct/myelogram if you still have ongoing problems post op; I had one too but all I was told was that I was fusing nicely and got no further details. Today I still struggle with chronic back and nerve pain and I get treated at pain mgt.

    I hope they figure out what's going on and get you to feeling better soon. Take care
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