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10 weeks post TLIF L5-S1

Gretchen1GGretchen1 Posts: 105
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:43 AM in Recovering from Surgery
Things looked okay at my last check up on 4/1/10 except for some leg swelling and renewal of leg pain. I was told this was due to nerve regeneration when a week of cutting back on walking didn't help. Compression socks, lasix and ice have seemed to help with the swelling but not the nerve pain.

I'm headed back to work today, part-time, 4 hours per day. I'm a little apprehensive after reading a few posts about bad experiences after returning to work to early. I felt I was ready, at least to go part-time, but this swelling is really not helping lately. I can barely walk because of the swelling and the leg pain. Will see how it goes and how my employer is going to deal with my restrictions. They are allowing me to bring in my own office chair that I've been using at home since I've found it very comfortable and am able to sit in it for longer periods of time.

I know part of me is just stressing because when I stopped in after last doctor's appointment I saw that my desk and office were a complete disaster. I'm an obsessive neat freak, by the way, when it comes to my office and desk. I don't know what happened to the plan on handling my workload while I was out but I heard it went out the window and no one but the attorney has really been doing anything. So, I know already I'm walking into a mess while not feeling my best, particularly this morning.

Wish me luck guys and keep your fingers crossed it's not as bad as I expect it to be. Even if it is, I will not push myself beyond my limits, as I keep reminding myself.


  • Gretchen,

    Good luck on going back to the office. Take it slow and easy. Remember that no matter what, self care is the most important thing. Take care of you, then others. Be gentle with yourself.

    One Love,

  • Yes - take care. My surgeon told me that this is a time to be selfish. It is true. You have to put your self and your recovery first. So if things aren't right at work moan until it gets fixed. I left it ages to really moan and think it hampered my recovery.
    Good luck.
  • I made it through my first half day and it wasn't as bad as I thought. Everyone was accomadating and I really do work for a wonderful man. If anything, he was too worried about what he didn't want me doing, even if I could do it. And, I can deal with my work not being up to date.

    I am exhausted and needed to take a Percocet when I got home but, at least for today, it actually feels good to be kinda back in the swing of everydayness. I knew I was sick of being in the house but didn't realize how much until today.

    Thanks for the words of encouragement guys!
  • Great to hear you managed your first day back to work.I too am such a neat and organized person at work and need to wipe down my desk and have things in order. I hope you heal completely and the leg swelling goes down. I hope you're following up with your Dr. about the leg swelling. I haven't had back surgery so not familiar with the leg swelling after surgery. Do you wear TED stockings from the surgery? Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Thanks for the well wishes. I wasn't having to wear TED stockings after surgery until about a week ago when the swelling got so bad. I spoke with my physician's assistant who put me on Lasix and suggested the stockings. The stockings and modifying my walking time really helped so I skipped the Lasix. Had a tiny bit of swelling after working yesterday but it went down after propping my feet up with some ice on my ankles. Plus, that just feels so good sometimes.

    I do have an appointment with the surgeon on the 30th of this month. Hopefully, if everything looks okay on xrays and my swelling issue is gone, I will most likely be released for the next 6 months, without any physical therapy. I'm not sure how that will work since they just started weaning me off the Oxycontin at my April 1st appointment, but we'll see.

    I will definitely keep on top of the swelling as I had a friend who had fusion surgery and started with swelling issues 3 months later and found out she had arachnoditis.
  • Gretchen,

    WTG Chick!! I am happy to see you are returning to work part time. It's rough but it's good to get out of the house. I do hope your swelling stops. That is really frustrating. Sounds like you are doing great :)

    Best and Hugs,
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