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Day 5 after Open L4-S1 TLIF

kevn1115kkevn1115 Posts: 20
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:47 AM in Recovering from Surgery
Hi Everyone,

I am at home recovering after a 2-level fusion on 10/1. The first few days in the hospital were very uncomfortable, but I can feel myself getting better each day.

Initially I was prescribed one Percocet every 4 hours for pain, but that wasn't really helping, so they increased the dosage to two Percocets every 4 hours. That worked out much better. I am up now walking around, and going up/down stairs when needed, and have gone for some short walks down my street, but there are a few things that have me a little bit rattled.

Yesterday, I started noticing numbness in my left leg (mainly above the knee) when standing or walking. That was not a prior symptom, so I'm hoping it's just the nerve waking up after being irritated for so long. I am just hoping it's not going to be a permanent new symptom.

The other things are an allergic reaction and some swelling in my buttocks. Yesterday, I took my brace off and lifted up my shirt to take a look at my back in the mirror. It was bright red with raised little bumps all around the bandage. This rash spread to my butt and to the backs of my legs. It was extremely itchy and the bumps were little blisters. I have no idea what caused this reaction, whether it was a reaction to the meds or the bandage itself, but it was not comfortable. I have tried treating it with some calamine lotion and some Benadryl, but it's too early to tell if it's helping. The surgeon's office advised to take the bandage off, as it could be the bandage adhesive that could be the culprit? I now only put the bandage on when showering.

The last thing that is weird is when I look in the mirror, my behind looks swollen. I usually have "no butt" :), but it looks red and swollen. Me being the paranoid person I am, immediately started thinking about their being some excess drainage that is going into my buttocks! It seems ridiculous, but I have no idea what it is.

Thankfully, none of my prior symptoms of sciatica have returned, just a few new ones that I'm not too sure about. I am scheduled to see my surgeon tomorrow for a post-op checkup, but wanted to get any other opinions in advance.

Thanks for reading thru this, I hope I didn't ramble too much.


  • First, welcome home. Isn't it nice to get back home and be able to shower again.

    It is good that you are seeing your surgeon today, and I would certainly ask him all your questions.

    I think it is quite normal to have all sorts of aches, pains and numbness develop after spinal surgery. Lots of nerves and muscles have been disturbed and they are complaining. If any of them become very strong, I think we should always check with our surgeon, to be on the safe side.

    As for the red bumps and blisters, it sounds just like the allergic reaction that I had to my dressing after my fusion surgery. I had extreme itching and hot, red blisters. I was told not to put anything at all on it, but was given antihistimine tables while in the hospital, and had to continue to take them until the dressing could come off. That was for 6 weeks, because I developed an infection in the incision where the wound hadn't closed properly (That is why I couldn't leave the dressing off.)

    I would definately also ask your surgeon about your swollen butt!! :S

    Do let us know how you get on.
    I wish you well in your recovery. The fact that the sciatica has gone is definately a very good sign. :D
  • Thanks Jellyhall. Yes, it was great to be able to get clean again and take a shower! I just got back from my appointment with my surgeon, and he thinks it was likely a reaction to the meds i was taking. The bandage over the incision is off now, and he said to keep it off, and also to stop taking the Flexeril and Percoset. Just wants me to take Benadryl for the time being.

    He also thinks that the allergic reaction could be the cause for my swollen backside.

    My wife is taking great care of me at home while I begin to recover these first couple of weeks. It's hard not being able to do certain things for yourself, but I guess we just need to be patient. But so far so good on any leg pain returning. Hopefully it will stay that way!
  • I'm glad you have a probable cause for your symptoms. I, too, am just beginning my recovery from 2-level fusion done a week ago. There are several of us recovering at the same time. We ought to start a thread just for early fusion recovery spineys or something like that, so we can keep up with each other.

    2009 Foraminotomy C6-72010 PLIF L4-S1Multi RFA's, cervical inj, lumbar injLaminectomy L3-4 and fusion w/internal fixation T10-L4 July 17Fusion C2-C5 yet to be scheduled
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