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Post Op PLIF 2 weeks ago - is this normal? - pickle?

BunnysnaxBBunnysnax Posts: 36
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:58 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hello fellow spineys!

(PLIF L5-S1, total Lami, Decompression on 12/5)

I know most of us are not docs, but we do have personal experience! So, I wanted to ask the folks who have had these posterior fusions a question...

I do plan to call my doc tomorrow, but wanted to check in here since it's after hours and I'm a bit weirded out.

So, yesterday was my 2 week post-op appt, says I'm just a little bit behind where I maybe should be, but still well within expected norms. The incision is also healing beautifully and he expects I should fuse well because I "have great bones" - so he said immediately at post-op.

Well, for the length of the incision (like 4-5")- it is swollen. Like, the only way I can think to describe it is that there is like a "pickle" under the skin! LOL! :OO

There is no fever, no redness at all, no drainage, no nothing, not even excessively painful to press a teeny bit...

like I said, the incision itself is truly beautiful. It is paper thin and looks like it'll be near invisible when it finishes healing, but I just have this pickle - which I'm guessing is just a bizarre-looking, but (hopefully) natural type of swelling. I mean, I guess the swelling takes a while to resolve, but it looks so strange and is uncomfy with my brace, which even seems to encourage said pickle as it's a chair-back brace and the incision is between two bars... :?

So...has anyone experienced such a specific swelling under their incision like this? Anyone else had a "pickle" type swelling? HAHA - omg - that sounds so odd to even ask!

Thanks so much for your thoughts! :X


  • When I had my alif done the incision felt like there was a piece of rope under my skin right along the incision,it took awhile but I can barely feel it any more.
    If that's what you mean by pickle.
  • Hiya berg!

    Yeah, mine is a similar feeling, like there's a stick or like a wooden dowel under the incision. But, I called my NS this morning and they said that the bizarre swelling is very likely due to the type of brace he has me in.

    It's a chair-back brace, which has a set of 4 padded bars in the back. My incision lies between the two center-most bars, so I guess that pressing on either side of the incision, pushed all the inflammation in towards the center, swelling the incision area more than usual. Hence - the "pickle."

    But, he won't allow me a diff kind of brace. Granted, this one was custom made for me, but damn. So basically, he said don't wear it all the time, only when I get up and am moving around/walking.

    Just wanted to update in case anyone else ends up with a really strange looking swelling under their incision like mine. O:)
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