I had my single level ALIF/PLIF on 10/29/12. Everything after surgery everything seemed to be going well. I spent 3 days in the hospital and then went home. My mom stayed with me for the rest of the week until she had to go back to work. I was up and walking on the second day and had all my staples removed 11/07/12. At that time my doc said everything seemed to be going well and that I could go back to work. I just needed to make sure I stayed active by walking. Within 3 weeks I was walking a mile a day and feeling great. At about 3 weeks my anterior incision started to get red and painful. There is also a goobery looking discharge from 3 different areas and I was running a low-grade fever (highest it got was 100.0 but I normal run about a 97.4-97.6 temp so for me this was a pretty good fever).
I went to the ER on 11/17/12 with severe pain around and underneath the incision that began to radiate outward, a fever, sweat "attacks", nausea, and the goobery discharge. They did lab work, a CT scan, and gave me IV pain meds and antibiotics. Nothing showed up in the bloodwork but a "pocket" of fluid was seen on the CT scan. The ER doc admitted me for a possible infection. A hospitalist came in about 4 hours later, asked a couple of non-specific questions, and left without even looking at the incision or asking me how I was feeling. About 6 hours after I was admitted a PA from my NS office, not his PA, came in and said there was no sign of infection and that she was discharging me. I went home with some antibiotics and some major frustrations.
I saw the vascular surgeon (the doc that did the anterior incision) about 2 days later. He poked around, ordered some more bloodwork and another CT. He said he didn't know what was going on but that I should be having the discharge that I was/am 3.5 weeks after the surgery.
I was back in the ER on 11/22/12 with the same symptoms. Bloodwork and a CT were again ordered. Bloodwork came back fine and showed the fluid pocket was larger. This time the doc gave me the choice on whether or not to admit me. After discussing the options with him, a nurse, and my mother I decided that I would be more comfortable at home. I left with a prescription to get me through to my appt on Wednesday.
I just don't understand how I was doing so well and then all of the sudden it was like I hit a brick wall. The back part of the surgery (which is the important part) seems to be doing really well. However it has been hard for me to walk and stay active with the pain and nausea that I have been experiencing.
My question is has anyone else out there in SH land had a similar experience? I am at a loss and my surgeon seems to be as well. Right now I am grasping at straws in hopes that someone else has a similar story.
Single level L5/S1 360 fusion with 6 screws and a rod (10/29/12)
Diagnosis: Grade 1-2 spondylolithesis, Pars Defect, L5/S1 disc tear anterior and posterior, DDD, spinal stenosis