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Swelling after three level lumbar fusion

Hi guys,

18 months ago I had a three level fusion from S1 to L3/4 after three years of trying every possible alternative, following a lifting injury. The surgery went really well and I returned to work after three months without too many dramas and little discomfort. Obviously I have restricted movement but things have been much better than before the surgery. My only issue has been quite a lot of swelling above and a little below where the hardware went in. I discussed this with my surgeon 3 months ago and he said to monitor it and that he could always take the screws and rods out if necessary, but at that stage I should just leave it and monitor the situation.

Over the past three months it has become a little more uncomfortable and anti-inflammatories have had no effect on it. While I would still say the surgery was well worthwhile, I am getting frustrated with the way that this swelling is starting to negatively impact on me and I have recently started to get the odd pins and needles going down my right shin. It is getting harder to keep going to work due to the discomfort but it is also winter here in Oz and I wonder if that has anything to do with the discomfort?

I have been having physio on it without much success and am going to make arrangements to see the surgeon again but wondered if anyone had had something similar and if so, did it resolve it by having the metalwork taken out?

I know that people are going through much worse than me and I shouldn't moan because if my pain level before the op was a 7 it is now only occasionally a 2 or 3 but I can feel that this is starting to get me (and my family) down so any help or advice would really be appreciated. Thanks.


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