I'm at day 6 post L5-S1 APLIF, and I can feel quite a bit of swelling along the spine from the top of my butt up to a few inches above the surgery incision. It's just tighter/puffier tissue underneath the steri-strips and dressing along the mid-line of my back, and it itches from the swelling pressure. There is a fairly distinct "end" to the swelling in my mid-back where the puffiness goes away and I can feel spine bone ends again.
Anyone know how long this ought to last? It's about 6-8 inches long top to bottom (pun intended). I'm treating it with nothing but occasional cold packs when I put on my back brace. I'm taking some oral antibiotics prescribed when I left the hospital, dilaudid, and soma. I have reflux and allergies so I'm also taking nexium and Claritin as needed.
The itching is whats killing me, and the only sleeping position that I can find that is even half-way comfortable is on my back so I'm resting right on the swollen part whenever I lay down, and the back brace pushes right on it whenever I wear the brace. I'm worried that any slight movement is making the brace pull/push on the swollen part which might be making it swell up more.
I've been told by the doc to not take any anti-inflammatories. Next post-op doc appt is in a week.
Any ideas or suggestions? Or is this just typical and I need to cope with it until it goes away? Cold packs feel ok for a bit but it itches a lot after removing them.
Thanks in advance.