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3 weeks post op alif

tlc1968ttlc1968 Posts: 1
edited 04/04/2015 - 11:01 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi, I am new here but have been doing alot of reading here prior to my surgery and post op.
I had L5-S1 alif on 3/11/15. My belly is still very swollen. Is this common ? When should I expect it to be back to normal? ?
I feel like my recovery is going wonderfully, I have been walking walking walking. I have averaged 6.5 miles a day for the past 10 days. I feel like I am only out of pain when walking or flat on my back.
I am now out of the pain medication (percocets) and flexeril 10 mg.
I am concerned that Tylenol is not going to cut the pain I feel within the bone from the screws.
The surgeons office makes me feel like a junkie when I call to get more meds. They sent me home with a script for 30 percocets with directions of 2 every 4 hours prn. I am an RN and understand that there are alot of drug seeking people out there, but from what I have read it seems that people are normally on some sort of prn med for 3 mo. or so.
I am trying to do everything correctly, no BLT and walking 2+miles 3 times a day but I still Do have pain especially at night. Should the surgeons office be managing the pain meds 3 weeks post op , or a PM doc ?
I am looking for input on the abdominal swelling, and pain management. Any insight will be appreciated.


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    Please take the time to read this post and refer to it when you have questions

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    Spinal stenosis since 1995
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  • I am 12 weeks post 360- 2 level ALIF and instrumentation, plus artificial disc replacement. My belly was very swollen for about 4-6 weeks, I looked pregnant. My incision curves around to the left side of my belly button and I still feel like the left side is a tiny bit swollen. I stopped all pain meds at post op day 10 mainly because they made me very sick. I switched to Tyelenol and by week 8 did not need that. I do have a high pain tolerance however. My spine surgeon handles everything to do with pain meds not PM. The nights were hardest, and I didnt sleep well until about week 8. So hard to get comfortable. I started PT at week 4, and that helps a lot.
    Hope that helps a little, best of luck!
  • I don't remember my abdomen being swollen long at all after surgery. Have the staples/sutures been removed? I'd ask the surgeon about it to be on the safe side.

    Regarding pain meds...give the Tylenol a try or see if they will back you down from Percocet to Ultram for 30 days. If the pain is not adequately controlled at that point, I'd look at going to a Pain Management doctor. My surgeon allowed me to have Darvacet up to 6 months post op. He then sent me to a Physio doctor which I hated because he totally blew me and the pain I was having off. I chose my PM doctor which was the best move I could have made. They were willing to try multiple meds to find what would work for me. I would check with your State Medical Licensure Board to be sure any PM your interested in hasn't had any DEA issues or state licensure issues.

    Best of luck!
    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
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