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L4-5 fusion decompression

4brad44brad Posts: 8
edited 08/23/2015 - 4:57 AM in Recovering from Surgery
I am 12 days post surgery. I have L4-5 RT side, auto and allograft fusion, pedicle screws and rods, and also got a device that connect the spinous processes. Honestly, at day 10 I had a follow up with the DR. Told him I was a 8+ for pain in the mornings. My hips, both sides are so painful I walk like am 100 (I'm a fairly healthy 54 yr old guy that has gone to the gym 5 days a week for years now) My first week my Rt ankle was so swollen and sore. Foot swollen, full nerve pain from my back to my RT foot. Hard to sit or walk for any length of time. Meds, yup took me 10 day to have a bowel movement, thanks to good ol prune juice, things are good now. Taking Oxy for pain Soma for muscle relaxers. Can hardly pick up my right leg still at 12 days enough to put on the stool to elevate it. Still using Ice to see if that helps. Dr put me on a Medrol Pak to try to help with nerve swelling. Can sleep maybe 2-3 hrs at a time. So, now I take sleep aid, not helping although (ambian) Dr says wait 2 more weeks, if I still feel bad he will order "tests". Honestly, surgery went well, x-rays look perfect, just seems the nerve is still "mad". First 5-6 days I used the walker for support in addition to the back brace. I still us the brace if i'm out n about. seems to hold things "together" better, plus people usually give me more room to get through. So welcome to the "normal" for now seems.

Anyone comments, same? Experiences?


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  • Sheri76Sheri76 Michigan Posts: 485
    I think I tried responding here last week, but somehow lost what I wrote. So, I'll try again.

    I had to use my back brace for three months, and for driving still a month longer.

    I'm still not back to work, but hopefully someday.

    I'm still uncomfortable squatting, though this past week I've seen improvement, but still need grabber to pick things up off floor.

    I've been trying so hard to be able to just walk like I used to, but still feeling like my left side of lower back to buttock prevents movement..... drives me nuts.

    From having my surgery last March, I'm still feeling like 100 years old too, especially after walking awhile and then go to sit, or vise versa. But overall, I am improving.

    Would like to hear how your doing....maybe I missed it in another post?
  • Hi Sheri76,
    thanks for your comment. Since last post I have had CT and A MRI with and with out contrast. The CT shows all hardware in correct position. The MRI shows the same and also shows a postoperative seroma. An 8x5mm adjacent peripherally enhancing focal fluid collection in the posterior aspect of the right psoas muscle. In a nut shell, man, my back, butt, right quad, below my knee cap, shin ankle and foot are miserable.
    Currently I'm 30 days post surgery. OXY, 5x day, some 3x daily. I have Xanax, but pain breaks through my sleep either way. so I get 3 hrs sleep, then the rest of the night I battle for any more rest. Still wear my Lumbar support, and ice as often as I can. I have my next apt in about 3 weeks.
    If you or anyone else have any experience in a seroma, please chime in. How long does this last, what am I missing? is there anything else that should be done?


  • Sheri76Sheri76 Michigan Posts: 485
    Is Dr thinking your body will absorb the fluid? If so, for your sake I hope that's soon.
    I don't think I ever had that, because it sounds like something I'd have to had sought treatment for, and not forget about.
    Prayers you heal quickly, life's no fun with all that pain. Hope you get some good sleep.
  • Hi Sheri, yes the Dr is presuming the body will absorb the fluid I have no temp, incision is healed fine. I'm almost 6 weeks post op. Still hard to sit stand or walk for any time. Tried Xanax to sleep but the pain breaks through and still wakes me, I believe I have slept 7 full nights this past year. I go back to the Dr in about 3 weeks for a follow up. He did prescribe Gabapentin (Neurontin) for a nerve block med. Not really doing anything so far. 600 mg/day.
    So, I don't really know where to turn am I stuck with this pain for how long? Can't find any information on how long a seroma lasts, as they are all different as are people.

  • Sheri76Sheri76 Michigan Posts: 485
    Our bodies do need sleep to heal. It seems most people don't get the sleep they wished they could after surgery. I remember pain waking me up quite a bit for at least a couple months after surgery. But as much as my body needed sleep, it seemed my body needed to change position often also....remember walking up from nerve pain that was relieved by just changing position. At all almost six months post op, I can look back and see improvement from disrupted sleep.

    It seems like the gabapentin would help you sleep better, do you take it close to bedtime? I tried using that before surgery, but made me feel kind of loopy, and wasn't helping with pain.
  • HI Sheri, so I'm about 7 weeks post op. I have increased the gabapentin per dr instructions to 1200mg a day, made that change yesterday. Last might bed at 9, severe pain woke me at 1am..I don't feel loopy or anything with regard to the gabapentin. Still the same severe pain and now I'm getting noticeable pain at the L4 surgery site during the day. Dr said he will call me 1 week after the increase in the gabapentin. He already suggested I go back to the pain Management Dr. I'm not sold on this I saw no relief pre surgery with two 2 Epidurals I already had. I asked about acupuncture, he was not against that. I also asked about "Medical Marijuana" (i'm in CA) his reply was he has had no experience in that area. I have read up on this and the THC can be reduced and provided in an oil carrier. Seems it is used in Diabetes. Duno what to do but wait. I'm scheduled to go back to works in 10 day, I can't see that happening.
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