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Swelling 16 weeks out of surgery

Sweetpotatoe57SSweetpotatoe57 Posts: 97
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:31 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I am 16 weeks out of surgery, Lami at L5 S1 and a Foraminotomy at S1. I am still swelling, and my Dr. said it could continue for up to 6 months. He will not give me anything for it, and it is hurting my recovery. I am totally pain free in the AM, but by 1PM the swelling sets in and I am in pain. Iceing it helps, but only short term, and I can't Ice 5 times a day!!! Does anyone know how long the swelling lasts, or should I be concerned. It is in the lower back and buttox. I then can't sit, or walk well. Thanks,sweetpotatoe57


  • I am 13 weeks out of the surgery and. I am still with lot of swelling,I ask the doctor about it he said it's going to take some time but he didn't tell me how long
    at least you are not on pain all the time like I am
  • is it possible that this could be contributing to my problem too!!! Tell us more details if you can. I am 3 months post 2 level surgery and I feel better in some ways but tingling/intermittent numbness frustrates the hell out of me. Had ESI today and so far no change...

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  • What kind of swelling are you two talking about? You aren't taking ANY anti-inflammatories for inflammation? How does your doc know you are still suffering from "swelling"and not something else. MRI?

  • Thanks for the comments. My surgeon, and PT and son-in-law who is a surgeon, all agree that swelling from my type of surgery can go on for 6 months. I really am upset, as I did have a small incident at PT that really set me back, as they over extended my back. I then had a MRI of the hip,pelvis,and groin area, and it also picked up the lower area of the lumbar spine, and the DR. said it looked great, not even seeing scar tissue, and after my son-in-law read the report and saw MRI's, he agreed with my Dr. The swelling is hindering my recovery, I feel, and I take Advil every 4 hours. Not helping, and Ice does take it down, but it really stops my day. I was told the swelling on the outside, is on the inside to. So, they said, stretch, and walk. I am worried about something else being wrong, as last night, I started with sharp knife like pains down the hip, buttox, and leg. Today they are gone, but very scary. :(
  • I'm curious if we had the same surgery. Interesting how they could determine that it is swelling that is causing pain without the proper "slicing" MRI images of the lower lumbar, since they were images of the butt/hip area.

    I did some hamstring stretching and nerve glides today and now my hip is REAL sore. Never fails, if I walk, I hurt, if I stretch, I pay for it later.

    If you ask me,...I think God's design of the spine was poor. Too easy for those nerves to get pinched. JMO.
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  • are a no-no for fusion patients - they impede bone growth. Are you sure you are cleared to take them? I am not familiar with the rules about your particular surgery, but just thought I would mention it just in case. I still get very swollen too and I am 2 months out from my surgery.
  • In reply to the type of surgery I had. I had a Lami at L5 S1, and a Foraminotomy at S1. I had a piece of bone laying right on top of the S1 nerve. I had a injury Dec. 2007, and it never showed on the MRI. The MRI report stated that although a spine coil was not used, they were able to see the lower lumbar and saw the post-op changes. The Dr. said they actually picked it up really well, as they did the whole pelvis, hip, groin, and down to the knee. He did say that because I did not have a fusion, I could take Advil. One thing, at PT on Friday, they did put my SI joint back in place, and yesterday walking was better. My PT said it was only slightly out of place, but enough to cause pain. She also said after back surgery, sometimes you can have SI joint problems until you get your core strengthened. But, anything I do, and here comes the swelling, although yesterday for the first time, my left butt cheek, actually didn't swell, only the lower back, but not to bad. So, at this point, I am trying not to panic, and have a positive attitude, although, after 1 1/2 years of all this pain, and PT, and not being able to sit, walk, or do anything, I am so burned out. At one point, my family Dr. told me it was all in my head!! My Neurosurgeon, let him know, just what a mess it was in there, and told my husband and myself, that there was no excuse for how I was treated. I thank God everyday, I was referred to my Neurosurgeon. One EMG, and he said "SURGERY", the sooner the better! He could not believe no one ever did anything, except inject steroids in my back, and blow me off!! I think the "TRICK" to this whole back thing, is finding the "BEST DR." I am so lucky my son-in-law finally stepped in, and took control. They usually won't treat family members, but he finally said "Enough is enough". I just wish, that I could just get my life back. No on can say for sure, but after all the test, they feel no permanent damage was done, but won't know for quite a while, and the swelling really scares me. Thanks for all the comments, and help!


    Lami L5 S1 and Foraminotomy S1 Jan. 2009

  • i had a L-2 L-3 L-4 L-5 S-1 revision in january, haveing the same problemss hip joint pain going down to my knee ihad a joint injection on the rite side a few weeks ago,, but still now for the left side is terrible like its stabbing me pain doc said he has to put me to sleep for that one because i have sooo much metal back there its hard to reack dejavo after my 1st surgery thats where we were at noe i am doing it all over again it hurts and in pain the only thing that makes me feel better is walking in the pool walking only!!
  • Hi folks. I am looking for any suggestions, advice, opinions...
    I had a diskectomy on L4-L5 right side for the second time in April. Within 48 hours I was back in hospital in horrible pain in the left side. A new MRI showed the left side had herniated also. It also showed S1 was damaged and in poor shape. So it was decided that I would have a L4-L5-S1 fusion so the extra pressure, etc. that would be put on S1, should fuse it to avoid the very good odds that they would have to go back in. In the meantime, a cortisone injection provided some relief from the horrible spasms. Following the fusion surgery on May 3rd, my left foot and leg have been swollen and painful...horrible, deep ache constantly that makes u just sit and cry. Did another injection and again, provided some relief. Had a nerve study done and L5 nerve root very over active...not sure why...so surgeon did one last "exploratory" surgery last Friday to triple check nerve bundles as far down as he could. He removed some soft tissue from nerves but everything looked good. I am almost at the point where I am seriously considering traveling 4-5 hours to Denver area to see if anyone can help me. I live in a small town and there is only one neurologist in town who accepts my insurance...and the only neurosurgeons covered are the group who I've been seeing.
    Surgeon says swelling is not surgery related and he suspects I may have some other condition going on...and he said my primary doctor should follow up... my pcp ran blood work this week...said other than chloride and sodium being low, everything was normal. So she took me off hydrochlorathiazide and put me on Lisinopril...told me to give it a week an if swelling isn't gone, call back... Have third cortisone injection Mon or ties and hoping for some relief at least...so I CAN walk and get around. I know I have to at least get out of bed and walk in order to have successful fusion...and and not have muscles atrophy. But some days I can't hardly move. There was never an accident or injury...but basically one day I had discomfort but had a job, could drive my car, etc. and now I've lost my job, haven't driven or left the house more than once or twice since April...except for hospital, doctor, tests...
    Th mental and emotional toll is almost as bad as th physical. I smoke so after fusion I started using a electronic vapor "cig" using juice that has zero nicotine in it. I have fallen off the wagon, but am continually cutting back and trying to quit again completely.
    could someone tell me if they have experienced the same kind of problems since surgery...and is it even worth it to travel and be put thru a bunch more tests if this is just a "normal" reaction...I need help...some days I'm semi okay by others all I can do is cry. I know about 3-4 friends/ex co workers here in town but I really don't have any friends here...I don't like it here...so already on anti depressant before all this...
    I just guess I want to get an idea if I should travel or give it more time since I don't really have the money...and I guess it's reassuring that I Will get better...that it may just take time...
    sorry this is so long...never tried to join a discussion/blog before...but thought I'd try it...thank u in advance to anyone with any feedback...
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