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queenjillybeanqqueenjillybean Posts: 46
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:50 AM in Recovering from Surgery
i am currently about to start week 3 of my most recent spinal fusion which was a combo XLIF and PLIF...i have also had prior fusions and spine surgeries as listed on my signature below... my issue with THIS recovery that i am most concerned about is what appears to be SWELLING...
i am normally very very thin throughout my waist/ ribs and stomach area (waif-like)- and i was until my surgery- and i am STILL markedly swollen 3 weeks later- my clothes fit me RADICALLY different- (my shirts/ tanks/ hoodies etc primarily)- and i LOOK like a different person and misshapen... i do not recall looking and being THIS swollen or DIFFERENT after my prior ALIF/PLIF's...
i also have a hump in my back under my skin- that was not there before either...
i have googled info on XLIF and on PSOAS muscle and seem to only find info as to marketing crap for the XLIF- and i am wanting to fins out from other patients if they experienced swelling and feeling HUGE through their mid-section/torso and if so- how long did it last?


  • am still struggling and looking for ANY feedback as to ANYTHING regarding my original post... i am still swollen and i am becoming increasingly alarmed by the HUMP in my spine under my skin that was not there before surgery- does ANYONE else have humps or lumps in their back from hardware? i DO have A LOT of hardware- i did before this fusion= and i will ask my surgeon about this hump at my 6 week appointment... my PM dr was also alarmed by the hump- as well as ALL of my loved ones who have seen it...
  • I dont remember any hump or realy bumps. I had a PLIF, same levels. I think you might be best to call your surgeon. If it is anything, the sooner it is treated the better, are you running a temp or anything? Just rather be safe than sorry, Just my take on it. Good Luck and Hugs, Robin
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  • I had a alif/plif (360) lumbar fusion on Feb 1. My back has a giant lump of swelling still and my abodomen looks as if i'm pregnant. I think the abdomen part has to do with the fact that they have to shove stuff (intestines) out of the way to get to the spine. I am guessing things haven't fallen back into place. The swelling in my back, I'm assuming that is a sort of protective swelling and its bound to go away before long.
  • i also had the ALIF/PLIF combo surgery in 2001 and i was about 40 pounds heavier than i am now- and 10 years younger... but when i had my ALIF/PLIF, i did not notice so much swelling- and i had double level fusion as well as harvest from my iliac crest... HOWEVER, i did have an abdominal "pooch" from where the muscles were cut going in through the front... i definitely have another "pooch" type thing on my left side near my oblique muscles and abdomen that is most certainly where they cut me on my waist for the XLIF- and possibly also from the muscles being cut on my back yet again for the PLIF too...
    one year after i had the aLIF/PLIF (360) in 2001, they had to go back in one year later and add hardware and did a secondary 2 level fusion and only went through my back that time- and took another bone harvest from my other side iliac crest... about 6 weeks post op from the 2nd fusion in 2002 i started going to pilates with a private trainer 4 days a week who specialized in rehab of spine surgeries... i went religiously for 6 years 4 times a week- and it was miraculous for my body... within a year i lost over 50 lbs- 40 of which i had gained over 3 years of being immobile and having the 2 fusions and a lamonectomy... my core muscles to this day are super strong- even after completely rebuilding my body, my abdomen has a tiny "bloop" or sag on one side where they cut me for the ALIF...it is barely noticeable- and only i really notice because it is my body and i am super critical of myself... when i went in for the XLIF/PLIF that i had 4 weeks ago, i was teeny tiny- especially though my middle (i have a pear shape, i guess)... i already have a super bony back with visible ribs and hip bones- so, it was shocking to look in the mirror and not recognize my reflection... i once again have a sagging- it is different from the ALIF sag, but i am praying it will go away once i am fully healed... my swelling HAS gone down somewhat, but not entirely, in fact 2 weeks post op, a top and hoodie that i wore home from the hospital and were "loose" were tight on me when i went to put them on- i weighed myself and i was up 8 pounds- but it HAS to be water retention and swelling because i could gain 40 lbs and be smaller through my torso/ middle than i am now just how i am built...it is a struggle since i feel out of sorts, in pain, emotional and generally yukky as it is, so for me it was a blow to add this issue to the mix...
    as far as the hump goes, i am trying not to obsess over it or even look at it in the mirror at this point... again, i do not recall anything like it after my other 2 fusions, but again, i was heavier then, and all of my post surgeries my body has reacted differently.
    How are you faring with your recovery?
  • I too just had an XLIF and PLIF 2weeks ago. My left side is also sporting a hump which kind of freaks me out. In 2014 I had an ALIF and PLIF which of course was painful post op for my stomach area. I am extremely uncomfortable and can't seem to get relief on the incision sites
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  • rae1112rae1112 Michigan Posts: 147
    Yes! My stomach was so so bloated, I looked pregnant! I thought that was just how it would be now.  But I'm almost 4 weeks out and it's gone almost all the way down.  I think at least for me what helped is Miralax and most getting rid of everything, and keeping it moving. 

    And yes I have lots of lumps, on my incision that seem to change and move on a daily basis.  Lots of swelling. 
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