For a little background information:
My husband had an ALIF to replace his degenerated L5/S1 disc on 3/20. At first he seemed he was doing very well - he was up about 3.5 hours after his surgery to use the restroom and a few hours later was walking the hall with PT. He was very sore but was sent home on 3/22 with 10mg Percocet every 4 hours for the pain (even though he was already taking 5mg Percocet every 4 hours for months before surgery). While at home he got progressively worse every day to the point he was screaming out in pain causing neighbors to come check on us and he eventually got to the point where he could not move himself so I was literally moving him myself. When he would rarely try to walk (with a walker) his left leg was just dragging behind him. We ended up calling 911 on 3/28 and he was given 11mg of Dilaudid over the first in his first 5 or 6 hours we were waiting in the ER (and was still screaming out in pain). He eventually was admitted back into the hospital and was set up with a PCA of Dilaudid which allowed him 0.4mg every 10 minutes. He was given an MRI, X-rays, and an ultrasound of his legs to check for blood clots but everything checked out. They decided he was in so much pain because of severe inflammation and he was given 4 a total of 4 doses of steroids which turned out to be a miracle drug for him and after 2 days at the hospital he was discharged on 3/30 feeling 100x's better. He was sent home with 10mg Oxycodone for pain and Flexeril for muscle relaxer.
Since Sunday (8 days after coming home from the hospital) he has quickly been in an increasing amount of pain to the point he can barely move. He is complaining that his hips feel like they are bruised from the inside out and he is back to using his walker which he hadn't used since getting released from the hospital over a week ago. I don't know a lot about steroids but when they make the inflammation go down, is the inflammation supposed to come back? Could that be what is causing his pain? He has his first follow-up appointment with his neurosurgeon next Monday 4/15 but he said he already knows by the amount on pain he's in that he isn't going to make it that long if something doesn't change without having to call 911.
I'm trying to be optimistic but my husband is a healthy 35 year old who is in 100x's more pain than he was in before surgery. Pre-surgery the only thing his back was effecting was a pinched nerve down the back of his right leg that was painful and he was doing pain management for. He decided to do the surgery because after 3-4 years, he made the decision that he didn't want to be on pain medication for the rest of his life. With how hard his recovery has been, he has been regretting ever getting this surgery especially with reading all the horror stories in these forums because he's obviously going down the road of someone with an ugly surgery/recovery story that includes consistent pain years and years after surgery.
Please help - could this just be the inflammation coming back and he just needs a few steroid doses? Could this issue happening over and over show some future issues?