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Swelling near incision 4 weeks p/o

LC84LLC84 Posts: 599
edited 02/28/2014 - 1:15 AM in Recovering from Surgery
After my staples were removed 2 weeks ago, my incision felt good, no swelling etc. The past week or so I've had increased low back and incisional pain ( feels like more of a deep pain down my spine rather than surface pain). Yesterday afternoon I noticed quite a bit of firm swelling next to the left, top part of my incision. It was probably 3"-4" long and about 1"-2" in height. I had mild swelling the day before but it went away after walking around for a bit. Same thing yesterday, I walked around for a while and the swelling reduced but didn't completely go away. Last night the swelling flared up again, mostly at the top of my incision and some on the left side (all the work was done on my left side). After being on my feet for a bit, it again started to reduce (I've iced it as well). I still can't be on my back, which I could a week ago and it's hard to be on my feet for too long because my low back feels like it wants to "give out" on me. I called my Surgeon yesterday and he wants to see me today because he's concerned about the new swelling. And since the swelling worsens at times, I made sure to take a pic when it was flared up so he knows how bad it can get. So far there's only mild swelling this morning. I hope all goes well and it's nothing major.
Progressive DDD
Osteoarthritis
Chronic S1 Radiculopathy
Discectomy L5-S1 2002
Discectomy, Laminotomy/Foraminotomy L3-S1 January 2014
Bilateral SI Joint Fusion and 2 level spinal Fusion October 2014
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Comments

  • Hi there, i see ur post was made last week, so i hope you have gotten a reasonable answer from your surgeon as to the cause of your swelling. I am just today 3 weeks after L5S1 microdiscetemy and have developed the same symptom as you. I had no swelling on or near my surgical incision for the past two and a half weeks but in the last two days or so i have developed swelling, what i would describe as a mushy lump, soft in nature, beside the right side of my incision. It is soft yet firm, i hope that makes sense, there is no signs of any discharge and the incision scar looks very much healed and clear. I have also developed some reccurent siatica down my right buttox but i would only describe this as mild. Some small movments on the couch or in bed that wouldnt have caused any discomfort for the past two and a half weeks are now causing small sharp pains through the surgical wound and lump. I have a review with the hospital in two days and am looking forward to getting an answer but have been extremly concerned with it. How did u get on? Did u get an explanation as to what your problem was? Thanks.
  • LC84LLC84 Posts: 599
    edited 03/05/2014 - 5:17 AM
    Yes I did get an answer. Apparently it was my muscles protruding out around my incision. The muscle along my spine are irritated which is the cause of my increased nerve, low back, and incisional pain. He increased my Valium and instructed me to walk frequently to help loosen the muscles. I have to stop PT until at least my recheck at the end of the month and I still need to take is easy besides the frequent walks. I've been feeling a little better the past couple of days, and the swelling hasn't been occurring as often. It's going to be a longer healing process then I thought but I'm happy it wasn't an infection or something more serious. I hope your appointment goes well and you get some answers too. Let me know how it goes.
    Progressive DDD
    Osteoarthritis
    Chronic S1 Radiculopathy
    Discectomy L5-S1 2002
    Discectomy, Laminotomy/Foraminotomy L3-S1 January 2014
    Bilateral SI Joint Fusion and 2 level spinal Fusion October 2014
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  • Noel JamesNNoel James Posts: 19
    edited 03/06/2014 - 5:38 AM
    Thanks for your reply. I seen my consultant today. The swelling has resided some over the past 24 hours which is great but i was disappointed i didn't get the opportunity to show it to him whilst it was at its full size. I didn't think to take a photo which i should have done. He asked me a few questions related to migranes and such as to identify if it may be a dural tear causing spinal fluid leakage but based on my answers he was happy it was not. He inspected it as well and was happy it was just some localised swelling like a haematoma / bruising. He told me to just let nature run its course and there was nothing to worry about. My concern is to how i developed that bruise and i may never know. I obviously did something to strenuous too early to cause it and now even though my consultant told me to let nature run its course, i am still soo puzzled as to why i have recurrent lumbar pain where i didnt have for the past three weeks since my op. However, thats where i am at for the moment.
  • LC84LLC84 Posts: 599
    edited 03/06/2014 - 7:57 AM
    Well it's good to hear the swelling is going down and it's nothing serious. It's unfortunate not knowing the cause. Irritation can develop throughout the healing process (that's what my surgeon said) ,or maybe you did something to aggravate it. Did your Doc tell you to take is easier or give you any instructions to help reduce the pain/swelling? I think my muscle irritation resulted from starting PT too soon. I felt worse after my first session and the symptoms progressed from there. I've definitely been more careful since all this happened. I'm still having low back and nerve pain, however my incision is feeling better. Hopefully your symptoms will continue to improve. It can be frustrating knowing how low things can take to heal.
    Progressive DDD
    Osteoarthritis
    Chronic S1 Radiculopathy
    Discectomy L5-S1 2002
    Discectomy, Laminotomy/Foraminotomy L3-S1 January 2014
    Bilateral SI Joint Fusion and 2 level spinal Fusion October 2014
  • Reading your replies have reassured me, as I'm 3 weeks p/O, after fusion L4/5,, discectomy and decompression, I too have noticed over last couple of days, alot of swelling around incisions, although it all looks like it's healing well and I have no pain in legs but very tender and uncomfortable.
    I'm not seeing consultant till 22nd December so was worrying.
    Hope you are both feeling better and getting on well
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  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,385
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