Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!


Quick Start Forum Video Tutorial

Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

The main site has all the formal medical articles and videos for you to research on.

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?


welcome to spine-health

one of the most important things that members can do is to provide the rest of the community with as much information about themselves as possible. it is so very difficult for anyone to respond when we do not have enough information to go on. this is not meant to indicate that you are doing anything wrong or violated any rule, we are just trying to be pro-active and get the information upfront so that people can start responding and your thread is more effective.

so many times we read about members who have different tests and they all come back negative. the more clues and information you provide, the better chances in finding out what is wrong, the fact that your test results are negative does not mean that you are fine and without any concerns. many times it takes several diagnostic tests and procedures to isolate a specific condition.

here are some questions that you should answer:
  • - when did this first start? . year, your age, etc
- was it the result of an accident or trauma?
- are there others in your family with similar medication conditions?
- what doctors have you seen? (orthopedic, neurosurgeon, spine specialist, etc)
  • . which doctor did you start with? ie primary care physician . who are you currently seeing?
- what conservative treatments have you had? which ones?
  • . physical therapy . ultrasound / tens unit . spinal injections . acupuncture . massage therapy
- what diagnostic tests have you had? and their results (mri, ctscan, xray, emg, etc)
  • . summarize the results, please do not post all details, we cannot analyze them . how many different tests have you had over the years? similar results?
- what medications are you currently using? (details, dosage, frequency, etc)
  • . name of medication . how long have you been using this? . results
- has surgery been discussed as an option? (if so, what kind)
- is there any nerve pain/damage associated?
- what is your doctor’s action plan for treating you?

providing answers to questions like this will give the member community here a better understanding
of your situation and make it easier to respond.

please take a look at our forum rules: forum rules

i also strongly suggest that you take a look at our faq (frequently asked questions) which can be found at the top of the forum menu tab or by going to faq there you will find much information that will
  • - help you better utilize the spine-health system- provide pointers on how to make your threads / posts- tips on how to create your avatar (your picture), posting images, etc- general pieces of valuable information

please remember that no one at spine-health is a formally trained medical professional.
everything that is posted here is based on personal experiences and perhaps additional research.
as such, no member is permitted to provide
  • - analysis or interpretation of any diagnostic test (ie mri, ctscan, xray, etc)- medical advice of any kind- recommendations in terms of medications, treatments, exercises, etc

what could be good for someone could spell disaster for another.
you should also consult your doctor to better understand your condition and the do’s and don’t’s.

it is very important that new members (or even seasoned members) provide others with details about their condition(s). it is virtually impossible to help another member when all the details we have are

i’ve had this for years, it hurts, i cant move my shoulder – what could this be, what treatment should i get?

diagnosing spinal problems can be very difficult. in many ways it’s like a game of clue. especially, when the diagnostic tests come back negative – no trouble found! then it’s up to the patient and the doctor to start digging deeper. the doctor is like a detective. they need clues to help them move along. so, you as the patient need to provide the doctor with all sorts of clues. that is like it is here. without having information about a condition, its impossible for anyone here to try to help.

specific comments :

personal opinion, not medical advice :

--- ron dilauro, spine-health system moderator : 08/23/15 10:57 est



  • Sheri76Sheri76 Michigan Posts: 646
    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?


  • advertisement
  • Sheri76Sheri76 Michigan Posts: 646
    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: 646
    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.
  • advertisement
  • 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.
Sign In or Register to comment.