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  • L5-S1 fusion: increasing pressure in buttocks and hamstrings 3 weeks post-op

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    Old 02-23-2011, 10:15 PM   #1
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    L5-S1 fusion: increasing pressure in buttocks and hamstrings 3 weeks post-op

    Hi all,

    I'm 37 relatively slight build used to be very active & had a MIS ALIF at L5-S1 with posterior pedicle screws to correct a spondiolysthesis with pars defect that resulted in ddd. I had persistent pain in my left lower back, burning in my right leg perpetual tighness in both hamstrings. I am now 3 weeks post-op; pain has been manageble with Tylenol, an occasional percocet and Valium. Generally very little residual pain with respect to the incisions, so that has improved rapidly. Most of the pain remains in my left side of my back, which I expected to be uncomfortable for some time. Had my two week postop last week. X-rays showed all my hardware looked great.

    The issue I am having is an intense feeling of pressure in my buttocks and my hamstrings; a little bit on my right but very persistent on the left. I no longer get the numbness on my right leg that was there presurgery The pressure seems to have worsen the last few days and keeps me awake. It gets worse sitting standing laying down and during my walks especially. The only reprieve is sitting in a very specific position and angle in my recliner. My surgeon says its still so early that I shouldn't be concerned. He's very very good and I trust him but just wondering if anyone else has experienced this, what it is and how long I might expect to experience it. Also any thoughts on what might help alleviate it. I know I should expect this to be a long recovery.


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    Old 02-24-2011, 06:13 AM   #2
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    Re: L5-S1 fusion: increasing pressure in buttocks and hamstrings 3 weeks post-op

    Particularly in the case of a spondylolisthesis, the surgeon may have realigned the L5-S1 least to a small extent. This leaves the soft tissues and muscles in a position that is unfamiliar to there is a period of time needed for adjustment.

    You probably have some inflammation that will take some time to go away. Are you icing? After surgery, people often forget that icing can help a great deal. You can use it 15-20 minutes at a time, every hour, round the clock if need be.

    I would suggest you limit the time you spend sitting as it puts more pressure on that spinal segment. When you aren't walking, try to lie down or recline. If this continues, call your doctor. He can give you some oral steroid medication to bring down the swelling if he thinks that might be the problem!

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