I am upset and scared. I had PLIF April 2017

Hello. I just read posts from April surgery buddies and I am very discouraged on my recovery compared to everyone else. I know I shouldn't compare my recovery, but it's hard. 

I am 3 1/2 months post op and frustrated and alittle scared. I have gotten no where with PT and they advised me to call my surgeon, who I see on Monday.  Main problem is swelling on incision and positional headaches ( ear fullness, dizziness, close to blacking out with certain movements) new nerve pain on left side. I am so tense that because of the awful head pain now my neck and shoulders burn with pain. I had 2 large dural tears that were repaired during surgery.  Had to lay flat 48 hrs post op with a drain.  I have complained to my surgeon since my 2 wk appointment regarding the headaches etc. He assured me my dural tears were repaired. Yuck!!!!! So How do I get him to understand me on Monday?  Something needs done.  I have followed all his advise. 5 wks of PT. My symptoms are worse. I am so tired of feeling sick and in pain. I can't work. I can't handle anything. I am not a baby. I have worked through yrs of pain, with a unstable spine because my 1st spine surgery was a mess( different surgeon). He took to much bone and left my vertebrae so wobbly it tore holes in my dura!!!!! 

Anyone out there have similar symptoms? 

Thank you for letting me vent. I am frustrated,  my family is frustrated.  I am usually not one to complain. I tend to just say I am fine, but I am worried. 



  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 3,406


    Everyone is different and heals at different rates. But I would be concerned to with everything you have going on.
    I'm a big believer in my "notebook". Start you a daily journal of what you are going through. I know it will be for only today and tomorrow but keep notes of how you feel, the headaches, ears, dizziness and pain. If a family member notices something have them write it down.
    When you go to the doctor take your notebook so you won't forget anything. I found they tend to take you more serious when you've taken the time to write it down.
    Hang in there and let us know Monday.

  • Thank you Sandra. I will do that.

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  • I feel for ya.  I've had a csf leak for....8 mos now, it is very frustrating.  The original surgeon said it couldn't be the reason.  I've dealt with...3 other surgeons since.  One  The one helped initially (blood patch) then said no more, but he'll hook my baclofen pump back up (um, no). This last one is finally doing more diagnostics (to confirm the leak location and make sure there aren't more) before considering surgery.

    Point being, keep going, keep looking.  If he throws up his hands, go to someone else for their help.

    And the hearing thing (hyperacusia!) is the WORST.  I can't believe it.  Drives me nuts. I love my kids, but dang they're noisy!

    Best wishes on your route to healing!

  • I agree with everything stated above. If you are not happy you can still seek a second or even third opinion. Just because your surgeon performed the initial surgery you don't necessarily need to stay with him if you feel he's not taking your concerns seriously. See what he or she has to say first. Then decide.

  • So my surgeon doesn't think it's a csf leak. He said to see my PCP or a neurologist for the headaches etc. I think he is wrong. So like you said I guess I will seek out a 2nd opinion. As for the pain, the segments above and below the fusion are taking a beating. Bone is fusing well. L3L4 is slipping because of scoliosis and we are keeping a close eye on it. Oh, released back to work in 2wks feeling this horrible.  Ugh

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