Hives after Spine Surgery – What to Do

Category: Surgery Recovery | Author: Stefano Sinicropi


Hives are itchy red bumps on the skin, nose, throat, ears, and elsewhere that are most often caused by allergic reactions. Many people experience hive outbreaks and most often they are no cause for concern. However, hives that appear after a spine surgical procedure may indicate a more series condition. In this article, we will talk about the various causes of hives and specifically how to treat a hives outbreak after spine surgery.

What are Hives?

Hives (aka Urticaria) is a condition marked by red bumps or welts on the skin. These welts can be painful and itchy, and typically appear suddenly rather than over time. They can develop anywhere on the body and can last for several hours, or days. Chronic hives can last up to six weeks or longer.

Hives are most often caused by allergic reactions to foods, medications, insect stings, and other things. Hives that crop up in the facial area especially can cause serious complications. If you notice an outbreak of hives coupled with difficulty breathing, difficulty swallowing, throat swelling, dizziness, or chest pain, call 911 right away.

Hives after Spine Surgery

Some patients may experience an outbreak of hives after their spine surgery. A post-op hives outbreak can usually be attributed to an allergic reaction to pain medications, anesthetic, or spinal hardware used during the procedure. As a general rule, hives are no cause for immediate concern after surgery. However, if the swelling does not dissipate within a day or two, make an appointment with your surgeon to determine whether or not there is a more alarming issue present.

Most hive outbreaks will go away on their own in a few hours, but chronic hives that last longer than a few days may need to be treated with a combination of antihistamines, corticosteroids, and pain relief medications. If you are concerned about a long-lasting hive outbreak after your spine surgery, talk to your surgeon right away.

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