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post ALIF

MLT01MMLT01 Posts: 172
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:34 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi I was just wondering how long you were told or how long did you experience post op pain??? Feeling a little down today the pain is still bad..Is this normal or am I just rushing things?

I went to a required Fusion meeting at my hospital before surgery and we were told by a nurse that we should be only on Tylenol by the second week...Right now I can't imagine that I'm on day 9 and still in allot of pain..


Post ALIF and posterior instrument fusion 8/5/09


  • I can't imagine that everyone could be down to Tylenol by the second week. I had a PLIF rather than ALIF and was on all my pain meds for nine weeks. I took them religiously, around the clock, even setting an alarm to wake up during the night to take them.

    As I recall, three weeks was the turning point for me, where I got over that initial, post-surgical pain, and was only dealing with the pain of the fusion.

    I would expect at nine days you would still be feeling quite a bit of pain.

    Be sure to walk several times each day. Don't worry about speed or distance. The idea is to get the fresh blood flowing to the spinal tissues and to stretch out the spinal nerves. Ice when you get back if walking increases the pain.

    Good luck in your recovery. Remember that fusion is a BIG surgery. Your body has been through an assault and it takes a long time to recover fully.
  • Remember that everyone heals at a different pace. My surgery was about a week before yours and it took 2 weeks to get to the point I take a Percocet just before bed and hardly any other time. I do want to get some extra strength Tylenol for the occasional pain that needs relief. Do you ice your back at all? It does help reduce the inflamation and makes it easier. I am icing several times a day especially after my walks.

    Keep on your recovery path and if the pain is too great contact your doctor and he/she may want to see you.
  • You have to remember that there's a big difference between the two. If I'm not mistaken, with a PLIF the surgeon has to cut through the back muscles. With an ALIF the doctor "moves" things out of the way and no muscles are cut. A MAJOR difference in pain and recovery time.

  • Keep in mind also that a lot of what nurses and doctors tell you to expect is what is taught in textbooks and seminars. A doctors office may tell you one thing to expect, but the nurses at the hospital may say something totally different. That's not a slam on anyone, just that until someone actually goes through a procedure of this magnatude, it's hard for them to understand what patients are going through.

    I had a 360 ALIF so I got it from the front and back. I can't imagine myself taking Tylenol 2 weeks out. I did step down off Lortab to Darvacet at the two week point, but kept the Darvacet for quite a while.

    Each person heals differently, so don't get upset if the process doesn't go exactly like the "book" says it should. Plus, everyone has a different pain tolerence. Fusion is a major insult on your body. It takes a long time to come around.

    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
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