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6 weeks Post-Op ALIF & I want answers!

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:37 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi everyone! I am new to these forums, but not the forum world :)

I am 28 years old and a mother of my twin girls, Zoey and Kayla. I an a stay at home mom and a wife to my best friend, Scott.
(I am always posting from my BlackBerry so if my paragraphs
Look off, I'm sure that's why :)

At 26 I became pregnant with my twins.
It was a very complicated pregnancy.
I went into labor early at 23 weeks but fortunately, they
Were able to stop my labor and save my girls lives. UNFORTUNATELY,
I was put on mandatory strict bedrest until I finally delivered by C-Section
At 34 weeks. I was SO HUGE during my pregnancy.

The reason for that piece of background info is because it was believed that "was the straw that
Broke the camels back" ME BEING THE CAMEL!

After my pregnancy, very slowly, my back started acting up. I attributed it to my body
Healing from bed rest as EVERYTHING was sore going from laying around for 3 months - to
Now hauling two babies around everywhere, carseats and all. My knees, elbows, calfs, thighs, back,
And just EVERYTHING hurt. But I was so busy with sick newborn twins, that I didn't notice much of anything
Specefic, so I just kept on truck'n!! HAD TO! I was convinced I would lose my baby weight in 6 months tops!

Well that didn't happen, and as the girls got more independany, my discomfort from my bed rest symptoms eased up....
Everything except my back, I started to notice around late 2007ish my days were starting to revolve around my back.
I then started taking OTC medications until eventually that wasn't cutting it. I went one weekend to an urgent care because
I woke up one morning and I could barely function. I went to an urgent care and got a shot in the butt * pointless * and some muscle relaxers *pountless*

This was the beginning. Found a local back doctor.
As it turned out my first choice was a chain of the best surgeons, pain management, PTherapist and more. Don't get me wrong, over the course of the next two
Years I got 5 opinions!

And I did the chiropractor route.
It was a long two years of them saying back surgery and me sticking with anything conservative plus boat loads of narcotics.
Along with them telling me back surgery I also heard "youre SO young for your back to look this way"

To the point!

I have severe DDD. My L4-L5-S1 had tears and bulges. So I had a motion issue. He considered taking L3 out but decided to give it a chance. I have scoliosis. Arthritis in my whole back. A degenarated tail bone (there's a word?) a vertabrae out of line about a half inch. Bone spurs. My right leg is about 1/2 inch shorter! Flat feet. I think that's most!

Anyways, I can get them to tell me this is not good at all for a 28 year old, but there are questions I get very very vague answers on. This is where I hope YOU GUYS can help with your experience and opinions!

I had a double ALIF @ L4 L5 S1 almost L3 because of the degenaration.

I'm 6 weeks post op, doing pretty good I think.
All pain seems to be surgery pain.
Had bone growth stimulator. No Graft. No harness.

Are my chances high for a 2nd surgery?

Will I ever be able to pick up my girls?

Can I have more kids?

Can I have a tummy tuck?

I'm interested in law enforcement (police officer), possible or un-safe?

What are the permanent restrictions, if any?

Does the maximum sitting time always stay around an hour? Same with car rides?

Is your fused segment stronger like a broken bone when healed, weaker, or the same?

Rollercoasters with my kids?

Sky Diving?

Or do I need to treat my fusion like a baby (gently).

I know walking is a must, health, weight....all that stuff.

But how much will this change my life?


I think you all get my "general concerns" I HOPE!

Feel free to add any of your knowledge! I'm a sponge and can never know enough!

I'm also very active and don't prefer limitations, BUT I will if that's what it takes to be pain free!


Sincerely, Alana :)


  • I think the doctors aren't really being vague -- it's just that they cannot answer your questions because they cannot predict the future.

    You could heal from the fusion, and with care and good body mechanics, you might be able to avoid future problems. Or your problems may continue to cause problems, going from the end of recovery right into a secondary problem...or anything in between. All doctors can do it quote you statistics that are drawn from clinical trials for the type of procedure you had.

    Many people make a full recovery and are out enjoying their lives. Some of us are still hanging around looking for answers.

    You will always need to take good care of your back even if you make a full recovery. The fusion itself will be strong, but, particularly in your case with scoliosis, the segments above and below the fusion will take the brunt of the body's movement. This causes additional wear and tear on them and there is always the risk of the "domino effect" where these segments eventually also require fusion. Whether you can do some of those "risky" activities that you mention is up to you -- how much non-essential wear and tear do you want to expose your spine to, how much jolting and jarring is too much, etc?

    As I'm sure you were told, the worst activities for those of us with fusing backs are those that involve twisting, bending, pushing, pulling, reaching up or outward, and of course, lifting. Once you are fused, IF you use proper body mechanics, you can increase how much you can lift...but again, everything in moderation.

    You will be able to sit as long as you want, but it is always a good idea to get up once each hour and walk around a bit.

    I haven't covered all your questions but others will be along and will hopefully be able to help.


  • Welcome fellow spiney. I'm new here as well. I have twin 7 yo boys and am 28 also. I don't have the problems that you have but-hey we're ll in the same boat here.
    Like you I have some of the same questions and fears. I see a neurosurgeon on the 24th so hopefully I get some answers/direction. Sorry I couldn't answer any of your ??'s but I thought I would chime in....I know what it's like with two young ones (same age, same time :))
    your body is saying "I can't"
    your mind says "I have to"
    your heart says "I will"
  • Welcome to Spine-Health. Lots of info and caring people here.

    As always, Gwennie gives great advice. What I can add to your inquiries is about pregnancy after a fusion.

    I had my 2 level lumbar fusion when baby no.1 was 1 1/2. Then got pregnant (at this point I was 38) with no.2. Pregnancy isn't so rough on your spine as AFTER, the years of lifting, bending etc, (infant carriers, cribs, car seats......), you get the picture. For years your back is put through a lot. Not trying to be negative, just trying to be realistic. I know my second baby killed my 2 discs under my fusion, as well as me being foolish and doing more than I should.

    Now I am looking at another 2 level fusion this Nov.
    In no way am I saying to not have more kids, however, take as much care of yourself as you can and try to limit the strain on your back, such as doing errands by yourself if possible and letting others help. Also, while you are pregnant your joints become more limber so you need to take care not to overdo, even if you feel good.

    If I had it over to do again, would I? Absolutely. I couldn't trade Phoebe for another fusion, she is a joy and worth the pain.

    You can PM me if you want to chat some more.

  • I will continue to post ad research on here.

    There is so much information sometimes I get lost
    And spend hours on here.

    I'm on my way right now (my husband is driving :)) to see my pain management doctor now. I'm not sure
    How much she can answer as opposed to my surgeon, but I'll see!

    THANK YOU EVERYONE! I look forward to posting with my new spiney friends!

    Take care ;)

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