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ALIF L4-5 - 12 months - good result

trishdownunderttrishdownunder Posts: 971
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:48 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
A big hello to all my friends here on Spine-Health :)))

Well I'm 12 months out now, and how good it is to be out walking with my dogs over the park most mornings for about an hour.

For 5.1/2 years, I used to be so envious of people able to go about their lives normally, taking it all for granted, and all I could do was watch.

After failed decompression surgery in 08, I eventually found a surgeon who was prepared to operate without blood on standby, but I was connected to cell salvage equipment and all went very well. I was quite surprised that despite the normal post-op pain, I coped well and was walking much better than after the decompression.

Our forum is the BEST because I learned how to prepare for surgery and how to cope with the long recovery period. I was determined to follow the B-L-T restrictions. I have some wonderful friends who helped out with lots of things at home and they cheered me up heaps. However, there were times when I felt blue and the "four walls syndrome" got to me a bit. I also had a cleaning service come in once a week for 4 months. I couldn't exercise the dogs, but they seemed to accept the changed circumstances.

My surgeon aims for 80% - 90% reduction in pain and this is what I've achieved. Levels L3-4 and L5-S1 may need surgery at a future time, but in the meantime, I'm doing my best to keep the muscles strong by walking every day and doing Tai Chi. I started doing Tai Chi at home 7 months out. The scans showed a good solid fusion by 6 months and I felt confident that I could be more active.

I have to limit the time that I sit because it causes pain, as does standing for longer periods. Sleeping through the night is still a problem because I can't get comfortable. I'm still very careful with B-L-T and I pay for it, if I overdo things.

I had foot surgery 4 months ago which restricted my walking, and my back pain increased during the initial 3 months recovery, and I put on weight (yuk) but it's coming off now.

My heart goes out to all those here who have had more extensive surgery/ies than me and haven't recovered as well as they hoped. My wish is that they don't give up and improve in time and not hurt so much.


XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
ALIF L4/5 2009
Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008


  • So pleased to hear that you are doing so well.

    Doesn't it feel wonderful to look back and see how far you have come?

    For me, I had wrote list of things that I hoped to do after my surgery. I am slowly crossing them off and am so pleased to be getting back to the normal things of my life.

    I am so glad that I went ahead with surgery, and even more glad that I am now 7 months into my recovery. :-)

  • Hi Jelly

    I'm ever so pleased to be getting right back into life and enjoying it.

    How are you going with the pain you were getting from the thoracic area and neck? Hope you're starting to fuse now. I think we need the patience of Job to get through recovery !!


    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008

  • My thoracic spine seems to have settled down for the moment. Long may that last!

    My neck is playing up these days. I will be very interested to see what my MRI scan shows when I finally get the results. I am getting lots of pain in the neck, shoulders, arms and hands along with tingling and numbness in arms and hands.
    Also having tingling, pains, spasms and cramps in my legs and feet. Lots of headaches too. Wonderful!!!

    I am still walking though! So I must be gratefull for that! :-)
  • Hi Jelly

    That's good that the thoracic area has settled, at least for a while. Wonder if the tingling, pains, spasms, cramps and headaches are coming from your neck. Hope it's not too long before you find out the MRI results, and that it's not more surgery for you. You've been through enough, especially waiting for L4-5 to fuse.

    Being able to walk helps us get through the day.

    I'll be looking for your post when you get the MRI results.


    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
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