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Operation Time

geffggeff Posts: 14
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:49 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hello to everyone.
Just been given my date for operation 1st Febuary,having fusion to S1/L5 and Disc replacement to L4/5 with Prodisc l system.Any help on what to expect after surgery and general advice would help


  • What type of fusion? ALIF PLIF TLIF ?
  • Is it minimally invasive? I just had my 2nd fusion of L-2+L3, L-3 + L-4. My first was PLIF of the L4-S1. The Min invasive Alif was so much easier than the PLIF. So for this you can be thankful. The first few days are painful, but it does get better. The first time you stand up is the worst, and then it gets easier. I am not gonna sugarcoat it for you. It is a long recovery. Will you have a brace to wear? I would suggest that you rent a hospital bed for a month or so. It makes it easier to get comfy. Also a stool riser, I have one that attaches to the stool with handles. A grabber or two is a must.
    After the first week, it gets better. I had help at home the first 2 weeks. You really need someone to help you. As far as things that you need post surgery, you can check for post op must haves on this site, and it will give you alot of suggestions.
    I hope this has helped. I am 3 weeks 2 level fusion, and doing well. Walk and rest. No twisting, bending or lifting is important. Good Luck
  • Hi there...just wanted to wish you well in your upcoming surgery. I've had 2 microdiscectomies so am not experienced in the fusion arena.
  • on December 13th but due to problems with moving the veins, mine turned into a PLIF. Make sure you get to meet the vascular surgeon beforehand as he is the one who will be working on the veins and making sure you stay alive. Mine was great and had warned me ahead of time that he would take no risks and that there was a possibility they would have to do a posterior fusion.
  • A lot surgeons in the UK like to use ALIF where possible as its an easier operation with less risks involved
    Thanks for the help
  • Thanks for the reply
  • Had not relised it was so complicated thanks for the advice
  • Best of luck to you Geff! Mine was a PLIF too, so I can't say on the ALIF. Here's my two cents worth: ask lots of questions of the surgeon. Mine wasn't forthcoming with information and I now wish I'd demanded more. Ask what you can and cannot do, ask about PT, ask about nutrition during healing. All these things I didn't find out and I sorta wish I did.

    To add onto what Robin posted..I had an aluminum cane that was quite helpful in my first week home. My best home item was a shower head on a flexible hose. I installed it and still use it a year later.

    Good luck to ya,
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,842
    these articles provided by Spine-Health

    Back Surgery
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • mine was plif and the recovery was brutal from a muscle standpoint. I hear the alif is much easier recovery but of course have not had one so cant compare.

    Good luck with the recovery. there is light at the end of the tunnel.
    4 level posterolateral fusion L2-S1 with rods and screws and cadaver bone. Spondylolisthesis, spinal stenosis, scoliosis, sciatica, DDD, facet disease and arthritis. September 2002
  • hi geff

    Welcome to Spine Health. noticed on another thread you are uk too.

    Im having a ALIF L5/S1 on 17/02/11, not long after you.

    My surgeon said the first 24-72 hours are very painful and to expect to be in hospital for 4 days.

    Its not that the ALIF is easier, its actually more risky due to the major blood vessels that they have to part to get to your disk space. With ALIF, it is a minimal blood loss operation compared with the PLIF which cuts through muscles and can cause nerve damage.

    Having had a previous discectomy, im going to stock up on grabbers, seat raiser, steps etc to have everything to hand.
    There is some really useful post op must haves list somewhere on here (very helpful).

    Good luck with your operation and keep us updated


    L5/s1 discectomy & decompression 2009
    ALIF l5/s1 2011
    Awaiting X-ray & consultant to see if fused, but experiencing a lot of pain again :( 2013
  • Thanks for the advice,i have now asked the questions and hopefully got all the answers
  • Poodleman thank you for your comments
  • Hi Carol,

    My operation is on the 1st February,had my pre-op last week and need to go for my bloods on the 29th of this month.
    I am having a fusion to S1/L5 and disc replacement to L5/L4 using a Pro Disc L.
    My Surgery is at the Spire Washington Hospital and he says i should be in for about 3 nights but my Health Insurers have given me up to 6 nights.
    Thank you for your comments.
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