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ALIF L5/S1 4 days post op

Hello everyone.

just thought i'd post a quick message before i go back to lying down.
I finally had my ALIF, and im doing ok considering. the op went problem free, but i suffered tremendously with abdominal bloating/pain which still hasnt totally gone. Im on the same level of pain killers as pre-op but i feel the pain i have is improving everyday.
cant believe how whacked i feel, fall asleep at any opprotunity.
I'll post back properly in a few days.
There is hope :) :)

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


  • My goodness - after only four days you're feeling well enough to post a message on SH - that's pretty good going in my opinion.

    Welcome to the 'other side' and I hope your recovery goes really well. Take it very slowly and accept any offers of help from family/friends.

    Perhaps you'll give us an up-date on your progress further down the line, yeah?
    2 x Microdiscectomy 2005 / PLIFusion 2-level 2010 / revision surgery 2011 / NEVRO Senza spinal cord stimulator implanted February 2013. I WILL NOT GIVE IN / UP !!
  • A smooth & speedy recovery.
    Rest & sleep as much as you need.
    Be sure to take some sort of stool softners and or laxatives, talk to doc if he/she hasn't set you up on a regiment to keep your bowels moving.

  • Glad to hear you are doing this well so soon! There will be good days and not so good days, so take it easy and one day at a time. You will need to sleep a lot at first. Don't fight it. It will seem like really slow progress from day to day, but from week to week you will see big differences.
    Keep us posted.

    Pat Gibson
    L5S1 ALIF 2-22-11
    Now L4 Retrolisthisis
  • thanks sue,virginia and pat for your replies.

    Sure i'll give updates on my progress to anyone willing to listen!lol!

    Since I came home on Sunday, I felt i'd done ok, pain managed with pain killers and pottering around the house inbetween rests. i slept really well for last 2 nights except till last night :(

    I just couldnt get comfy, no matter what position i tried. i've been on the laxatives since the operation, bowels moving freely, but my stomach is so so gurgly and wind pains. they really take my breath away. today ive endured a lot of dull pain across my back where the hardware is.

    heres hoping i get a better nights sleep. i start physio in 2 weeks.

    im glad ive done the alif though.
    will keep you posted.

    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
  • Hang in there with the tummy issues. It's hard to remember that you did in fact have abdominal surgery. Your back is what was operated on, but they had to go through your belly to get there. Eat foods that don't encourage gas production (you really don't want a bean burrito...) eat small meals more often. It helps. I have had a real problem with a lack of appetite and aversion to foods. I've been told that isn't all that uncommon.

    You will have better days & nights than others. Your pain will change as you heal. The dull backpain is to be expected. Try icing it. It helps. You will find that if you overdo during the day you will have more discomfort at night. I found that using lots of thin pillows strategically placed helps me get more comfortable.

    I hope you are not doing too much too soon. This is not a surgery you from which you quickly bounce back. Take time to allow yourself to heal. Your doctor will obviously advise you when to do what. Mine has just told me it will be another 6 weeks before he will even think about starting pt. I had my surgery 6 weeks ago today. According to my doctors I'm doing beautifully.

    I wish you a speedy return to feeling better. Each day is one more toward recovery.

    Pat Gibson
    L5S1 ALIF 2-22-11
    Now L4 Retrolisthisis
  • yeah, appetite, its lousy,but improves slowly everday.so, is your appetite still not up to its norm?

    i get lost in all my pillows, one behind, one infront and one between my knees!lol!

    the dull back pain worries me as its similiar to the pain i had there pre-op, just scared it wont go.

    ive done nothing at all today, stomach gurgling is so much better.

    hope you continue to recover beautifully.

    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
  • Carol
    Doing nothing is good. But you know your body is working very hard to recover from anesthesia, blood loss and major rearranging of parts. Glad to hear your tummy is doing better. My appetite still hasn't returned, but I usually can find something appealing.

    I still have dull back pain, but it's definitely different from pre-op. It's worse when I sit too much or walk too much. Soon it should serve as a yardstick that will help you gauge your activity.

    Glad you are feeling better.
    Pat Gibson
    L5S1 ALIF 2-22-11
    Now L4 Retrolisthisis
  • Carol, me too! It is hard sweetie to get comfy isnt it, especially in the first few weeks. Try and rest as much as you can and dont stress if you dont sleep at night, just nap in the day. I know I wasted too much energy worring wether or not I would sleep tonight in the early stages of my recovery, and in the end, I had no control and just battled myself and lost.

    Be sure and let doc know if you continue to have sleep issues, when I finally told my doc he gave me restoril and wow I think I slept 6 hours straight and it was amazing!

    Your pains will change as your body heals, this is to be expected. Just be sure and let NS know if anything is too much. As far as pre and post op pain it may be early to tell so try not to get scared. You have a lot of recovery ahead of you.

    Pat is so right, not only have you undergone back surgery but also abdominal surgery so of course your belly and appetite are off. The good thing for you is your bowels are working YEA!!! That was a BIG issue for me for months.

    Just remember to rest and listen to your body, try not to over do anything. NO BLT's..!!! Carol, are you in a brace?

    Hope you are nice and comfy tonight!

  • As the other girls have said, the first few weeks are the worst, especially with the bloating. Mine took a while to go and I can barely see the scar now. It's amazing how much energy it takes to heal.

    It was 6 months before I started to feel normal again and I had post-op back ache for all that time. For most of us, the pain levels improve.

    As well as BLT restrictions, don't sit or stand for too long as that puts a lot of pressure on the spine.

    My ALIF is successful and it feels so good to be able to enjoy life, and this is what I wish for you once you're well into recovery.


    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
  • Well, im 9 days post op now.

    Virginia i wasnt given a brace.

    The pain is much the same as before the operation in the back, but my leg pain is virtually resolved.
    ive been using my tens machine these last few days to help aswell as the medicine concoctions.

    Im still limited to pottering for short periods around the house, then have to rest as my back pain begins to increase.

    I start my physio in 9 days. my abdo wound has healed really well, but still slightly tender when i catch it.

    i suppose i was hoping my back pain would have reduced much more than it has, but im so early into recovery. 1-3 days post op, i had no back pain, but now i do?

    Im sticking to the book this time with recovery, no blt, resting, short walking stints in the house, but im sooo bored! my last operation i had (discectomy), i rushed things and probably contributed to the re-herniation.

    thanks for listening :)
    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
  • Just wanted to wish you all the best with your recovery. Wow, seems that you are starting physio quite early.Please do take care not to overdo anything.
    Wishing you solid fusion and pain relief.
    >:D< Karen
    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012
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