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9 weeks postop ALIF severe SI and tailbone pain

aprils87aaprils87 Posts: 4
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:52 AM in Lower Back Pain
I'm new to this! I had ALIF surgery 9 weeks ago and its been an up and down experience due to the fact that I have two very young kids! My son is 9 months and 23 lbs...over my weight limit the entire time but still had to lift him constantly! This past week my tailbone feels broke...and a lot of pressure! And my SI joints are killing me, my right leg is numb and so weak it feels like a dead leg and my toes have been twitching for hours...I went to the hosp today and called my surgeon to let them know but they nevr did any scans to check me, they just pumped me up with meds and sent me home, I see my surgeon tomorow. Has anyone else had this happen?? I'm worried, I'm so young and need to be there for my kids, I'm 23 btw... Thanks guys!


  • Of your issues, I know first hand how difficult of a recovery from Alif is, I am 7 months post op but had several complications during my recovery, specifically during the first 5 months.
    First off what level was your ALIF? Did you have tail bone & SI pain pre op?
    9 weeks is still really early in your recovery. As you mentioned lifting your 23 lb baby is definitely above your limit but as a young mom I'm sure you had little choice in the matter. Are you wearing your brace when holding baby? Had you discussed your mommy role with surgeon prior to your fusion?
    I had two er trips in my first month post op and yes they usually focus on giving you a shot to control the pain, I did have xrays taken though just to be sure hardware was stable.
    My leg weakness & nerve pains have not gotten better post op, actually they are worse off. With that said there are two members on forum who are recently post op and are doing rather well.
    Everyone heals differently and at a unique & personal pace.
    You need to have an open conversation with your surgeon at your visit and get his opinion on how to deal with your mommy obligation and hopefully he can guide you. I was on strict no BLT first 8 weeks.
    I wish you the best of luck and can't imagine how hard this has been on you trying to recover and be there for your children.
    Be sure to have surgeon at least take xrays to check hardware placement.
    Good luck!
  • Thankyou so much for responding, I did tell him and his PA about my kids, my fusion was one level, I have an extra vertabrate so it was L6-S1, and they never even gave me a brace and I wasn't too happy because I did ask him for one before I had the operation and he said he didn't think I would need one but I think it would have been a great benefit since I'm always bending to pick up my baby, and he later told me at my 6 week at I probably should have had one, well duh lol thanks doc! I did have tailbone and SI pain prior to surgery, they did steroid injections in my SI joints and it never worked, turns out its because my disc space was bone on bone. I'm really glad to hear I'm not the only one that's def reassuring! This is the first trip to the ER and the pain meds didn't even work, my legs feel like jello still this morning. I will talk to him about what u said, and post how my appointment this morning goes! I'm wondering if it was just too soon to go off of pain meds? He wants me off but I'm wondering if maybe that's why my pain is so intense?? Or if something is wrong? His PA thinks its too soon to be off pain meds too....maybe she can voice her opinions with him. Thanks again! I really appreciate the response!!
  • first off all >:D< for you, wow must be very difficult with the little ones after your surgery . i have just got back from docs i have had back and leg pain for the last 7/8 weeks now :( and last year was months with pain .this time doc sending me for mri seems to think ive damaged disc and says maybe an operation will be best step .see what happens when ive got results...im very lucky as my family are a lot older and help me round the house etc....i look after my 93 yr old mum and believe me at the min shes faster than i am :) is there any family members who can help out ? i would defo go back on painkillers honey poor you out , let us know how you get on xxx :)))
  • Wow I too have extra vertabrae! 6 lumbar!
    Now sorry to say I can NOT understand why you were not braced???? Especially seeing surgeon knew you have little ones, he had to realize the NO bending, lifting & twisting was going to be difficult for a mom. sorry JMHO.

    I'm still on meds 7 months out.

    Make sure either the PA or doc understand YOUR situation, you only get one recovery... no do overs! So its gotta be done right, they need to help you be in best position to heal as possible.

    Please let me know how it goes today.

  • Thankyou so much you guys who responded, his PA put me back on 7.5 norcos, she's a mom and I think that's why she understands, my mom is the only help I have but she works full time and is sick with possible cancer so she hasn't been able to help as much. I agree with what virginia said about the brace, at my appt the other Day we asked about it and they said they "don't believe in braces" strange right?! I hope they figure out a solution for you gwendo!! I went thru that for so long and u have no quality of life when you are always in pain! :( keep us updated on how the MRI goes!! And I also commend you for taking care of your mom! Thanks again for the help and opinions it helps me a lot!! How long has everyone bEen on pain meds? He told me I won't be out of pain for atleast a year and yet he took me off pain meds within weeks. Even though I'm dying to have a glass of wine, I would rather be somewhat pain free for the moment. I get so stressed and cranky when I'm in pain and I don't waNt to be like that with my kids either
  • but my consultant has told me post op NO lifting at all i must rest and basically be pampered {by my wife!} because the ALIF is a very invasive surgery and it need a lot of time to get strong ..what about your husband/partner /boyfriend or anyone that can look after the kids ?? you should not have to do it after your operation you need to be looked after yourself other wise you could find yourself back in hospital ...this is my consultants view ...i have just turned it to suit your situation ..i hope that there is some help for you and you can get on with letting the healing take place .good luck for the future
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
  • ALIF for extra lumbar vertabrae??? Or just coincidence? ???

    April I am still on pain meds 7 months out.

    I guess every surgeon has thier own take on the brace thing, I have seen that here on the boards, but more specifically with cervical surgeries. I thought with ALIF bracing was required due to lack of posterior augmentation? ?? Or at least this is how my NS explained it to me, again they are all so different.

    April I hope your mom is going to be okay.

    Try and take care of yourself! Keep us updated!


  • I left my kids dad (together 6 years) a few months before the surgery and he is NO help at all, which is no suprise. I always thought a brace would be required too, my PT said my trunk is extremely weak. The reason the L6 played a part in all these fusions is because is compresses the disc space, that extra vertabrate is taking up that space and smashing the discs. Mine ended up rupturing from a fall but it was going to cause problems eventually. I have DDD which I'm sure all of us do! I feel a lot of empathy for all of you, its so hard being in pain all day, it takes a strong person to go thru back problems let alone major back surgery! We just decided today that I'm puttingmy son (9 month old) in fulltime daycare so that will help a LOT! I'm glad my doctors PA's are so smart and so nice and very compassionate, because he is not so much and if it was just him I would be hanging over a ledge, my pain today is a lot worse, I'm getting worse every day. I can't go up my stairs now, I can barely walk period, any ideas what might be going on??
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