Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

Well humbug :(

Annie-mAAnnie-m Posts: 108
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:52 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I had my surgery (L4-L5 ALIF) on the 11th. I left the hospital (walked out) pain free and was good for a couple of days. Today I felt as if I had never had the surgery. Has anyone else had anything similar to this happen to them? :(

ALIF April 2011 but it turns out I broke before it barely fused.
L4-L5 posterior fusion December 2013


  • What exactly did you have done? Do you have hardware?
  • Although my lumbar surgery was a posterior TLIF, it seemed to take ages for me to feel better - I'd say six months. But the first couple were so terribly painful - and I'm sorry to hear that you're back in such horrible pain.

    Definitely keep an eye on how you're feeling, keep a pain diary and contact your surgeon if you feel that your pain is too much.

    I can tell you that it tends to get worse for some before it gets better as things are settling down (nerves, bones, etc.), so don't freak out just yet. Contact your surgeon and let them know how you're feeling - it may just be part of your recovery. It's a toughy.

    You are maintaining your restrictions and not overdoing, right? No BLT? Resting and walking? Taking your meds?

    Take care and please keep us posted.
  • Hi Annie. Although I had an ACDF instead of an ALIF, I had a similar experience. I believe the anesthesia masks the pain level and as it wears off, you will start to really feel some of the pain come back. My pain, spasms, twitching comes and goes. Please take it week by week. When I do too much, the pain comes back worse than before. So remember to just take it easy! Are you on any meds? I'm 2 months post-op and I still have a long way to go! :)
    2011 ACDF C5-6 for Spondylosis with Myleopathy
    2012 L4-5 herniated disc and hernated disc at C4/5 2013 Taking Amitriptyline for headaches
  • Hi Annie
    Welcome to the long recovery road! It seems that as you start to move/do little things the progress is one day forward, half a day back - the smallest things are exhausting but keep moving forward a LITTLE bit at a time. Keep up with the pain meds, what ever they are.
    Yesterday was my wedding anniversary and I was adamant I was taking my long-suffering wife out for dinner. Made it through sitting for 2 hours with a couple of "get up and walk arounds" in between and now today I am going to have to be very quiet and take it easy!
    So take a chill pill , and drugs, today and allow yourself to veg out!
  • Annie i had Alif in Nov 1 2010 AND what you are feeling is normal its only been a few days!...im six months out and still not better you just need to take it slow and remember to walk walk walk it gets more oxygen to your spine!......dont sit longer than 30 min without getting up and moving around!!! i know its frustrating and you want to be well it just gonna take time my ns told me 18 months and i just am now starting to show signs of bone growth im a slow one i guess...lol.....keep your head up and stay strong it will get better everyday i promise huggsssssssssssssss
  • Mindy, I had ALIF with a peek implant which has some screws.

    Thanks for the input everyone. My surgeon gave me know restrictions. He said the the hardware will keep the implant in place and he wants me to especially do lots of twisting. Since I didn't have hardly any pain when I left the hospital he only gave me Ultram for pain and the other doctor there gave me a few Vicodin.

    Needless to say the Vicodin work best and when I saw him for my follow up he said he could call in Vicodin if I need it, I think I'm gonna need it too :??

    I'm thinking of taking a starter Yoga class with my sister-in-law. You know, just slow bending and stretching to start with. What do you think? :)))


    ALIF April 2011 but it turns out I broke before it barely fused.
    L4-L5 posterior fusion December 2013
  • Annie
    With the usual caveat that your dr knows best I am having a hard time imagining that anyone here has contemplated yoga 4 weeks post op!!!

    I am almost 7 and back in gym doing very very light weights together with controlled stretching with a trainer who is also a PT.
    Just because you have no pain doesn't mean you are not hurting yourself - this is one of the reasons I wanted off the percs so badly because I need to know when I am overdoing it.

    Seriously - anyone else here been told to twist post -op???
  • hi annie

    i had a alif l5/s1 11 days before you.

    i left hospital with pain managed, no leg pain and a problematic abdomen.

    For the first few days i was only in pain with my abdomen. as the days went on, the back pain gradually came. on my 12th day post op, my leg pains returned but thankfully went the next day.

    im now 26 days post op, and so far ive learnt that no day is the same. each day i have pain in different places of my back, different type of pains and sometimes feel like before the operation.

    Please dont get too disheartened, you are very early into recovery. i still get frustrated and wish i was further along than i am, but we have to be patient.

    I was told no BLT, never heard of anyone being told to twist??

    i too have a PEEK implant with screws. i had no plates put in, which did freak me out because i was worried about it holding, but i dont worry now.

    when do you see your surgeon for your post op check?
    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
  • A few days post-op and the pain hits you. No surprise. All the chemicals they pumped into you in the hospital have now wore off. You have to start healing. Get the Vicodin, it takes the edge off.

    Wait at least 4 weeks on the yoga would be my opinion. My surgeon was aggressive and so am I. But bending and twisting immediately. I think I know where he is going with it. You need to have movement and basic stretching to help break up scar tissue. But you need a balance between that and letting the bones fuse.

    Yoga and Pilates mixed makes a great recovery plan if done with your lumbar in mind. Some of the yoga stretches are a bit brutal fresh out of surgery. The very basics of both help stretch all those muscles and strengthen your core. I'm a big believer in this now.

    Walk a lot too! Lots of little walks and build up.
  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    It seems way too early to consider Yoga. Yoga is essentially bending and stretching and pushing your body's muscles to new positions, etc. I don't know of any form of Yoga that can totally avoid stress and/or movement near the site of fusion.

    Many people who have a fusion are in a brace for 4-6 months. You have to treat your back with special care until fusion is seen.

    Walking and physical therapy may be better options. I would love to do Yoga but would never have attempted it even after my single level lumbar fusion.

    In reality there are never "no restrictions" (unless you meant he said "know your restrictions"). After a fusion you take care of your spine for the rest of your life to preserve your spine health. So you can't help a friend move a couch to a new apartment, lift up a 150 lb oil can, etc. Thus there are restrictions. You can live your life but always be cognizant of how you are moving and using your spine.

    In the first few months pain will occur as you heal and as the muscles learn that there is a fused area they need to work around and re-engineer how to work muscles in that area.
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 
  • Sorry you are suffering, BUT you are VERY EARLY in your recovery.

    I don't want to echo other replies or 2nd guess your surgeon, as I am in NO way an expert, only can speak from experience, I do not believe NOW is an appropriate time to start yoga, especially if you weren't doing it before your surgery and seeing now you have onset of pain.
    At less then two weeks out most fusions patients are not even ready for p/t. Walking in small trips is the golden standard in the early stages of.recovery.

    I don't/can't understand why you would be told, "especially do lots of TWISTING" ??? I'm sorry Annie, but I was braced post ALIF & under strict NO bending, lifting & TWISTING restrictions! Again, not wanting to 2nd guess doctor, but that statement scares me! I know some doctors believe in braces, others don't, some start p/t 6 weeks out others several months, lots of variables and doctor preference. But BLT is pretty standard.

    I didn't start p/t till 6 or 8 weeks, can't remember and that was light basic p/t wearing my brace.

    I am back in my brace at 8 months post ALIF, & back under BLT restrictions.as I am not fusing & have MOTION in my surgical segment. Fusions are meant to inmobilize the vertabre. I am not saying any of this will happen to you, but rather sharing how important it is to have the best possible recovery you can have.

    Yes the screws are meant to hold the cage, but it takes time for everything to settle in, for fusion to occur can take months or years, to truly be solid.

    Please take care of yourself!

  • You are all right, it is still very early. I just remember how GREAT it felt when I left he hospital and then the pain came back :''( I have already seen my surgeon for my post op and will see him again in 6 weeks. I asked him about the pain and maybe nerves waking up and all. I found out that he really is just a surgeon that does what the neurologist recommends. I see my neurologist on May 9th and that's when I think I'll get LOTS more info.

    I haven't been doing much walking outside of shop so I will start that today. My dog will be very happy with that! As far as yoga goes, I've never done it before and I just thought it was gentle stretching mostly. I won't do anything like that until my neurologist and primary doctor say I can.

    I have decided that I'm not going to be doing BLT because it frigging hurts! Not the twisting but the rest does. If it hurts I don't think I should do it [(


    Hey SpineAZ, are you in AZ? I am.
    ALIF April 2011 but it turns out I broke before it barely fused.
    L4-L5 posterior fusion December 2013
Sign In or Register to comment.