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A month after ALIF 4-5!!!

dmt683ddmt683 Posts: 27
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:57 AM in Recovering from Surgery
Well, I just joined this forum a few months ago and was even on the fence about the surgery around then. But, the course of events between now and then led me to get the surgery. And surprisingly the work comp approval was superfast and I got a surgical date of Oct. 3 due to a cancelation, which was an excellent surprise as my surgeon is VERY busy. He is the director of spine surgery at the university hospital where I had my operation. Everything has been a success so far, a lot of the old pain and "choked" feeling of my low back are gone. I obviously have some pain still from the bone work but the incision feels great and everything else is back to normal. I feel very strong and have to be careful not to bend or twist (or lift much) The worst part for me about the whole process was the fact that I've been on chronic narcotic therapy for this whole year so not much does ANYTHING for pain for me but at least the worst is over. Oh and I got no "push button" morphine post-op just regular shots in my iv because the more narcos they gave me; the more it would bind me up. And since they manipulate your bowels in ALIF to access the spine it’s hard enough to get em working right again without excessive morphine. So I gladly took more pain to “get to normal function sooner”! But I basically just wanted to pop in and say "so far, so good) let's hope that only improves!! :) best of luck to everyone!! (Oh and an amusing... or disgusting side note, when I asked my Dr. how it looked in there, he said the disc was "like dry crab meat") we'll see how soon i eat crab again without laughing or puking!!!


  • You are doing well! I had ALIF on l5s1 On the 28th of september :) I have good, and bad days.
  • Congrats on your successful surgery. I think bone grafts are more painful to recover from than the actual fusion. And getting the intestines to work again!!

    Keep up the good work and don't overdo. You have a long road to full recovery.

    L4/L5 laminectomy, L4/L5 360 fusion with instrumentation, L1 to L5 fusion, L5/S1 fusion w/ disc replacement, left and right SI joints fused.
  • And I think that it causes a lot of pain. I hope things keep going well. I was doing quite well until the cold set in. Yuck!
  • Yeah the cold weather was a BRUTAL slap in the face for my pre-PT "walking program." Plus I can't take my best friend very safely on my walks (she's a 113LB mutt :) ) she's usually pretty good on the leash and I have walked her several times. But sometimes dogs will pass another on a walk and "catch the wrong vibe" or something. And I can guarantee you that my dog going nuts on the lead would be QUITE counterproductive to my fusion!!!! So obviously I keep to myself mainly for walks, or at least carry a lot of treats/bribes to increase chances of not seperating my fusion! Well best wishes for you on your recovery... we're on a long road, but it will be SO WORTH IT when we get there! ;) Jut gotta commit to PT and always keep up the exercises basically for the rest of our lives; and I think we'll be pain free!!! :}
  • Well hearing that about autograft bone being potentially really painful... I'm grateful my Dr. uses allograft spacer screwes and BMP. Though there has been controversy with synthetic bone graft material; If my doc who is also still a professor (not to mention Dept. chair for spinal at University Hosp. believes in it strongly enough, I'll trust his judgement; he's got 20 years and a HELLUVA lottava more medical schooling/training than me ;)
  • I can for sure relate to the good days :)

    and BAD days thing :(

    I know it's gotta be mind over matter, but some times you've got to try REALLY hard to sell yourself on that one.
    Oh well... we will be feeling SO much better in a few months.... or less ;) :)
  • You're doing so well, but then you're young and strong and that sure does make a difference.

    I've got two Labradors and couldn't risk taking them out for 7 months. The younger one was only 2 then, and even now, she craves to see people and other dogs, which not everyone appreciates.

    During that 7 months, they were so good and somehow knew that I couldn't take them out. When they were able to go over the park again, they sure made the most of it.

    Your girl looks like she could be part Lab??

    Keep going on the long road - you will eventually reach the end.


    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
  • I can agree on walking the dogs! I have to walk them to go potty, and my 12 year old pitbull sure likes to pull me around. My boston terrier is the same. I just give them the look, and they stop.

    I dont do pt. My doctor said walk, walk. I used the treadmill for awhile, now the elliptical. Man, I feel like I am getting old when I get on that! I keep going because if I dont, I will feel stuck.
    I am 32, and have 3 children.
  • Our Cleo is a rescue so we're not positive... but I'm pretty sure I see so lab and some shepherd mix!! And she too just knows to take it easy with me, she knows we cant wrestle around like normal :)
  • I am on a 2 month "walking program" then as long as there has been the anticipated amount of healing; I will begin about 3 months of PT according to my surgeon, the and PT I have been treating with for most of the year. I wish I didn't have to be so cautious walking my dog though, because I know I would be more motivated to walk if I could just bring the dog and be carefree about it.
  • I felt so mean leaving my dogs at home while I went out but I had to look at the "bigger picture" of when I would be healed and able to take them out again. I just had to put myself first during this time.

    I know what you mean about being more motivated to walk if you could bring Cleo. She'll forgive you.

    I'm thinking the same as you - she looks to be Labrador/German Shepherd - both lovely breeds.


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