I am now 3 weeks post op from a anterior lumbar interbody fusion (peek cage with bmp, titanium plate and 3 screws) at L5 S1. This surgery came as a result of a failed microdiscectomy 6 weeks prior, which re-herniated after only 2 weeks(reherniation was worse than first, 15mm and completely compressing sciatic nerve).
In terms of a brief history, i have a very physically demanding job on the back, that of laying timber floors, and had about 8 months of pain in my back, but more so in my left leg, which continued to get worse despite all attempts at conservative treatment. MRI showed 10mm disc herniation plus DDD .
I eventually got to the stage of "no quality of life", and found no real reief from medications, (endone, brufen), so decided to go ahead with a microdiscectomy. i live in Australia, and as this injury was a result of my work, all my treatment has been covered by work cover.
In terms of my current condition, i couldn't be happier with the out come of my surgery so far. I was up walking the day after my op, and home 2 days after. I used pain meds,(penadeine forte) for 4 days post op, and have not used any meds since except aspirin for clots. My entry site in tummy was very tender for first 2 weeks, and had a few aches in lower spine, especially when transitioning from sitting to lying or standing etc. i have walked twice a day every day since op, and am now up to 2 x 30 min walks per day, plus 20 mins of core exercises. I started rehab program with my physio yesterday, so it should be onwards and upwards from here. I feel great, my quality of life is the best it has been in a very long time, and i have complete faith i will make a full recovery. Most important is that i have had no leg pain from the minute i woke up from op.
This brings me to my question to all out there, what to expect from life after spine alif surgery? Would you go back to a physically demanding job? do you still lead active lives,(biking, hiking, kayaking, swimming,)? Has it had a positive impact on your life?
I hope that some out there have some answers, just as i am happy to answer any questions you may have.