I'm new to spine-health and I'm looking for anyone who has been in a similar situation with the same operation. On May 29th I will operated on at New England Baptist Hospital to have a ALIF L3-S1 with percutaneous screws.
I'm 29 years old, 5'11" and herniated my L4-L5 when I was 19 playing college ball. Since that first injury, I went on to herniate my lumbar discs repeatedly over the last ten years. The injuries have been contributed to playing sports my entire life and I was told it could also be hereditary.
I have had a nucleoplasty procedure done in 2003 which failed. I have tried medication, PT, injections, acupuncture, yoga, etc. I have been very anti-surgery my entire life but now my x-rays and MRIs are showing signs of scoliosis and I can no longer maintain an active lifestyle at the level I want. I can still hike and go to the gym but playing the sports I love - softball, basketball and running have been out of the question since the end of last summer.
After a 3 level spinal fusion has anyone been able to return to playing sports?
I was told my stomach will become distended after surgery. How long did it take for swelling like that to go down?
How long before you could return to work and normal activities? i.e. going out with friends, food shopping and other errands
What was the hardest thing for you to do when recovering? i.e. shower or using the toilet?
In my research, I haven't found too many people my age that are getting this surgery done. In fact my doctor said it is very rare that someone my age and athletic ability has to go through this.
Just want to know if there is anyone out there with a similar story.