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pain and discomfort in abdomen and around ALIF scar 9 months after surgery

Hi, I had an anterior L-4-5 fusion in October 2011 that went quite well all things considered. I have been noticing though that I have a good deal of irritation in my abdomen around the incision site still. Any one else have anterior lumbar fusion and have these type of symptoms this far out?? thnx!


  • EmilyEEmily Posts: 112
    edited 07/30/2012 - 7:08 AM
    I had that pulling tender sensation too. Now at 14 months out, it's gone.
  • Meaning was your procedure the cure all? Im in line for a 2 level ALIF L4-S1. I hear, like you that alot of discomfort comes from the inscision throuh the abdomen. I had a surgery in October and dealt with a 6 inch incision on my back but the front makes me more nervous......
    I'll have to follow your lead if i develop similiar symtoms!
    Weight room accident at 18. Had compression fracture and was paralyzed for month until ruptured spinal column healed. At 37 did all the epidurals/blocks. At 38 had two level open lami and Discectomy. At 39 (Sept 2012) had two level ALIF L4-S1 fusion.
  • dmt683ddmt683 Posts: 27
    edited 08/20/2012 - 9:25 AM
    The ALIF cured MOST of the pain, I still get stiffness and soreness off and on. If I skimp on exercise I REALLY feel it. But the fact that I'm posting about discomfort from the incision and not continuing horrible back pain...seems to say that the ALIF was something of a cure all. I am noticing less irritation from the scar these days, kinda goes up and down. Make sure to have your PT mobilize the scar after surgery... I got a little of that treatment but probably not enough. I've heard that the incision heals improperly if not mobilized correctly. And if this improper healing happens... more pulling and soreness is felt in the abdomen. Well good luck to you on your ALIF, and I wish you as speedy of a recovery as possible!! It's not easy but a good attitude and proper preparation are key!
  • backache99backache99 Posts: 1,338
    edited 08/21/2012 - 11:54 PM
    and i have pain in the same place too .maybe its part of the recovery ?? i still have a lot of pain in my lower back and i have leg and feet problems too .but yes i have noticed pain and tenderness around the abdominal scar recnetley
    tony {UK}
    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
  • My physical therapist recommended massaging my scar daily. I did not realize how important that can be. I am five weeks post op and still have uneven lumps above my scar which looks like the surgeon rolled the skin into a earthworm looking scar. This gives me a pooch that I did not have before the surgery. My stomach was flat. This is very disturbing to me and I afraid that it is permanent. Any advice anyone?
  • my scar is a slight bit uneven still almost a year out. Make sure to keep up with the mobilization, and after you have healed enough there are some techniques a dermatologist may use to help reduce the scar tissue (laser treatments, etc) and I have heard these methods can dramatically reduce your scar!!
  • around Easter this year I started with bad abdominal cramps so bad that they would make me cry and so bad that I had been to hospital 3 times on as many weeks ,,,once in the back of an ambulance as I thought I was dying !! in the A&E dept I was told it was constipation !! still the pain was there and I was loosing weight and no appetite .so I was sent for a CT scan and its NOT constipation they have seen something on the small bowel I have also been for an MRI scan with contrast that was on Thursday .I am worried sick that I may have cancer as I found myself in a cancer clinic and the radiographer ..when asked ..said we just want to see if its spread to your lymph nodes !!! I was shocked ..I have not been told that I have cancer but by the sound of things they think it is .I am dreading the phone call or the brown envelope hitting the mat this week ,,just as I thought my life could not get any worse it looks like it has .I am terrified .I just hope I am wrong .whatever it is ..its going to require surgery anyway I don't think I can take any more stress I am in pain with my back all the time and now for the last 3 months I have bowel pain and that's no fun either .I have so much to live for .a new grandson a beautiful daughter a fantastic wife a new car a holiday booked but I have a dark cloud hanging over me that could wipe all that out ..its true ..you never know whats around the corner ,make the most of every day if you are able because there may come a time when you carnt
    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
  • AllieO2000AAllieO2000 Posts: 49
    edited 06/08/2013 - 2:55 AM
    Tony, my husband and I know what you're going through. We went to a follow up appointment in Sept 2011 after Kev had a back MRI and expected to hear something about his spine. Instead, the doctor greeted us very seriously and told us that Kev's back was the least of our worries. The MRI picked up a huge tumor on his left kidney. This was followed by a series of urgent appointments with everything looking like an aggressive cancer. In January 2012, the urologist removed the entire kidney as the tumor was so large and invasive within the kidney. Our prayers were answered and it was a rare benign tumor.

    In the weeks between Sept 2011 and Jan 2012, we talked through every possible scenario. I did extensive research and tried to maintain a positive front. We laughed and cried. We told very few people. If it had been an aggressive, invasive cancer, we were going to rent a camper trailer and drive on a farewell tour to family and friends. We didn't need to do that, but we really did plan through every scenario we could identify. That was our coping mechanism.

    Chin up, Tony. Demand quick answers and move forward with dignity. You have more people rooting for you than you know.

  • Hello, I had ALIF in Nov 2015, I noticed a large lump to the left side of my abdomen,  from right after my surgery til now I still have a lump protruding , which has made my life miserable, I have seen 4 general surgeons, a gastro, two plastic surgeons, and had a cat scan, and no one will help me, at the time of the surgery I weighed about 240, i weigh now 255, One doctor told me to loose 5o pounds, that sounds like an excuse. I'm a little scared to work out cause im afraid I might do more damage, The original surgeon, wont help me, and no one wants to get involved, its amazing with all the technology we have, they cant fix this. All I know is I did not have this problem prior to the surgery, and the last general surgeon I saw said this is permanent, and may get worse. Is there anyone who's had any luck
  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    Hello dbianco62

    This is an old discussion created by a member no longer on the forum so I am closing it.

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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
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