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ALIF recovery time?

I have just been told I am going to need a double level ALIF in order to correct a problem with the cage between L4/L5 and to fuse L5/S1. Can anyone tell me how long it will take before I can resume normal activities if all goes well?


  • ALIF is major for anyone .if you have had any previous surgery recovery will be longer and the older and less fit you are will all add to the length of your recovery time .i had ALIF l4/l5 In dec 2011 it was a text book operation done by one of the uk's top consultants but my recovery had been hard work and it no where near over yet ,i have been told that FOR ME IT WILL BE THREE YEARS TO FULLY RECOVER .you may be different .i think three years it a long time but the average is around 12 months before you are feeling something like a human again ..i have found since the ALIF i am still in a lot of pain and i get tired quickly and i am unable to do many things {but its been like this for many years due to previous poor surgery ] YES i have had a bad experience but i have known people say they feel fantastic only 3 months after surgery ,just remember whatever the outcome of your ALIF its major surgery and your body will have been to hell and back so give yourself plenty of time to rest and recover and do not rush your recovery as you may find yourself back on the table .good luck and best wishes to you i hope everything goes well
    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
  • I agree with Tony, it is major surgery and full recovery takes a long time. It depends on your fitness level, activities you want to return to, desire to to get there.

    I was able to return to work 3 weeks after getting home from the hospital. I walked a lot and was able to get back to swimming as soon as the incision allowed it. Seven months later I had another fusion and even tho I was able to return to work again 3 weeks post hospital it took me 3 years to get back to all the activities I wanted to. I never got to heal from the first one before I had the 2nd one.

    Listen to your doctor and PT and follow their instructions. Take it easy. You do not need to be a hero in your recovery.

    If you have a strong core it will definitely help your recovery.

    Good luck and let us know how you are doing.

    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.
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