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Lumbar Spinal Fusion ALIF/PLIF


Has anyone ever heard about having a lumbar spinal fusion ALIF/PLIF done on L5/S1 that is done on 2 days? I am scheduled to have this surgery done on Tuesday and the second one on Thursday. I have never heard of such thing and I am very worried. This should be a one day surgery because there is a greater risk of complications when surgery is done over two separate days. Please advise. Thanks.


  • DaveFusionDDaveFusion Posts: 476
    edited 12/30/2012 - 2:27 PM
    Hi melvira. Welcome to Spine Health.

    Having the op split over 2 days is not unusual. Doing both on the one day can be tricky, as I have read here from others, a) the operation is long and the surgeon gets tired. So it's sometimes better to have 2 ops with the surgeon fresh than one marathon op with an exhausted surgeon b) if there are complications, there is no time pressure associated with having to complete the 2 in one day.

    I guess it's a risk benefit analysis. Which is riskier? This is a good question for your doctor.
  • it's sometimes called a 360 .but when i was opened up and i have already had surgery on the PLIF side of my spine i on,y needed the ALIF part {that was bad enough} read my posts on it ..if you want ..anyway back to your surgery ..its MASSIVE .and you will need as much help as possible for a long time and recovery could be as long as 3 years ..a recliner rise and decline would be a massive help to you as would a number of memory foam pillows to get comfy on you chair/bed .a raised loo seat and a grabber {amazon from 10 to 30$/£ } there is s good thread on post op extras this you may need on there .worth a look .don't feel downhearted by the complexity of the operation and just take it as it comes .and be prepared for a long recovery /its been 12 months for me and i am still no better .hopefully you will fair better good luck
    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
  • Hi!
    I'm two weeks post op from my 360 surgery.

    I was supposed to have the front part (anterior) on the Wednesday and the back part (posterial) on the Friday but I had complications so had the second surgery the tolling Monday meaning I had an 11 day stay in hospital.

    I found the front approach much rougher to deal with however again this could have been because of the complications, plus mine was 2 levels and a replacement on a third level.

    I am feeling good today, just getting ready for a walk and had 6 hours sleep last night!

    My first op was 7 hours, my surgeon says 2 lots of shorter surgery is less risky than one long surgery.
    My first op was supposed to be 3-4 hours they had issues waking me up after 7, so I can imagine having both lots in one go would have been too much.

    I am 30, non smoker, haven't had alcohol for 10 weeks and healthy.

    Just my experience, but your surgeon and anaesthetist are your best guide.
    2 level Discectomy 2000 open surgery
    L4/5 Discectomy & L5/S1 Laminectomy 2005- (Cauda equina) open surgery
    5 x joint injections 2012
    Discogram Dec 2012
    Dec 2012 - 360 Lumbar Fusion L4 -S1(BMP), Disc replaced L3/4, Bilat trocanter injects
  • brvsfan99bbrvsfan99 Posts: 113
    edited 01/02/2013 - 4:00 PM
    in which they did the surgery over two days. Mine was in 1 day but I had 2 different surgeons. A vascular surgeon did the front approach and my neurosurgeon did the back approach. It was a single level fusion so it didn't take too long and I had a 2 night 3 day hospital stay. I am feeling much better and would not change my decision in the least.

    Single level L5/S1 360 fusion with 6 screws and a rod (10/29/12)
    Diagnosis: Grade 1-2 spondylolithesis, Pars Defect, L5/S1 disc tear anterior and posterior, DDD, spinal stenosis
  • brvsfan99: Thanks. I am glad to hear that someone is feeling good with the decision they made. That helps. My doctor called me today to explain the procedure and he said that will have a ALIF/TLIF, some type of robotic surgery on day 2, which is a minimal invasive one. It is still a two day surgery but he said that this is much more successful than any other procedure. I feel pretty comfortable now. Again thanks for your feedback.
  • Just to let you know I am now 3 weeks post op and feeling great!

    I'm back to work on Monday!!

    My back scars are 2x 3 inch scars either side of my previous midline scar.

    Best of luck!
    2 level Discectomy 2000 open surgery
    L4/5 Discectomy & L5/S1 Laminectomy 2005- (Cauda equina) open surgery
    5 x joint injections 2012
    Discogram Dec 2012
    Dec 2012 - 360 Lumbar Fusion L4 -S1(BMP), Disc replaced L3/4, Bilat trocanter injects
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