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Hi new here. L5/S1 fusion in pain still

WinkWWink Posts: 1
edited 09/15/2013 - 11:29 AM in New Member Introductions

I'm Wendy and new to the forums.

I'm 14 weeks post op (surgery was on June 10, 2013) from ALIF fusion of L5/S1 due to DDD. I have hardware---a Synfix LR for anterior lumbar inter body fusion. They also took a piece of bone or marrow, from my Iliac Crest and inserted it in the synfix device to fuse my bones together. I'm still in pain in my lower back and tailbone/SI joint region.

Some things are somewhat better, but I still have huge limits as t what I can do without too much pain. I expected more pain relief, but maybe it's still early days.


  • sandisandi Posts: 6,343
    edited 09/15/2013 - 11:57 AM
    Welcome to Spine Health
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    14 Weeks is a short time when it comes to Spine Fusion surgery. Things should slowly improve over the coming weeks and months, as the fusion solidifies and any nerves that were compressed recover. Fusion is a slow process and the recovery can take up to a year, sometimes more...and the recovery period depends on many factors, how much damage was done, the extensiveness of the surgery, and of course, whether or not there was nerve damage done...hang in there, and each day you will notice that things do improve.
  • 64pvolvo1800664pvolvo1800 Posts: 250
    edited 10/15/2013 - 10:20 AM
    Before the extent to which the nerve recovery is stable is what they told me. The nerve is pxssed off and may take a long time. On the other hand, it may be damaged as mine was and it may be as good as it gets. Mine actually got marginally better right off and then went down hill never improved. Today two years later I have a new stimulator to help since the nerve is a too far gone. Your mileage may vary :).
  • its very early days .it can take up to 3 YEARS to recover from ALIF , and in MY case it will be three years ,.for the first 6 weeks I was unable to do anything for myself and I would cry at anything I felt so defeated ,recovery from ALIF depends on a few things .age/health/weight/smoker/drinker/and if this was the first surgery .that make a massive difference .in MY case the consultant had to fix not just one attempt but two failed attempts so he was number three and even though he managed to do a good job from a medical technical point of view .unfortunately the pain from all the hardware and permanent nerve damage if there to stay .I hope you fare better ..just hang on in there its a long haul .and don't expect miracles .if you read things like I was riding 10 miles a day on my bike 3 weeks after my ALIF ..its bravado !! .also remember your not insured to drive for 6 weeks post op .take care
    ps I am still on a massive amount of oxycontin to control the pain and I am still in pain 2 years on !
    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
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