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ALIF l4-s1

I'm 4 weeks postoperative from anterior only fusion L4-S1. I'm still hurting. I'm not taking narcotics but I still can't work. My surgeon said 2-4 weeks off work since anterior is supposedly a faster recovery than anterior. Does anyone have experience on anterior only recovery?


  • Stef24SStef24 Posts: 6
    edited 01/15/2014 - 10:45 AM
    I am 4 weeks post op from ALIF (Surgery was Dec 23.) I however flew from Florida to California 13 days post op for a special event and then flew home day 16. I returned to work day 17 post op. I have a desk job. I will admit day 17 & 18 at work was miserable however, I didn't have an employer that would give me time off soooooooo.... As of now 4 weeks post op I am walking 30 mins a day (in increments.) I have the brace I wear all day but to sleep and shower. My hips are hurting, mainly muscle pain. I am still on muscle relaxers but not pain pills. My back is very weak but not in pain. I have experienced leg pain which I am waiting to hear from my doctor about because it is the same pain I had prior to surgery. My incision is healing. The incision is probably my worst problem. The glue is just now coming off and that is painful in itself. My stomach is still hard and numb. I'm not so patient waiting for the incision to heal. I have been prescribed 3 stretches to do by my neurologist and walking. I am not sleeping well as I can't get super comfortable. I still can't bend over and rely on friends and neighbors to help a lot with heavy lifting. I do find after 8 hours of work I only want to lay down for the night as I am exhausted. (I will say that at my 2 week post op visit my neurologist said I was about 2 weeks ahead of all of this patients so I guess my recovery is not typical I was really motivated the first 10 days after surgery to be able to fly to California). I wish you well in your recovery.
  • I had a 360 fusion, a posterior and an anterior and am now fused L1 to S1. I returned to work 3 weeks after. Certainly there is still some pain. Everyone is different and recovers at a different rate. Full recovery takes a long time. I was very active before my surgeries and worked hard on my core strength and I am sure that helped. I swim regularly and being weightless is wonderful plus it is good overall exercise that is easy on joints.

    Walking helps. Start (with the ok from your doctor) with short walks several times a day and build from there.

    I took muscle relaxers for a long time after my surgeries and they really helped. I was on pain killers, not the narcotic ones) for awhile as you need to be pain free so your body can heal. Talk to you doctor about options

    Are you doing physical therapy? This can help your recovery and make sure you are strengthening the right places while recovering.

    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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