I am 20 weeks post op from my ALIF. I have a spacer with internal hardware and no external hardware at all. I had a ridiculous fast recovery in the beginning. I was in the hospital for two days. I was on a plane from Florida to California on day 12 after surgery. I was back to work 15 days post op full time. I wore a back brace for about 6 weeks. Around the 6 week mark i was getting pain in my calves and had ultrasounds for blood clots, all came back negative. My neurosurgeon then put me into PT at 7 weeks. I starting walking 1 mile a day at that time and I'm up to 3 miles at 20 weeks and doing a modified Turbo Jam workout. I have 0 back pain, mostly tight muscles, stretching helps. The surgery was by all means a success. My biggest problem has been abdominal nerve pain. About 70 days post op it was so bad I was taken to the emergency room because I couldn't actually stand from the pain. I spent 8 hours in an ER for them to tell me there was nothing they could do but give me morphine and ride it out. I now have my general surgeons cell phone number in case it happens again. I would love to hear from more people as to how long and how severe your nerve pain was in the abdominal region. I can only wear dresses because pants cause unbearable pain after 4 hours of wear. It is by far my biggest recovery problem. My abdomen is still hard, numb, and very sensitive, although the incision has healed beautifully. Both surgeons told me to give my abdomen a year to heal. They love to say "At one point you had 4 man hands and a drill inside you." They do not want to put me on any medication for it. I would really like to hear more from others on this. All and all I would do this surgery again. It has been a great success. I've had no complications and my pain that led me to surgery is completely gone.