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How long after 360 (ALIF/PLIF) should I expect sitting?


I had 360 ALIF/PLIF for my L5 herniated/degenerative disc issues on July 3rd. So far, I believe the healing process is going normally and I'm able to walk and stand and take showers, etc. One thing that is still incredibly difficult for me, though, is sitting. I can't sit down for more than 10-15 minutes max without deep, dull pain (or in some cases, shooting nerve pains). Basically, I don't sit unless it's just for a few minutes and then I know to get back up.

How long should I expect this to last? Will I build tolerance and eventually be able to sit again? I'm in a wedding in October which will require flying, and right now I can't even imagine how I would sit on a plane for 2 hours. Can anyone share their experience(s) re: sitting tolerance?


360 Spinal Fusion (ALIF/PLIF) 7/3/2014


  • Usually , post surgery, the doctors recommend limiting your sitting time to no more than 15 minutes at a time , mulitple times per day, usually meals at first, then increasing the time/frequency once you hit the 6 week mark.
    Sitting was one of the difficult aspects of recovery and I found sitting on a hard chair much easier than sitting on a soft recliner type......and the use of a cushion or pad helped to ease some of the discomfort.
  • I cannot stand very long without legs/feet going to sleep. I use my walker so I can still do the walking needed for recovery but can't go very far distances. Like I've mentioned in other posts I've developed fluid buildup (painful swollen lumps behind my knees and my ankles). Scheduled for the CT myleography next Wednesday to get to the bottom of this. Twice I've awoken to use the restroom and had no feeling that both legs /feet were asleep so proceeded to get up as normal and luckily fell back onto the soft bed. Not sure, surgeon has several ideas but obviously will know more after scans.
    Grade 1 Anterolisthesis/Spondy L5/S1 with Modic changes and mild disc protrusion, DDD, Osteoarthritis L2/L3, Stenosis, Sciatica, Herniation L4/L5. Scheduled for 360 spinal fusion/decompression July 1, 2014.
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