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My 2 level ALIF - so far so good

Hi all
newbie here, am 5 weeks out of a L4/L5/S1 ALIF with the medtronic cages and so far so good :) From Auckland, New Zealand.

First couple of weeks were awful, lots of pain from the belly wound, the back and sciatic pain - I got 45mm taller (1.5 inches) from surgery which is a big stretch for those nerves, thankfully the sciatic pain has settled down to occasional and mild, the belly wound doesn't hurt at all anymore, and my original pre-op pain is completely gone woopy!! , which is great and means that it really was discogenic :) The only pain I have now is from my lumbar spine and feels very bony - different to my original pain and probably from my vertebrae growing.fusing. Was in hospital for 6 days total.

Am walking 3km per day with no issues but do still spend a fair bit of time lying down with a hot water bottle in my lumbar spine, am off work for another month and more if I need it. My surgeon is an excellent one with a great reputation, I have lots of faith in his work. I am still taking some narcotics for the pain and gabapentin, though the gabapentin doesn't seem to do much other than make me hungry - anyone else get that?

I am already reducing my narcotic dose and finally sleeping better - not great but better. First 3-4 weeks was pretty poor for sleeping, waking every 1-2 hrs, but now I'm only waking 2-3 times a night and able to roll over and get back to sleep almost immediately. Best position is on my side with a pillow between my legs, not my usual position but am getting used to it.

My wound has healed really nicely and is already just a thin red line, all in all I'm pretty happy with everything. I can do mos things now albeit slowly, can wash, clean, dress my self no problem, can cook and clean the house and drive and stuff, use a normal toilet/shower whatever. Can't ride my motorbike yet or run/jog and don't do anything quickly,but otherwise OK.

Just wanted to post a happy camper post with a 2 level ALIF report !!



  • itsanewdayiitsanewday Posts: 4
    edited 09/12/2014 - 12:33 PM
    Hi everyone,
    am at week 8 post 2 level ALIF now and still doing OK, am gaining function and reducing symptoms week by week although progress has slowed. At the moment I am trying to kick my oxycontin habit, have been on and off this drug for over two years and built up a fair tolerance. I used to take 30mg per day and that was huge - zombie like and made me nauseous and itchy and constipated to hell (and pretty much pain free), now I can easily take 150 to 200mg per day and don't get half those symptoms anymore, this tolerance really scares me and so my current mission is to get off this stuff.

    At first I went cold turkey from 150mg/day and lasted 5 days before the pain got the better of me, did suffer withdrawels but not as bad as I expected, mainly sleeplessness, restlessness (esp. in the legs), diarrhoea and just general not-happiness :).

    After a couple of weeks I went another 3 days clean, 3 days off, 3 days clean etc, and now on my fourth attempt and at day 4 days clean today, getting withdrawals every time so am fair sick of the see-sawing, this time will hopefully be the one........

    This drug is hard to kick but mainly because of the pain not the withdrawals, so maybe I am just doing this too soon?
    Am taking gabapentin (300mg 4 x per day) and paracetamol (acetaminophen for the Americans) 1g 4 x per day, and nortryptiline 50mg at night.

    Finding the gabapentin is making me very emotional !! I am a 42 year old male and this is not like me at all, I am at the edge of crying all the time and not at all sad?? Very weird, friend of mine said - welcome to PMT ! - is anyone else taking this drug ?? also called neurontin.....

    Any advice on quitting the oxycotin would also be most welcome?

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