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 !!