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I'm scheduled for an ALIF next month and am super nervous.
How long did u stay in the hospital and how did they treat the pain. At home did you need assistance getting in and out of bed or walking? Any other info you can give will be great


  • I'm in Australia & my surgeon estimated my hospital stay as 3-5 days. I was in for 3, then spend 7 nights in rehab. I mostly went to rehab to re cooperate away from home (I have a disabled child who has no concept of personal space or not to pull on me).

    My pain was treated with oral medication both while an inpatient & once I returned home. I found it hard to keep on top of when I first came home as I didn't want to be woken to take medication. In hindsight I should have set an alarm during the first week home & taken medication at scheduled times.

    Try & practice doing the 'log roll' to get in & out of bed. It was & still is the easiest way to get up. In regards to walking you may find it easier to take smaller steps than you normally would. Everyone is different & I know there's people here who have had to use canes or walkers.

    One of the hardest things I found was drying myself after a shower without bending or twisting. I ended up getting dressed & using my clothes to finish off the drying process! Slip on shoes are great too. I felt like a small child having to ask people to do up my shoe laces. I once even had to ask my pharmacist when I'd gone for a walk & my lace had come undone. Don't say no to help especially around the house.

    Good luck,
    Microdiscectomy L5S1 January 2014
    Microdiscectomy L5S1 March 2014
    Fusion L5S1 11th August 2014
  • Thanks for sharing your story Veronica. The Anterior is what scares me the most
  • Were there any catheters involved? Ive read that they insert a catheter, and im not too excited about having a tube in my penis
  • My Hospital stay was 3 days. As for treating the pain , I had a pump , with some "magical liquid" , that worked great to alleviate any pain. As for the catheter , this was included in the "deal" as well. However, it was inserted during surgery so I didn't feel it.
    On day 2 of hospitalization , the pump ,PLIF incision drain and catheter were removed. A bit of pain on the removal however , the surgery incisions were more of a concern. As for walking , day 2 up with a walker. Next day, no walker. For the remainder of hospitalization I walked all over the 5th floor as much as possible. Even so far as to get my oral medication from the Nurses station. As for getting in and out of bed , I handled it on my own with the 'log roll". For pain , a couple of Norco's per day were sufficient. I feel the biggest challenge regarding the recovery was remembering not to bend, lift or twist and not driving or going anywhere in an auto.
    This due to the bending restriction and the potential of getting in an accident. My rehab was and still is walking. So I logged about 2 miles a day during the first 7 week post - op period.
    Back to work and the Gym at week 10. Although ,the workouts were and still are light, I'm satisfied with the direction its going. As for pain now, its very little. This as long as I don't overdo something. I think I've had to take a Norco maybe once a week for pain as of late.
    About me: 52 yo HWP athletic male with lumbar issues dating back 8 years.
    Hope this helps and good luck!

    Bilateral L5 spondylolysis L5 with grade I anterolisthesis L5-S1.
    Stable multilevel degenerative spondylosis contributing to mild canal
    narrowing L2-3 and L3-4.
    360 ALIF & PLIF L-4 - S-1 on 8/11/14
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