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Anterior Lumbar interbody fusion

dxmierddxmier Posts: 26
edited 12/22/2014 - 5:22 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I had a microdiscectomy in 05/2013. I was pain free for about 6 months and then started hurting again. I have been seeing a pain management doctor who recommended I have a second opinion. The orthopedic surgeon I saw is recommending I have a ALIF in my L5-S1. I have degenarative disc disease, a hernia and arthritis in my lower back. I was wondering if people who have had the above surgery can give me some input on questions I can ask my surgeon or feedback on how long ago you had it and how you are feeling now? If you had the chance to do it over again would you?


Thank you in advance for your input


Diana
Im 30. Had micro diskecetomy on 05/09/13. I had a herniated disc at L5-S1 that after 6 months of different treatments I was only getting worse.
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Comments

  • Owie_999OOwie_999 Posts: 176
    edited 12/20/2014 - 6:44 PM
    I had a TLIF at the same level four months ago & would do it again in a heart beat. I'm only early days but I feel so much better than I did before. There are some lifestyle changes I've had to make but they're small in the scheme of things.

    Ask your surgeon for a realistic recovery time frame based on your other medical conditions. My surgeon happily told me I'd be recovered in three months. I found myself sorely disappointed when I reached that mark to find I wasn't as recovered as I'd expected. Also try and get a rough timeline on how long you'll need stronger medication for. I tried weaning before my 4 week follow up as I expected he thought I'd be on less just like after my discectomies. He was horrified & told me to keep taking them for another month. It's one of the questions I forgot to ask & wish I had of.

    I will think about anything else I would ask if I had my time over,
    Veronica
    Microdiscectomy L5S1 January 2014
    Microdiscectomy L5S1 March 2014
    Fusion L5S1 11th August 2014
  • dxmierddxmier Posts: 26
    edited 12/21/2014 - 2:38 PM
    Thank you for your response Veronica. I will add those questions to my list. I didn't think of realistic time frame with my other health issues. I have anemia and have needed blood transfusions in the past due to bleeding stomach ulcers. Ive had 3 abdominal surgeries so I'm a little concerned about them going through my stomach with all my scar tissue. Are you still wearing the back brace? I also have kids and my 3 yr old can be needy. I know I won't be able to lift her up for some time. I'm just over being in pain I have tried injections the procedure where they laser my nerves and none has really helped. I've been in physical therapy for over a year.
    Im 30. Had micro diskecetomy on 05/09/13. I had a herniated disc at L5-S1 that after 6 months of different treatments I was only getting worse.
  • Owie_999OOwie_999 Posts: 176
    edited 12/22/2014 - 10:09 AM
    I haven't had to wear a brace at all. My surgeon never mentioned one. Just told me to very proactive in the no bending, lifting or twisting for the first 6-8 weeks. I'm still only allowed to lift 5-10kg & avoid twisting. He's lifted the bending provided I don't bend to pick something up. I'm looking at returning to work in Feb (he gave me clearance at the end of Nov but I have quite a physical job and didn't feel up to it. I'm only a casual employee & my boss has been great). You may have read the post surgery must have list & had one for your discectomy, but my grabber has been fantastic. I'm forever still using it to pick up my daughters toys. She's 14 but has a disability & loves her toys, just wish she wouldn't leave them lying around!

    Veronica
    Microdiscectomy L5S1 January 2014
    Microdiscectomy L5S1 March 2014
    Fusion L5S1 11th August 2014
  • EMS GuyEEMS Guy Posts: 926
    edited 12/24/2014 - 3:02 AM
    I think it's pretty common for doctors to be a little overly optimistic about recovery times. Bottom line, each person is a little different in how fast they heal. I did have a brace after my surgery and I'm glad I did. It helped with stability and a good reminder that there can be no BLT (bending, lifting, twisting). You will definitely want some help with the kiddos for a while! Also, Veronica brings up a good point about toys laying around. Make sure your family understands that just about all trip hazards need to be eliminated. Falling after fusion surgery is a scary thing! There are a lot of really good tips on this site to read before surgery.

    Best of luck!

    Keith
    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • When you went for your consultation and mentioned that you had 3 abdominal surgeries, didn't the surgeon think that it may be a problem with ALIF? Just curious.
  • darby01darby01 Posts: 191
    edited 12/28/2014 - 6:06 PM
    I just had mine done last Tuesday(12/23) and I dont have any of the pain that I experienced pre-surgery. I do feel a stabbing pain in my spine at the site of the surgery, but my doc said its only because they moved stuff around and it will definitely go away. My only complaint is the abdominal pain and loss of strength in left leg. My recovery time is 8-10 weeks and I'll be wearing a brace the whole time. I am using a walker to get around the house, so you may/may not leave the hospital with one ad well. The DO NOTS are: bending, squatting, twisting, and reaching. I tried to make my own breakfast today, but ended up asking my mom to do it. Showering is tough but I manage to do it. Dressing yourself is manageable, except for socks! I can't get those buggers on by myself lol. Last thing is stairs, they are forbidden!!! First thing they asked me before sending me home was if there were steps in the house, how many to get inside, and if I'll need to use them to get to bathroom, bedroom, kitchen, etc...... Good luck with everything when you have the surgery done.
    --Ryan
    Ryan
  • kinpain said:
    When you went for your consultation and mentioned that you had 3 abdominal surgeries, didn't the surgeon think that it may be a problem with ALIF? Just curious.
    I had previous hernia surgery and my Dr said it wouldn't be an issue, now 3 is a bit more! Maybe a PLIF would be the better way to go
    Ryan
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