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How many nights were you in the hospital for your ALIF?

HcH2281HHcH2281 Posts: 2
edited 01/25/2015 - 8:15 PM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi all. I am ten days out from a single level (L5/S1) ALIF. I am curious to know how many nights you were in the hospital. My neurosurgeon says 2 nights, his MA says 2 if you're lucky but usually 3 and I just saw the PA for my pre op and she says I could go home after 1 night. What??? Not that I love the hospital but I don't know that I'd be ready after just one night or will I???


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
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    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • In the paperwork from my surgeon prior to my fusion it stated a hospital stay of 3-5 nights. Luckily I took this with me to the hospital, the nursing staff were discussing me leaving less than 24hrs post surgery & only backed off once I showed it to them in black & white.

    In the end I stayed in hospital 3 nights then was transferred to a rehab hospital for a further 8 nights (family circumstances dictated I couldn't go home straight away)

    I think it's important to get this clarified with your surgeon before surgery. You may not be a great advocate for yourself in those early days.
    Microdiscectomy L5S1 January 2014
    Microdiscectomy L5S1 March 2014
    Fusion L5S1 11th August 2014
  • I ended up staying 3 days due to my blood pressure dropping every time I got out of bed.
    Artificial disc at L5S1 for 10 years. Had 3 Level lumbar fusion and Laminectomy on Sept 27, 2013. It was an OLIF (Oblique Lumbar Interbody Fusion) with cages, BMP, rods & screws. Norco, Plaquenil
  • I had the surgery last Monday. Was discharged Wed. Afternoon. My surgeon had planned on me being in two nights if no complications and that was what my insurance pre-approved. I was a little concerned with coming home that quickly as my home has a lot unavoidable stairs. The hospital physical therapist worked with me quite a while Wed. morning to make sure I would be able handle the stairs well enough. I had an ALIF with posterior pedicle screws at L4/L5. 8 days later and I'm doing very well and making great progress.
  • Thank you for your comments! Got me to thinking... I should check to see if my insurance has a limit on how long I stay.
  • I had L3-S1 ALIF and was in for 5 nights. I think the main reason was lack of gut sounds and no farting! Once they heard gut sounds I could go.
  • pigfarmerppigfarmer Posts: 32
    edited 02/02/2015 - 10:57 AM
    I was in the hospital for six nights with mine, but that was back in 2001 and I know they do things different now. My latest surgery was in 2008, that was a TLIF of L3/S1 three levels, and I was in the hospital for eight nights with that but I did get pneumonia with that one. It's just sad to me now that your insurance decides for you how your feeling. It's like oh you had a major surgery on your spine you should be able to go home the next day right. Whoever came up with that rule has never had spine surgery. Just saying. God Bless!!
    11 back surgeries, fused from L3/S1. Now have four herniated disc in neck from C3/C7. And two new herniated disc in lumbar at L1-2, L2-3. Passed 73 kidney stones, five surgeries on left ankle that now has seven screws in it and is fused. Both shoulders
  • I went in for a OLIF and ended up with a ALIF due to complications. . . I was in a total of 3.5 days.

    Some of the things they will want you to be able to do to leave the hospital are --->
    - Walk around
    - Bowel movement
    - Eating solid food

    The bowel movement is not as much as a requirement anymore however.

    --) Dave (--
  • I was in for 3 nights. I probably could have been released after 2 as there were no complications however , the insurance was already billed for 3. I feel you should be your best advocate as to the length of stay. If your concerned about being released to soon , then voice this to the appropriate parties. Everyone heals differently so you may need a longer stay.
    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
  • 4 nights for me. Probably should have been 5 but my discharge day was Christmas eve so I had a fire burning under my butt to get all my boxes checked so I could go home.
    2015: Thoracic protrusions C7-T1, T3-4, T6-8
    Dec'13: 360FusionL4-S1 w/bone graft
    2013: 3x2-level disc injections: 12mo surgery postponement
    Dec'12: DiscogramL4-S1
    Sep/Oct'12: Bi-lateral Rhizo AblationsL4- S1
  • I should add that my surgery was a 360 and at two levels with a hip bone graft so that complicated things having so many incisions (stomach, back and hip).

    If yours is just one level and only from the front, maybe you could be out after 1-2 nights. Talk to your surgeon's office if you're concerned. Certainly, no reputable hospital is going to "kick you out" if you're not reaching your milestones and not in a stable condition.
    2015: Thoracic protrusions C7-T1, T3-4, T6-8
    Dec'13: 360FusionL4-S1 w/bone graft
    2013: 3x2-level disc injections: 12mo surgery postponement
    Dec'12: DiscogramL4-S1
    Sep/Oct'12: Bi-lateral Rhizo AblationsL4- S1
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