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lumbar interbody fusion (alif) surgery with cage implants and bone grafts - back spasms -cramps in

Hello All,
I am a 40 year old male that just had done anterior lumbar interbody fusion (alif) surgery with cage implants and bone grafts harvested from my own hip bone in L4, L5, & S1. This was on the 3-12-15 in San Diego. I spent 3 days in the hospital and everything went well for the most part. I was able to walk on the second day (very painful), Now I am suffering from major back spasms -cramps in my lower back. This started exactly 8 days after the surgery. My surgeon put me on Valium as a muscle relaxer. Apart from my pain killers percocet and fentanyl patches.I wanted to see if this was common and most important (passing by) hopefully. I am really suffering -- every day for me. I think twice juts if I have to get up to go to restroom or just get out of bed. The back spasms/cramps hit me for about 30 to 50 minutes long. I try to do control them with deep breathing but no luck to painful. I am really close to going to ER sometimes. Any info is appreciated. Now just a few days ago I began on April 6 to be exact experience sciatica on my right leg shooting pain down my right hip/buttocks, goes down the back of the leg. All the same pain I had experience for the last 3 years that were on my left leg /side only. Never my right side leg now I'm dealing with this. It's horrible I feel my pain level is higher on my right side from what was on my left side before ALIF surgery. I have spent my last few days in bed mostly. Just getting up is a task and getting back into bed that sciatic pain make me a grown man that has been hurt in the past almost break into tears in front of my family. I hope this is something just passing by due to my recent ALIF surgery in 03/12/15. I am eating away at my pain killers like they were candy. I know this is bad but even before, I never had to take that many pills prior to my ALIF surgery. Plus I have to get back to work ASAP to protect myself/job and with all these pain issues just no way. I can barely walk a block at snail pace without leaning on something or taking a breather. Please any past history similar to my current experience or ideas I should do or follow let me know! I truly will appreciate help from everywhere here and above.


  • I don't know what you were expecting or what your dr told you, but this is a major long-recovery surgery. I was mostly in bed for 4 months and I only had 1 level done! I am 2 years out and am still on some pain meds.

    But anyway, for the cramps, try adding Magnesium and Potassium. A lot of the pain meds, I have found, suck potassium right out of your system. I take 2 potassium and 1 magnesium a day ,plus the magnesium will help with constipation.

    Believe me, I know EXACTLY how you feel! I thought I would be up and about and back to normal in a few weeks. I had had other surgeries before, so I figured, no sweat. Ha! Not in this case. But overall, even though I still take meds, and have a new normal (I really hate that term but it is true), I feel like the surgery was a success. I work full time, work out 5 days a week, and pretty much do everything I did before.

    Once your surgeon is done with you, find a great pain management dr. I think my surgeon quit prescribing around 6 months.

    Good luck and keep in touch. Pm me if you want.
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