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Need any and all info about upcoming surgery

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:19 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi everyone, new user here! I'm asking for your help. I'm having Anterior fusion at l4-l5 on the 28th and would love any advice that you guys would be willing to share. I hope I'm doing this right as I'm a new user. Thanks in advance for your comments.


  • I had an ALIF L4-5/S1 so I can answer questions for you but can you be more specific what you'd like to know, I can tell you things to buy prior, restrictions, do's and dont's, recovery time that kind of thing.

  • Hi Chatney,

    I'm new as well, and having the same surgery 8/8. I'm scared to death. I have never had any surgeries before and I'm quite nervous about the whole recovery thing... I'm thinking about all the things I need to do and I am having a lot of trouble wrapping my head around being out of commission.

    Anyway... I ditto your post. Advice on getting through this is greatly appreciated!


  • I may be having a similar fusion myself in the future so I just wanted to wish you luck with it. Whatever recovery time the surgeons tell you that you will need, double it just to prepare yourself!

    You will out of action for a while afterwards so make sure you either have some help or that you can adapt things at home to allow for the fact that you will not be able to bend lift or twist for 3 months post-op. Follow all your post op instructions to the letter, and hopefully you will have a very successful recovery. I've heard that it can take up to a year or longer to completely recovery from a surgery like this, so be patient and stay focused during the recovery otherwise you will become disheartened.

    Stay in touch with people here because there is always someone to help and advise at all stages pre and post-op. There are several threads on here about preparing for surgery so have a look at those because they are really useful.

    Good luck with everything and keep in touch to let us know how things are going! Spicey
  • Hi Chatney,

    I am the keeper of a long list somebody passed on to me prior to my surgery. It list items you would need in he hospital and during recovery. The list was written by a woman so it has a lot of things a guy has no needs for. But basically it is very useful. If you would like to have it, PM me your email address and I mail it to you.

    Good luck,

  • Hi there! You'll find a ton of help and support here-everyone is great! I had an ALIF L5 S1 Feb. 2007 then the Extraforaminal Interbody fusion (from the side and back) May 2008. The anterior scar is about 8 inches and barely visible now. It was easier because they don't cut any back muscle or interrupt much nerve tissue. The anterior abdominal muscle is cut the way it runs naturally so it heals pretty quickly. The abdominal part will heal quickly but the fusion portion itself takes time....a whole year to fuse completely.
  • The list of needs between women and men should be pretty darn close together. Get a "grabber" from Wal-Mart, that will be one of your best friends. Also, see if insurance will get you a riser toilet seat. Getting on and off the crapper can be a bit painful for a while.

    Right after surgery, start getting up and out of bed as much as you can tolerate. Each time out makes it easier for the next time you want to get up. You will perfect the log roll with a pillow between your knees. It may seem wierd at first sleeping like that, but you will feel better when you wake up in the morning.

    After surgery, try and get off the pain medication soon. Obviously, take it if you hurt, be careful with it. Most all opiod medications will cause constipation and it is easy to get hooked on the stronger stuff. You will be dealing with enough constipation because of the ALIF procedure. They move an awful lot of stuff around in you which isn't used to being moved. In that regard, eat wisely. Avoid a lot of meat. Small portions aren't bad, but wait until your system is back to normal before heading out to the local staekhouse!

    This is just a small list of things. I'm sure you can find other info folks are posting here. If you have questions, feel free to e-mail me.

    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
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