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I had my ALIF done on 9.11.17 fused L5 S1 so I'm a little over 3 weeks post op and I probably had some unrealistic expectations of what recovery would look like. I had the impression that I'd need 10 days of pain meds at most, would be driving after a month, that it wouldn't be any worse than a non-complicated C-section (of which I've had two). I'm still having a whole lot of pain and have to force myself not to take the pain medication and give in only when I'm in tears and completely spent from trying to hold out. I can barely walk, and that's when using the walker. I still have the sciatic pain down my entire right leg, only now we've added the excruciating lower back pain from all this new hardware and the general pain of the surgery and we've added the incision pain as well. I feel nearly useless. I can only sit or stand for really short periods of times, walk very short distances around the house or to the car for a doctor appointment. I can do the stairs just once a day and go straight to the couch for a nap to recover. This is NOTHING like the recovery that I pictured.
From my reading on here, it sounds like there really is no such thing as "typical recovery" and that everyone's body recovers at it's own pace. My own surgeon seems only mildly concerned, says we're not that far out yet. But I really, honestly thought that I would be driving at 4 weeks. I actually have plans made to be driving come next week and now I have to reschedule a lot of things because I won't, apparently, be driving yet and I can't say when that will be happening. Only it's clearly not happening yet.
So I was just wondering for other patients who have had this procedure done because I'm trying to get a general poll to see what the range can be...how soon was it before you were driving after your ALIF procedure? How long was it before you driving distances of maybe 2-3 hours (longer than the grocery store, like able to drive on a daytrip)? How long before you were able to control your pain without the use of prescription medication? Did you do any Physical Therapy after your procedure and if yes, how soon did you start?
Ok, that's several more questions beyond just driving, lol. But thanks if you take the time to read and answer any or all of those. I'm looking forward to getting to know you guys more from my laptop here as I learn the virtue of patience.