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I want to hear from PLIF

downinmyheartddowninmyheart Posts: 497
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:23 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery

I would LOVE your input on PLIF recovery. I am seriously considering having the surgery and I would like your input on the recovery process. I am not too afraid of the pain as a temporary thing, but would like to know if this surgery has helped anyone long term. How did you feel AFTER the recovery? Was it worth it for you? Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

One Love,



  • Stephanie, I had PLIF (three-level) in May and my recovery exceeds my expectations. Maybe, because I really prepared myself for the worst, I couldn't believe it how smoothly my surgery went. Of course, everybody is different, but it helps to prepare by eating right, not smoking, keeping fit (if your pain allows it) and have a positive attitude. Now I have read a lot of posts taking about unpleasant experiences and lots of pain, so I thought I post about my good outcome to let you know that it is quite possible to have a successful outcome with minimal discomfort. This is my experience, but is one of the possible outcomes. The recovery takes time and requires a lot of dedication from your part, observe the rules (no bending./lifting/twisting) and WALK, WALK, WALK.

    Good luck with your surgery,

  • For your response. I WANT to hear the good things. Attitude is everything.

    One Love,

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  • I had a two level PLIF July 9th and I already consider myself a success. NO regrets and for me the initial weeks of recovery were VERY VERY painful. plus I got an infection so I needed another surgery. even after all that, since I started PT two weeks ago, my pain level has dropped substantially and I am sooooo happy I went through this. I am 37 and had lived with chronic pain for over a decade... so now I feel I can get on with my life, you know? :)
  • I just had my surgery on Sept 8th and already I'll tell you I am so glad I did it. I'm still sore and hurt sure, but not in the way that I did before. I'm walking better and longer than I did before...already. It's a big and scary choice, but for me I had to look at my quality of life. I was taking pain meds every day and could hardly do anything. That's already changed 2.5 weeks out. For me this was 100% the absolute right choice. Best of luck in your decision.
  • Hi! I am 1.5 weeks post op of PLIF, and I am glad that I had it done. The pain and sciatica I was having before surgery is gone, although I do have numbness in left leg and foot post op but it is not the same, and I know that the nerves were obviously aggravated before so they need time to heal also. I have days I have to remind myself that I've had major surgery, and then there is days like today that the back feels really tight and swelled up, and I feel ruff but there will be those days. I wish you luck in your journey with your back.
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  • Almost 8 weeks out 2 level PLIF L4-S1. Initially I was so well medicated that the pain wasn't so bad. Then I started feeling better and doing more----- that leads to a little more pain. All of my pre-surgery pain has been gone since day one, but I still have some muscle/ligament pain.

    This experience will be well worth the pain to get my life back. Next summer is going to be awesome :D

    Tomorrow I see my surgen and I am hoping that he lets me start PT and gives me 3-4 more weeks off of work so I can get a little stronger. I am not quite ready to go back to work yet.

    The mental stress of realizing that this is a long process is difficult- there are days that I know my husband and daughter (bless them) would like me to simply be 100% again. It has been mentally challanging to limit myself.

    Staying positive is key and walking daily. I usually go to the mall or shop since it has been raining terrible here.

    Today I managed to put on my own sox =D> the first time since July 28th =D> ....

    Good Luck,

  • I had a PLIF (L5-S1) on June 24th 2008. I had a rough couple weeks directly after surgery then things started getting better and continued to with each passing week. I am now 13 weeks post-op. I have started having a lil more pain now in my lower back and hips again. Surgeon says its from me starting to use the muscles again.I still am in my brace all the time except showering and sleeping. I have just started PT this week and I do still take percocet 20mg at least once a day for pain. I also have flexeril that I can take to settle my muscles from spasming. Most days I'm glad I made this decision but there are some days I still ask myself why I did this to myself..these are the days that I push myself too far and agrivate my back. This is my second fusion this year. I had a cervical fusion in September of 2007. I think everyone has they're good and bad days. Good luck with your surgery.

    Best Wishes,
    Christina >:D<
  • I'm 14 months post op for a one level PLIF and a lumbar laminectomy. I feel it's a sucess and i have no regrets. Sure it was scary but i always think positive and don't give up w/o a fight! :H
    Had PLIF in 2008 and a Laminectomy. One level fusion, L4-L5.
  • Seven weeks post-op lumbar fusion L4-5, so far so good. Getting better each week. The first few weeks were rough, but pain was manageable. Still in TLSO brace at least til Monday when I see the NS and check my first xrays for fusion. Starting to go stir crazy with boredom. Plan back to work at 12 weeks hopefully. Good-Luck, Sue
  • I would like to sincerely thank you for taking the time to tell me your story. And I am SOOOO glad that most of them have positive results. You have encouraged me!

    One Love,

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