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AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:25 AM in New Member Introductions
Scheduled for L4 L5 S1 ALIF on 12-3-08. What should I expect post op?


  • There are many posts on this site about recovery from fusion surgery - and there is certainly a great deal of variation in the experiences of different people. The list of Post-Op Must Haves is also very helpful and quite accurate in terms of what most of us need after surgery.

    I had ALIP/PLIF. Some people think ALIF is an easier recovery - others disagree. I think, however, that most agree that recovery is long and slow. You can plan on spending your time either reclining or walking - both sitting and standing are difficult for quite a while. At 4 months post-op I still have trouble sitting for more than about 45 minutes.

    I did not have a great deal of pain after the first couple of weeks. Pain meds made me feel awful and so I stopped them after the first 2.5 weeks. Many people stay on pain meds for months after surgery.

    Some surgeons order PT right away after surgery, some not until 8 or more weeks post-surgery and some not at all. Regardless, all seem to agree that walking is important and should start ASAP.

    The anterior incision bothered me much more than my posterior incision for the first few weeks. Also, some people seem to have digestive difficulties following anterior surgery.

    Do search ALIF on this site and take a look at the recovery experiences. You will find lots of information!

  • Please check out the surgery section as you will find a list of things that you will need post op. Recovery is so much easier if you are prepared. Good luck with surgery and please keep us posted with your progress.
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  • I had a 360 fusion so both the front and back were cut. I am 19 days post-op and feel great. The front scar is horizontal as to lessen the aggravation to my belly contents. They scar is about 6inches long and was stitched inside and ???glued and steri/stripped. I think moving the contents is easier and less traumatic... Do you know how they are doing it? I had a vascular surgeon do they cutting as to go around and be careful of the aeortic vein? Mine was not tethered so it was easier to just push it out of the way. My whole surgery was 2 hours give or take. L4-L5 fusion with disc replacement and hardwear. I have a great surgeon and I am thankful for him. Check out the post-op must have link, just be ready to rest and walk. et plenty of sleep, rest and patience. Best Wishes
  • :) hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. i do not have surgery coming up but i do have pain as you do. i wish you the best on your upcoming surgery. be sure and follow the doctor's orders. don't overdo!! recovery is a slow process!! good luck! Jenny :)
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