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Less than 48 hours away from ALIF - very nervous

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,322
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:26 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hello everyone :H

I don't post very much, but I do read through the forums daily and love the site.

I am scheduled for an ALIF one level-fusion at L5-S1. My OS assisted by a vascular surgeon will be doing the surgery. I have had two previous lami/disc at this level due to herniation and reherniation. Went through PT and other conservative treatment, got a second opinion, etc. so I know the time has come for this. I walk slightly bent over and with a limp at this time, pain....oh yeah!

I guess I am just venting and if anyone has any pre or post surgery tips for a fusion with this approach, I would appreciate it. I printed out the "must haves" which has helped a lot in getting things together :) Just have a bad case of the "what if's", if you know what I mean. :SS


  • Good luck with your surgery this week. I had a one level fusion (PLIF) at L5-S1 on December 4. I'm now starting to get around much better thanks to the "must have" list on this board. Since you've already had a couple of back surgeries then you know the pain associated with the back muscles, etc. I wasn't prepared for the initial pain. Rolling over to get out of the hospital bed was terrible. If possible, have someone stay with you the first night or two. Relying on the nurses and aids for help was ridiculus and slow.

    I had shoulder surgery and knee surgery over the past 3 years, but this was so different. However, it was bearable, short-term and worthwhile. The pain I've experienced for many years is gone now and hopefully for good.

    Best of luck to you. Stay positive and let us know how you are doing.
  • Thank you oh2 :) Wow, December 4th...not too long ago, huh? I'm glad to hear you are getting around better. I guess since they are going through my abdomen this time, just not sure what to expect post-op :? I'm lucky that I will be having someone staying with me as my "spokesman"..LOL! Thanks for your reply.
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  • After having two c-sections, I guess that I'd rather have them go through the front, but that wasn't an option by my surgeon. I think either way it's gonna be uncomfortable for a while, but well worth it. Now, with that said, I'd much rather have them go through the back then have another c-section. Only because it would mean that I would have another child and that would be worse than the hip and leg pain that I've been having over the years =))

    Oh yeah, don't forget to shave your legs before you go. My 15 year old just can't fathom that I cannot shave them right now. Oh to be young and flexible!!!

    Good luck.
  • I had a PLIF/decompression with instrumentation on Nov 18. Am 56 and have had lots of different surgeries. This was the most involved and longest - lasting 6 hours due to the uunexpected find of a spinal cyst. I actually was very pleased at how easy I "woke up" after surgery - not nearly as foggy as I remember after my hysterectomy.

    The only big problem I've had is that I'm still having the leg/foot burning issues that got so bad before my surgery. But I had pretty severe symptoms and my OS said (based on MRI etc) that my nerves were pretty much "at the breaking point" right before surgery. So it's gunna take some time for those nerves to heal.

    I take a mile walk every day. Do household chores like laundry, cooking, picking up with the help of my EZ grabber. Am finally getting "regular" again but had quite at time with constipation. Prunes are my new "best friend."

    I will say that thanks to this forum, I believe that I had a pretty realistic set of expectations which really helps when you are facing such major surgery. In my case, my neurological symptoms were progressing so rapidly that my only other choice was to lose my ability to walk. Needless to say I am thrilled with the surgery. My legs are much stronger now.

    Good luck. I'll keep you in thoughts and prayers. I know you'll feel better when you are on the road to recovery and that won't be long now. Please keep us up-to-date on your progress. Kathy in Atlanta
  • Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. I'll try to remember...shave legs, walk, eat prunes =)) =D>
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