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For those who have had ALIF..

TatiyanaTTatiyana Posts: 194
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:31 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
It has been 5 months since my ALIF at L4/5 and I still have quite a bit of pain, most of it surgery related.. Does this sound typical t those of you who have had this procedure?
I was hoping to be back to my normal activities by now, but I am still unable to because of pain & stiffness. I sometimes wonder if I should push through the pain or pull back??
Please share when you started to feel like you could play sports, run, dance, anything more than a slow stroll :(


  • I had Hybrid ADR L3/L4, L4/L5 and ALIF L5/S1 April 22nd last year and it took me a long while to recover. The surgery alone is pretty big and you have a lot of healing to go through both outside and inside. ALIF is a huge surgery. You need to be patient and remain positive. Mine never really recovered as I had problems that meant a revision fusion, this time with instrumentation plus a complete sacroilliac joint fusion on both sides. I had this done on April 7th and still recovering very slowly.
    I hope you start to feel better very soon.
  • and am still in discomfort constantly to some degree. Some days are better than others, but are being told that all my pain and muscle pain/spasms are normal and recovery is a long process.
    The pain Doc has now added some new P.T. for my left side due to the large insicion they made for the latest surgery. Also still have pain and muscle issues with my left leg that i didn't have before surgery. All the doctors involved, as well as my therapists, tell me the same story that it is a long way back from major back surgery! So I guess we need to have patience and keep our chins up!
    If a person has never experienced the surgery and what we are going through, they don't have clue what we face every day.
    We just need to keep plugging away!!
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  • I had my alif ammost four months ago and i still hurt alot.. i too was looking on here to see if its normal.. Very exhausting trying to keep up with family. But pain and stiffness is still a big deal. (not to mention i put on weight!!!) keep in there.. good luck, kris
  • Hi Tatiyana;
    I am +23 weeks post op, I started to feel "normal" about 12 weeks post op. I am still cautious in my movement, and still quite stiff (i.e. my hamstrings are sooo tight from not bending for so long!) so I get some interesting muscle twitches. I also have (and may always have) some numbness.

    I saw my surgeon last week, and he has cleared me for all activity, no restrictions. Good luck to you!
    Jan 2009 L5-S1 ALIF
    May 2017 ALIF L4-L5 with PLF rods added L4-L5-S1
  • I had ALIF and ADR on May 11th. I am doing very well, walking all around. My doctor explained to me that this is a long process and I will never be without pain. It will be more of an ache than the stabbing pain that radiates down the legs. I had so much damage that I was looking at being in a wheelchair within the next 5 years if I didn't have the surgery.

    I am 2 months out and am starting to have some slight muscle spasms. Doc said that these are normal and reminded me that this surgery was not a cure but an attempted to make my quality of life better and it has hands down!!!I was an avid runner and know that I will never be able to do that again. But doc says I will be able to walk, ride a bike and play with my kids.On the bad days I need to take my meds and push through the pain. I am very thankful that I will be able to walk the rest of my life. My doc was very upfront with me on what I will and wont be able to do. I like that he doesn't fill me with false hope. He is a shoot from the hip kind of person and I respect him for that. Good Luck and stay possitive!!!

    Favorite Quote:

    You can visit pity city but you are not allowed to live there!!
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  • I had surgery on the 23rd of June and I feel great. The only problems im having is being able to have a solid BM. I take a laxiative at night before I go to bed and when I wake I can go. I eat pretty much what I want but as the day comes to an end I start having pain in my left side and low lower back. I take the laxative and it gets better. I feel blessed because I read all these posts and I dont have the problems that others have. I hope I keep on getting better as the days go by. I have a post op appt with my Dr. on the 9th of July to get my staples out. Ill keep everyone in my thoughts and I hope everyone does the same for me.
  • I had a 360 ALIF L4-S1 done in January 2007. The first three months of recovery were slow, but progressed. By the end of six months, I was in pain again, but a different pain then what I had before surgery.

    Structurally, everything healed the way it was supposed to do. But, I'm convinced that the hardware is causing my pain. WC won't pay for the procedure to take it out unless the doctors can say that it will cure my pain. No one knows that for sure. So, I'm stuck with it.

    Even though it can be tough from time to time, I just try to keep a positive attitude. If I do something that triggers pain, I take my meds and continue on. I wont let this problem get between me and my family having a good time together. There is one thing I wont do anymore - roller coasters.

    Keep your head up and working towards healing.

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