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New with ALIF scheduled in 2 weeks

preeseppreese Posts: 160
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:48 AM in New Member Introductions
I stumbled onto this board while trying to find out how rough the recovery from the ALIF procedure I have scheduled is going to be and have found alot of helpful and some frightening information here.

I have had neuropathy in my legs for about a year and a half and it took 6 months to trace it back to the impinged nerves in my lower back. After a year of trying conservative treatments, I have decided that surgery is the best chance I have of resuming my normal life.

Now I am second guessing myself - I have good days and bad days and on the good days, I think I am nuts to be doing this and on the bad days I would do anything to get some relief from the pain. I am also worried that the longer I wait, the greater the chance that my nerve damage will become permanent.

I know that I have alot of things in my favor - the rest of my spine is healthy, I have never had a back surgery and I have quit smoking in preparation for the surgery - still I am scared to death of course!


  • hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. have you gotten more than one opinion?? this is so important!! the more information you have, the better prepared you will be..be sure and check out the videos and doctor's statements here on the forum about your upcoming procedure.. it will help cure up some of your anxiety to know exactly what is going to be happening to you... good luck to you.. stop by the "Back and Neck surgery" forum for more information!! drop in anytime, someone is always home! Jenny :)
  • Welcome to our forum.

    I had an ALIF on L4-5 last year and it's successful. L5-S1 is not too good and I have pain in this area, but it hasn't got to the stage of needing to be fused, and I hope it never has to be done. I can walk anywhere now and that's such a joy. I had a solid fusion within the 6 month period.

    The first few weeks of recovery were the worst, but Oxycodone and Neurontin kept the pain under control. However, recovery does take a long time, and it was 6-7 months before I started feeling "normal" again. Initially, you'll be resting and walking in small amounts. The post-surgery back ache seems like it's never going to end, but eventually it eases.

    The scar on my tummy has healed really well and is barely visible now. The tummy was swollen for quite a while and I had nausea, but that's to be expected.

    Once your strength starts to come back post-op, walking and doing the exercises that the hospital physio gives you are very important. A good diet is also recommended to help with the healing. Now that you've given up smoking, it would be good if you could continue that way, as you'll heal better.

    Have you had a look at the Post-Op Must Haves at the top of the page? You won't need everything on the list, but the grabber will be your "best friend". I prepared about 3 months meals in advance and had a domestic service come in once a week. It's very important to adhere to the bending-lifting-twisting restrictions until your surgeon gives you the ok to be able to do more. Support from family and friends will help lots too.

    For me, it was my one time to get well again, and at times when I got discouraged, I had to really talk to myself and not lapse into self-pity. Being as positive as you can will help with the healing process.

    I hope your surgery and recovery goes really well. Do let us know how you're going.


    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
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  • Hello Preese and Welcome to SH!! Yes facing surgery is very scary and you will probably keep second guessing yourself right up till the day of!!

    If you need to talk or rant just PM me...I have a little experience with lumbar fusions!!
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