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Lumbar Spinal Fusion

ValerieKVValerieK Posts: 11
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:00 AM in Recovering from Surgery
Hello Everyone!

I am now 3 weeks post-op. Had lumbar spinal fusion of L5 - S1. Anyone with similar experience?



  • Hi Valerie,

    I am 4 weeks post op ALIF L5-S1. My experience was much better than I had anticipated. I am still sore, but it is nothing compared to the pain I had before the procedure.

    How are you doing?

  • Hi Valarie and Ashley,
    I hope you are both doing well. You look a lot younger than I am. I am 59 and due for an anterior/poster 360 fusion with rods, screws, etc plus decompression laminectomy Monday. I am so scared. Keep recovering and God Bless, Mary Anne
    Take care and God Bless,
    Mary Anne
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  • I had L5/S1 fused last march. It was my 3rd fusion. Recoveries are long, you must be patient. Keeping the core strong is very important. I have also had a 360 fusion with all the bells and whistles. I have cages and screws and even a bolt in my back, from my pelvis to spine.

    All were successful and I am glad I had them. But again, the recovery is long.

    Good luck.

    L4/L5 laminectomy, L4/L5 360 fusion with instrumentation, L1 to L5 fusion, L5/S1 fusion w/ disc replacement, left and right SI joints fused.
  • Hi MaryAnne,

    I am 33 and had been in pain for 6 years. I had a herniated disc at L5-S1 and a recently discovered hyper mobile SI joint. I tried all of the non-surgical options and none of them worked. I finally decided to have surgery in the fall when my insurance company denied the pre authorization. After "proving" to Blue Cross that an ALIF was medically necessary, I was given 2 weeks notice to have the surgery. I was scared to death, but I had 100% faith in my doctors (2 neurosurgeons and a vascular surgeon) and it all turned out well.

    I had read so many personal stories and blogs about back surgery that I was really scared. But it is important to remember that every person, their injury, their surgery and their recovery is different and completely unique to them. Have faith in your surgical team and take good care of yourself during recovery. You will do great!

  • Thanks for your comments Ashley. I am doing well. It will be 4 weeks post op for me on Monday coming. Still having some twitching in my legs & some nerve pain. Also having pain in the back.
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  • Thanks Mary Anne. I hope your surgery goes well on Monday. Blessings & Hugs!
  • Wow Jani, you've really been through the ringer!

    Everybody keeps telling me that recovery is long and slow & that I need to be patient. I'm really trying. I slept well last night which was a first & even though I still need the pain meds, I'm feeling a little better. Thanks for all the comments & good luck to you all!
  • i am 45 and had 2 previous operations on my back over the last 15 years .the ALIF was a big gamble for me and many consultants would not touch my back as it was so bad .my recovery post op in the hospital was a frightening awful thing i was in mega pain and needed specialized pain control for the first 24 hours .i am now 8 weeks post op and the pain is still there but not as bad as it was i still have bad back pain and both legs hurt like hell .i have regained a little strength and i intend to start pool walking soon .i am on a lot of pain killers and as has been said recovery takes many months even years so don't be in a rush and when you are feeling better remember its a repair and it will never be a s strong as it was when it was ok .
    good luck and take your time recovering stick to the rules .no lifting/twisting/bending
    tony {UK}
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
  • Thanks Tony for your comments. I am trying very hard to stick to those rules of no bending/twisting/lifting. It's so difficult though. Especially the bending. I'm headed to my 5th week post-op. Visited my GP on Tuesday & she feels I may not return to work until the fall. That crushed me. However, I know I'm a long way off from working a full work day. I'm still having so much pain in my legs. It acts up when I lay down so sleep is so difficult. I'm lucky to get 3-4 hrs of sleep each night. I, too, am on so many painkillers. Another was added on Tuesday for spasms in my back & legs. Feel like there is no end!

    Good Luck to you with your recovery!
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