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Facing a ALIF with Pedicle Screws

Lese2122LLese2122 Posts: 13
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:01 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi all, I am looking at having an ALIF with Pedicle Screws in the next month and am wondering what to expect.
Heres a little background:
-Injured my back at work in July 2011, MDs thought it was a muscle injury, went to PT for 6 weeks, pain was unbearable, MRI done and found ruptured disc at L5-S1. Discectomy 10/11, pain didnt subside. Referred to new MD, tried steroid injections, didnt work. MD did exploratory surgery and found my facet joint was so tight that it was compressing my nerve root. He took out my right facet joint and said after surgery that I may need a fusion in the future due to instability. I went on a boat (ya, i know STUPID) and now pain and mobility is leaving me bed-bound.
Prior to this injury I was very active, working out, boating, fishing, any and all outdoor activities. My doc says that because im young (im 27) and usually very active and this injury is leaving me depressed and impatient, that doing a fusion would be my best option.
Im scared of having a third surgery in under a year, and have a fear of staying in the hospital more than a day (its ridiculous because Im an RN and basically lived in the hospital before this lol).
What is the recovery like? What is the pain like and how long does it last? Im nervous and want this surgery to work so badly so I can get back to going out to the beach and the boat without dealing with crippling pain.
Thanks :)


  • I had tlif not alif so your recovery may be different. The hardest part is actually being a patient instead of the nurse. I had a csf leak so was in pretty rough shape for a few days but once I got out of hospital (6 days) it seemed recovery went quickly. I was 40 at the time but at 3 months I was doing well. My home physical therapist had to make me take my pain pills for physical therapy because as soon as I was home I was only taking tylenol. I guess for me because I was so miserable prior to surgery the incisional and surgical wound pain was nothing!

    Good luck.
  • And welcome to SH. I also injured my back in nursing almost two years ago, and have had two surgeries this year.

    Have you had multiple opinions regarding your condition from fellowship trained orthopedic or neurosurgeons?

    I had adr surgery not an alif, it is also an anterior surgery. I was in the hospital for 4 days. It can really vary how long they keep you, but I would imagine it will be a few days. Everyone heals at different rates, but I think that it is worth taking the time to heal properly, and listen to restrictions to give your body the best chance. I just had my six week check and am still on full restrictions of no blt,no lifting over 5 pounds.

    Wishing you all the best. Please keep in touch and let us know how you are doing.

    >:D< Karen
    >:D< >:-D< : Karen
    L3-S1 herniation and bulges, stenosis, mod facet,ddd,impinged nerves,coccydinia
    discectomy/lami July 2011-unsuccessful
    adr L5-S1 Feb 2012
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