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ALIF/PLIF Lumbar Decompression L3-S1

Hello everyone! This is my first forum post so won't be able to follow up till after the admin hold on the post. My surgery is scheduled for February 10th. I'm posting in the Recovering from Surgery forum because that's where my focus will be for the next year or so. I'll come back after surgery to post progress and issues. I am very nervous and anxious about being under anesthesia for so many hours and the massive pain post-op I'll need to get through.

Here are my details. I'm 54 and injured my back while in the military many years ago and am service connected for it. I had years of success keeping a strong core and lower back muscles by working out, staying active and watching my diet. When I hit 50 my lower back started collapsing with DDD. Around October 2018 things got bad fast and my life became a nightmare. Constant lower back pain, left leg weakness, tingling, and numbness. A discogram procedure showed I have a Dallas class 5 annular tear at L5-S1. Was able to keep working while trying different treatments but soon collected 2 write-ups at the office for being curt and terse with my colleagues. I stopped working in September of 2019 and the VA has me designated 100% total and permanently disabled. Due to the VA Mission Act that came into affect June 6th, 2019 I was able to get a great surgeon outside the VA hospital system.

Here are the scheduled procedures I'll be having on Feb 10th per my doctors progress notes: ALIF L5 to S1. PLIF 3 level lumbar decompression at L3-L4, L4-L5, and L5-S1, likely to include complete L4 laminectomy, L3 sublaminar decompression, and either L5 laminectomy and/or hemilaminotomy with discectomy. This will be my first ever back surgery and the surgeon told me he wants to do it right the first time. The ALIF and PLIF will take place during the same operating session on the 10th.

I have everything in place for the surgery and a great family support group. My wife is one awesome lady! My recovery starts day one when they get me up to walk and I plan to follow my PT to the letter. Thanks for any advice and experiences others have had and I hope my recovery experience might help others.




  • Welcome rrollings we’re glad you’re here!

    Being nervous before surgery is normal, the pain after surgery, while not a cake walk is usually not as bad as we fear, or at least it wasn't for me. Good luck with your surgery tomorrow, when you feel like it please join surgery buddies. 

    While you’re waiting for a reply to your first post, please take a few moments to review the Code of Conduct and FAQ section, located under Forum Tools. There you will find important information about posting in the forum and helpful tips for new members.

    Have you seen the Spinal Fusion Health Center on Spine-health? Spinal fusion surgery comes in many forms, and you’ll find a number of doctor-authored resources here, including Types of Spinal FusionPostoperative Care for Spinal Fusion Surgery, and tips to help Maximize the Ability to Heal After Spine Fusion Surgery. It’s a great resource for anyone considering spinal fusion. I hope you find it helpful.

    Spinal Fusion Surgery Recovery: 1 to 4 Weeks After

    Again, welcome to the Veritas Health Forum.


    Veritas Health Forum Moderator

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 4,730


    Good luck on your surgery today. When you feel better, please let us know how you are doing.


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