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ALIF and how much pain???

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,002
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:26 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hi I am new here and my doc has told me i need a ALIF surgery on my L5/S1. I am waiting for workers comp to come threw so I can get a date. My question is how much pain comes with this surgery? I have looked up alot of infomation on the internet about this surgery. He also will be using BMP and said i will be in the hospital for 5 days.Also I have been on painkillers for over a year and they dont have the same effect on my as they did when i first started and hope they can give me something diffrent so i am not in alot of pain after. Any info you think will help please pass along. I am just trying to see what it is going to be like when surgery is over. thanks mike
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Comments

  • of an ALIF surgery at L4/L5 and would have to say it will depend alot on your pain tolerance on how you perceive surgery pain. I woke in the recovery room in a great deal of pain & it seemed to take them a while to get it managed :''(

    The pain management was a concern for me going in so I told everyone who would listen (pre op) that I was tolerant to pain meds. :S

    At 3 weeks, I am much better than week 1 but a long way from feeling good. This is a slow recovery. As young & active as I am I felt I would bounce right back..not so. :W

    However, the pre surgery pain is gone & I have to believe I made the right decision in going forward with this surgery.

    Good Luck :)
  • I had an ALIF at L5-S1 on December 18th. I have to say the back pain after surgery has been nothing like pre-surgery. It is more of a stiff, sore feeling. It reminds me of the time I broke my finger and first started moving it after it was taken off of the splint (big difference in finger and spine, I know, but you get what I am saying :) ). The worst part for me was the abdominal incision, which is tolerable if you have proper pain control. I also developed a terrible post-op kidney infection, which was a little setback for me. At this time, I have no leg pain whatsoever!! The best thing I have found to do is walk as much as you can! Good luck to you! >:D<
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  • I had an anterior/posterior fusion almost 4 months ago... In the hospital the pain was ridiculous and was never under control... And I have a HIGH pain tolerance, but I also had been on pain killers for a long time. In the hospital the Morphine at the max dose wasn't even taking the edge off, I had to be on IV Dilaudid, Valium, and Percocet orally to take the edge off, but nothing really helped much. I was sent home with Dilaudid.. Which you probably would have to specifically request, since they don't very often send people home with it. If you are worried about the pain medication, I would talk to your doctor beforehand. I wish I had, because the nurses are no help. My anterior hurt a LOT more than my posterior... My back felt FINE, but my stomach STILL has some issues. Not major ones, but the muscles never went back to normal... They feel gross. They have to cut through them, they can't move through them like they do in the back nowadays. It's nowhere near as bad as I thought it would be, though. I was surprised with how fast I felt better. At 2 weeks post op I was driving myself to my doctor's office to get my staples out. I was walking around the mall and running errands at 10 days post op.. And I had both my stomach AND my back cut open. I felt terrible without my brace, though. If you want to send me a PM I will give you the info on my brace... We aren't allowed to post that kind of information here... But my brace was a LIFESAVER. It was AMAZING and made the biggest difference ever. I gave someone else the info and they bought it after their fusion and used it instead of the brace their surgeon gave them and had much better results. For me the brace made all the difference. Without it it hurt to move at all.
  • I had ALIF L5/S1 on 7/1/08 (6 months ago). I didn't think the incision part of the process was too bad. They gave me some kind of elastic brace for the incision and I used that instead of back brace because it was more comfortable. The first 1-2 wks the incision area is sore, obviously but my lower back felt better for some time. I was doing a lot more than I should at 2 weeks post op and continuing to push my limits because things have to get done. I don't recommend you follow that though. I suggest you follow all docs advice, restrictions etc and listen to your body. Do not take extra pain meds so you can push mow the lawn at 6 wks post of ALIF, not good. Do you have friends and/or family to help you out? The first week I spend most of my time on the couch. I didn't even go into my bed because I liked to be slightly reclined and I could still interact with the kids this way. My 13 yr old daughter was a big help and my 15 yr old cousin lived with me at the time so she was helpful. I have a 6yr old spunky little boy who requires A LOT of attention or he starts to use his imagination and get into things he shouldn't. Anyway, feel free to PM me if you have any questions, concerns or just want to chat about your day, fears or anything. I wish you the best of luck. I am having issues now but Like I said, I think it's my fault or could be permanent nerve damage. I'm getting it checked out on Jan 30th by a neuro.

    Take Care.
  • I should add.... Part of the reason my stomach is still having issues with the muscle healing is because they were stretched out quite a bit when I was 16, carrying a 10 lb 9 oz baby. My stomach hasn't been the same since. Also, I have internal stitches, so there is this hard mass of skin and scar tissue that is easily felt because my skin and everything is so stretched from having my son. I'd imagine if you had a normal sized baby in an adult body, it shouldn't be so bad. Lol. My stomach was not in great shape for more trauma to begin with.
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  • dpwman said:
    Hi I am new here and my doc has told me i need
    Well WC just approved mine 3 week ago scheduled for revision of surgery on tuesday 13th at first surgery i was in the hospital 3 days now i do not know how long a lil nervous but have no choice have to do it all over again!!after surgewry it will be worse than ever the recovery is a B----- but if you r a positive person you will be fine just walk walk walk.. it really helps!!i felt like a truck was runnig me over and over again but never did i lose faith and now i am trying to keep the faith if you really need the surgery go for it. but i have no choice the pain has worsened cant even sleep meds are not even working tuesday will be here in a min, but at least i know what to expect pain pain and more pain at least for a moth. but you gotta be swtrong anfd you can do it

    a ALIF surgery on my L5/S1. I am waiting for workers comp to come threw so I can get a date. My question is how much pain comes with this surgery? I have looked up alot of infomation on the internet about this surgery. He also will be using BMP and said i will be in the hospital for 5 days.Also I have been on painkillers for over a year and they dont have the same effect on my as they did when i first started and hope they can give me something diffrent so i am not in alot of pain after. Any info you think will help please pass along. I am just trying to see what it is going to be like when surgery is over. thanks mike
  • I forgot another thing... If you are having L5-S1 fused, they can do the incision horizontally, which should reduce most of the stomach discomfort. I think you might have to request that they do it that way, though.
  • Mine was horizontal along bikini line and the scar isn't that bad. Hey lo, did you notice the skin around the incision is still numb? Why is that? Is it because nerves are cut? This was my first surgery every. My 2 kids were normal births. Did you ever have a stitch come through the skin? I freaked out the first time this happened and thought I was getting an infection cuz i got a little bump and it was red and itchy and sore and then all of sudden a stitch popped thru. I went to the surgeon's office cuz I didn't know what happened. I was so embarrassed to find out it was nothing serious and I was being such a freak. Like I said, i never had surgery before so i didn't know what to expect. I still don't have feeling around the incision site which is weird. You look so tiny, i can't imagine a 10+lb baby being inside your belly.
  • and a neurosurgeon performed the operation. I had been on opiates for over 8 years before, so I knew that post-op in the hospital would not be a breeze. I won't lie...the recovery room was a b***h with a capital B. My pain was "really never under control" in the sense that I was even close to being comfortable. Then, in the room he was chincy with the morphine drip...I could go on but it sounds like whining. My point is discuss post op pain control with the surgeon beforehand because the nurses can only give up to what he allows without consultation. In my opinion, a lot of doctors think that we "should be fine", but I truly believe that if you're taking an amount of narcotics beforehand for a length of time, then you require a lot more post-op...again, that was just my feelings lying in bed waiting for the next time I could push the button. But after getting home, I seem to be doing quite well (as of right now). after being up and around for 15 minutes, it starts to hurt, but my nerve pain in my right leg has disappeared and the muscle spasms in my legs are calming down....of course, my incision spot is sensitive and back muscles sore, but nothing a good 'ole Percocet won't cure. I'm looking forward to a good week with hopefully no setbacks. As it is now, I would do it over in a heartbeat

    good luck, and know that the people here are truly helpful and supportive. I really appreciate them
  • Don't feel silly! Better safe than sorry. And actually, you can get infections if stitches are dissolvable and don't dissolve or if they are internal and start to surface, so you did the right thing by getting it checked out. When I had my son I had a stitch or two that didn't dissolve and my skin started to grow over it. My mom's friend is a nurse so she removed them for me.

    Yeah the area around the incision will stay numb for a while. My incision from my c-section which was 6 years ago is mostly back to normal, but for me there is a tiny amount that will never come back. If I run my finger along the incision from my c-section lightly, I can't feel most of it. I can feel all the area around it, though. Took at least 6 months to a year for that to happen. My incision right now from my fusion, the feeling is STARTING to come back somewhat, but it's the nastiest feeling... Being half numb, half not. Some parts are still totally numb... It takes time. But rest assured, most of the feeling in that area should come back! It does have to do with the nerves and the trauma to the skin and muscles. It will be back before ya know it! :)
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