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Recovery from L4/5 anterior lumbar interbody fusion and L5/S1 disc replacementtill

i am now in On my way! Week 4 after a L4/5 spinal fusion and a total disc replacement of L5S1
my pre operative condition : I had sever degeneration of L4/5 and moderate degeneration of L5/S1  and have been going through chronic sciatic pain mostly down the left side and pack pain for about 4 years.  Sitting can trigger pain symptoms and I Ve had spinal injections iacet joint injections or nerve root injections which were only providing me short term pain relief. I had a discectomy 2 years ago which didn't help much
post operative rcovery
i am now in week four after the spinal fusion .. the surgery was performed in a private hospital in Randwick, Sydney, Australia, by a very good neuroscience surgeon. Theirs is anterior approach to spine -approach through the stomach.. I have a 12cm long incision from my navel downwards , through which the degenerated discs were removed and implant placed and fused plus  total disc replacdment for l5
 I was in the hospital for 6 days.
week 1: I was on morphine IV for 5 days to manage the stomach pain and back pain. Also, started to walk using a walker the next day. From day 3 onwards I was walking unassisted, but the pain, mostly in the tummy  was still there, making it difficult .. I didn't feel much back pain.
walking gets better day by day and the pain symptoms have started improving
week 2 and 3 at home: assisted by palexia (pain killer similar to oxycodone) and few panadols,  mobillity and sleep improved, but had been advised to be very careful and not to Bend, twist or lift anything.
those medicated can wear you out and i felt really tired for few days and my energy levels were very low in week 1 and 2.gradually,
sleep improved , energy levels and the bowel movements improved with some stool softeners. I was constipated for the first 4days in the hospital due to heavy medication, which is expected 
there have been  infrequent nerve pain on my left leg , hip, glute as well with increased mobility, which is not uncommon.
my walking improved and I have been walking 2-3kms everyday.. just be careful, downhill walking can be tricky as I I felt bit unstable... the last thing you need here is a fall, and you are on your way back to the hospital again.. so be careful
my  tummy wound has healed well and now I have started doing aqua therapy-gentle walks in the swimming pool.. this makes a huge difference,  and I felt great after couple of sessions and I continue with it 3days a week plus my walks.
i have now reduced my palexia dosage to just50 mg per day and have been feeling ok.
my back is still stiff and sore sometimes, I will only starting Physio after 6 weeks. No other excercises are allowed, no sitting for more than say 20-30 mins.. feel a bit sore after that.. and I rest twice during the day by lying down and a bit of snooze.
if you have any questions, I am happy to answer



  • MetalneckMetalneck The Island of Misfit toysPosts: 1,694
    Ransri -Welcome to Spine-Health-

    Glad things went smoothly and you are recovering well.  Please keep in mind that you are still early in the process - take it easy - follow you consultants directions to the T.

    Thank you for sharing you r success story with us ...... we need to hear of more like yours!!

    Again Thank you and Welcome to S.H.,

  • ecareyableeecareyable PhiladelphiaPosts: 24
    Thank you for your post.  Diskectomey L4/5 fusion (TLIF) and lamenictomy for me on 1/3/17.  I'm happy to hear you are recovering well.  It's so true that every case is different. Today I'm grateful for this forum.
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  • Hey there. I am scheduled to have ALIF in 4 weeks. Just curious how your progression after surgery has went. I am terrified and not confident I am making the right choice. I have been battling pain and sciatica for 4 years. Dr said this is my only option
  • RamsriRRamsri Australia Posts: 2
    i am now 10 weeks after ALIF L4/5 and a disc replacement at L5/S1. My mobility has increased with physio and core strengthening excercises. After week 4, I started having leg pain like the usual sciatic pain-burning tingling , sometimes very severe..down the leg-shin, foot, heel... then I got on to lyrica 100mg for about 5 weeks, it made no difference and I stopped it. I've also got back  pain and Celebrex 200mg keeps it in check. my neuro saw the MRI and he is pleased with the bone grafts and the position of the new discs. The diagnosis for the leg pain is dysesthia, due to scar tissue in the back, it may take months to settle down. My ability to sit  for longer periods hasn't improved yet, I am pushing on with my physio and occasional acupuncture.. lots of walks, and I also swim.. a bit sore after the swim.. so taking it easy for now. I am confident of total recovery, patience is important...
    hey... look.. it's I'mportant to be positive, get a second opinion and plan well for the post operative recovery. Get all the support you can from friends and family, take less stress for a couple of months .. this type of surgery is a long term solution to your back and it's important to take good care.

  • RamsriRRamsri Australia Posts: 2

    Spinal fusion and disc replacement gave good relief for back pain. But no relief for sciatic pain

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