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Old 02-22-2007, 11:19 PM   #1
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ALIF anyone?

Hi! Has anyone had or going to have the ALIF? I read mostly about the PLIF or TLIF. Anyway, I'll be having the ALIF March 27th. I'm kind of nervous about the doctor going in through my abdomen.

Harmony

 
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Old 02-23-2007, 05:37 AM   #2
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Re: ALIF anyone?

Hi...and I haven't had that, getting ready to have tlif on the ninth. But from what I read about it, when they go in through the abdomen its suppose to be easier to recover from..that's what I read somewhere, don't hold me to it. I am sure that someone her has had that one. I read alot online at spine health and find out all I can. I wish you the best of luck, and we know what you mean about nerves.

 
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Old 02-23-2007, 07:08 AM   #3
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Re: ALIF anyone?

[COLOR="Indigo"][B]

What is all the TLF/ ATLF/ ALIF ? I had a L4-L5 fusion with hardware screws/rods /cages and also had a laminectomy at the same time. The cut me from the back ,my scar is around 10" . What did I have ?

Sorry to be so dumb ,but these words are anal to me ? [/B][/COLOR]

 
Old 02-23-2007, 07:22 AM   #4
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Re: ALIF anyone?

Shawley - I believe you had a PLIF. The same thing I had.

 
Old 02-23-2007, 07:25 AM   #5
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Re: ALIF anyone?

[COLOR="DarkRed"][FONT="Comic Sans MS"]

Pepper , thanks , heck i didn't know what is was called [/FONT][/COLOR]

 
Old 02-23-2007, 09:52 AM   #6
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Re: ALIF anyone?

Shawley, it's a bunch of technical jargon, just defines where the incision is made. Pepper's right, you had the PLIF. The A (anterior) means going in from the front, the P (posterior) means going in from the back, and the T (transforaminal) means going in through the back but approaching the spine from the side. Just different ways of approaching the same surgery, really.

Harmony, I had the 360, both anterior and posterior. The front approach is harder to recover from, but the success rate is higher. There may be a number of reasons why they'd choose one method over another, including past surgeries, existing scar tissue, and other anomalies. It will take you a little longer to get to the point of walking the distances that those with the PLIF are walking. You'll certainly want a toilet riser or portable commode over the toilet. You'll need a sock tool and will have to learn how to pull pants over your feet and ankles using your grabber. I found the grabber much easier to use than the official "dressing tool." Turning in bed will be painful, but if you get a slippery bottom sheet and slippery pj's, it will be much easier. And the best tip for those who have a front incision is to have a firm throw pillow or folded up blanket to place over the incision. Whenever you have to turn, cough or sneeze, laugh, or shift position at all, press down on that pillow over your incision to stabilize it. Keep the pressure on it gently but firmly whenever you have to move or cough, etc., and it will make a huge difference! I'm 5 months post-op, and I still sleep with that little throw pillow on my stomach so I can turn easily. It also gives my arm a place to rest when I'm on my side so I don't twist from my arm hanging down.

There are pros and cons for both ways. Once you get past the initial healing, you'll do fine. In my way of thinking, I'd rather go ahead and give it the very best shot of success, even if it means a harder recovery. I would definitely choose to do it the same way if I had to do it over again.

You have about a month before your surgery. Have you found the "tips for post-surgery" thread at the top of the page? There are some really helpful tips there. Are you married, live with parents, have a roommate? Will there be someone to help you when you get home from the hospital?

I'm sure you'll have lots of questions between now and your surgery, and probably afterwards, too. There are lots of people here who have been through it and are happy to help by their experiences. And if you just need an ear from folks who understand what you're going through, this is the place! It was a huge help to me! I hope it will be to you, too.

Blessings,
Emily

 
Old 02-23-2007, 10:53 AM   #7
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Re: ALIF anyone?

Thanks to all who posted to this! And Emily thanks for your good suggestions and advice since your surgery included going thru the abdomen.
I will also look up the "tips" thread. Thanks so much! I will definitely be posting more and I hope and pray the best for you too in your recovery and the success of your fusion. :-)

Harmony

 
Old 02-23-2007, 02:35 PM   #8
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Re: ALIF anyone?

Wishing you the best. All those letters get me confused, the only way I even know which one I am having is because I saw it on the paperwork at pre-op.

 
Old 02-24-2007, 08:11 AM   #9
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Re: ALIF anyone?

Hi Harmony,

I had the ALIF done on January 23rd 2007. My surgeon told me that it is a faster recovery and better for your back muscles due to the fact that they remain intact and you donít run the risk of nerve damage and scar tissue from the rear approach. But just like you I was very nervous about them going through the abdominal wall because it takes a general surgeon around 3 to 4 hours to get the back surgeon to where he needs to be in the spine. If you feel it will be helpful I would be glad to write in more detail exactly what I have experienced since the fusion?

Be well,
Cliff

 
Old 02-24-2007, 04:40 PM   #10
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Re: ALIF anyone?

Hi Cliff (fusionman)!

Yes, I'd like to hear more about your ALIF fusion experience. That's good that it's suppose to be easier on recuperation since they don't have to move the back muscles and nerves. I see you had your surgery not long ago! I hope you're doing okay. Thanks for your reply.

Gail

 
Old 02-24-2007, 04:42 PM   #11
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Re: ALIF anyone?

Hi Emily,
Thanks for your reply also which was very helpful. Sounds like you had a double with both front and back - yikes! Hope you're doing okay.

Gail (Harmony)

 
Old 02-24-2007, 08:02 PM   #12
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Re: ALIF anyone?

[QUOTE=fusionman;2818800]Hi Harmony,

I had the ALIF done on January 23rd 2007. My surgeon told me that it is a faster recovery and better for your back muscles due to the fact that they remain intact and you donít run the risk of nerve damage and scar tissue from the rear approach. But just like you I was very nervous about them going through the abdominal wall because it takes a general surgeon around 3 to 4 hours to get the back surgeon to where he needs to be in the spine. If you feel it will be helpful I would be glad to write in more detail exactly what I have experienced since the fusion?

Be well,
Cliff[/QUOTE]

Being a guy, my surgeon told me there were certain side effects exclusive to males. What were you told? I haven't had surgery,,,,,YET

 
Old 02-25-2007, 10:02 AM   #13
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Re: ALIF anyone?

[QUOTE=Harmony5;2819538]Hi Emily,
Thanks for your reply also which was very helpful. Sounds like you had a double with both front and back - yikes! Hope you're doing okay.

Gail (Harmony)[/QUOTE]

Hi Gail,
Yes, I did, and let me tell you the back incision was practically painless compared to the front one. The front incision was extremely painful because we use our abdominal muscles all the time. With those being compromised, every movement was excrutiating. I really don't know if the recovery itself is faster -- maybe so. But the pain level is certainly harder with the front incision, at least it was for me. Lots more for the doctor to get through, too, to reach the spine all the way from your stomach. Lots of stuff in there that get disturbed. My doctor didn't cut any muscle. They just shifted everything and then moved it all back, which is probably part of why it was painful. Everything got stretched up and the nerves moved around. But with a higher success rate, I'd opt for that way again if I had to.

See you around the boards!
~Emily

 
Old 02-25-2007, 10:17 AM   #14
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Re: ALIF anyone?

[COLOR="DarkOrchid"]HI,
Funny how we are all so different, I had back then 4 days later had the front. For me the front was no problem, I never had one slight pain in the front, I even felt for bandages after surgery. My Dr. has an internist move everything out of the way and then he takes over and does the spine stuff and then has the internist close me up, doc feels that is the safest way to go. I did not have a succesful fusion even tho they did the 360 on me.

Good Luck

God Bless

Carol[/COLOR]
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Old 02-26-2007, 05:59 AM   #15
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Re: ALIF anyone?

Hi Jack

The below info is what I was told is a possible complication for males taking the anterior approach. My surgeon asked me if I had kids or wanted any in the future? He said some men wish to donate sperm prior to having the surgery to insure they will be able to have children in the event this rare complication occurs. I assume your considering this surgical approach? I hope this helps with your decision. Best of luck.

Cliff
&#183; Retrograde ejaculation. For male patients, a rare complication (< 1&#37 from the anterior approach to spine surgery is retrograde ejaculation. At the lower end of the lumbar spine, there is a group of small nerves which can lie over the lowest disc space (L5-S1). These nerves help control a valve needed to express semen, and instead the semen goes up into the bladder after ejaculation. The nerves do not have any effect on erectile function, which is controlled separately by a different set of nerves. In the majority of patients who experience this complication, the condition resolves by itself within 3 to 6 months, but if necessary, an urologist can be consulted to help with fertility. If the retrograde ejaculation becomes permanent, the patient may be unable to have children (without medical intervention from a fertility expert) but will otherwise have normal sexual function.

 
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