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Old 03-18-2007, 12:06 PM   #1
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Question for those that have had an ALIF fusion?

Qustion for those that have had an ALIF fusion?

I have read many posts of those that have had fusions mention that their muscles and nerves were in pain for a long time after the surgery. Their doctors told them that the muscles and nerves need time to settle down due to the surgery. Has this been the experience of those that have had the ALIF fusion too? I had an ALIF fusion 7 weeks ago and my back muscles and nerves are in more pain than before the surgery. I donít know if this is normal or not? I was wondering what others have experienced? Thanks.

fusionman

 
Old 03-18-2007, 01:43 PM   #2
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Re: Question for those that have had an ALIF fusion?

its more or less normal. I had fairly significant back and incision pain for about two months but the pain meds make it bearable. I could usually find a fairly comfortable position though. try using pillows under your knees and shoulders. I bought 6 pillows of differing materials and found that the "squishy" (for want of a better term) ones worked best. also walking at least several times a day worked wonders.

the worst is over, it should get better soon.
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back surgery in JUN 06 - two level ALIF (L3-4-5) with cages and BMP - SUCCESSFUL!

 
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Old 03-18-2007, 07:03 PM   #3
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Re: Question for those that have had an ALIF fusion?

My nerve pain was accompanied by hip pain and it started about 3 weeks after surgery. It was intense, so sharp that it would wake me up in the middle of the night. Laying down only seemed to make it worse. I started taking Neurontin but that only took the edge off. I had some Suboxone that my pain specialist had prescribed I started taking that at bedtime with an Ultram and that's the only way I can get sleep. But now my hips are so sore that I have to do the log roll again to get out of bed. Recovery from this surgery is a process and evidently a long one.

 
Old 03-19-2007, 01:13 PM   #4
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Re: Question for those that have had an ALIF fusion?

Hey Zeroman,

Thanks for the tip of putting pillows under the knees while lying down. I tried it last night and it helped me get some sleep.

I guess I will need to be more patient and let the new alignment due to the fusion settle in to the nerves and muscles. Thanks for your resonse.

fusionman

 
Old 03-19-2007, 01:22 PM   #5
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Re: Question for those that have had an ALIF fusion?

Hey pa6786,

I think you're right, it can take a long time to recovery from this type of surgery. I hope you're nerve and hip pain clear up soon.

fusionman

 
Old 03-19-2007, 03:39 PM   #6
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Re: Question for those that have had an ALIF fusion?

Fusionman

How long has it been since you had the surgery?

 
Old 03-19-2007, 03:53 PM   #7
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Re: Question for those that have had an ALIF fusion?

Hey fusionman,Is the ALIF the surgery through the stomach?if it is can you tell me about it?where do they do the cut?and ect.....Jaylynn thanks

 
Old 03-19-2007, 05:09 PM   #8
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Re: Question for those that have had an ALIF fusion?

[QUOTE=pa6786;2868675]Fusionman

How long has it been since you had the surgery?[/QUOTE]
Hi pa6786

It has been 8 weeks since I had the surgery.

 
Old 03-19-2007, 05:25 PM   #9
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Re: Question for those that have had an ALIF fusion?

[QUOTE=jaylynn5;2868706]Hey fusionman,Is the ALIF the surgery through the stomach?if it is can you tell me about it?where do they do the cut?and ect.....Jaylynn thanks[/QUOTE]

Hi Jaylynn,

Yes, the ALIF surgery is through the stomach. The below is some detail about what I experienced.

My hospital stay was 5 days and I was told anywhere from 4 to 8 days is the norm. A physical therapist taught me how to get in and out of bed on the 2nd day. Plus, they tested me on walking and going up and down stairs. I did pretty well being I had plenty of painkillers in my system. I did tire very easily and needed help getting my legs back into the bed the first few days in the hospital. There was a lot of swelling in the incision area and it is not easy to get in and out of bed. I had, and still do, some numbness in my inner groan on the side of the incision. I was told that was due to a large muscle of the inner thigh that had to be moved during the stomach approach. The general surgeon said that is very common and should go away, although it can take up to 6 months. Iím 8 weeks post-op now and it has already improved quite a bit. The incision I have is larger than most (8 inches) and higher up than most because the back doctor had to fuse a higher level (L3-4) of the spine. I was told it normally would be horseshoe shaped and 5 to 6 inches, right below the belly button. The first few days I was not allowed solid food, which was ok because I was not very hungry. By the3rd day I could eat whatever I wanted. Also on the3rd day they gave me colace pills so I would have a bowel movement. I was encouraged to get out of bed as often as I could and walk up and down the hallways. I was not given a walker or a back brace. The more you move in the beginning the faster you supposedly heal. I found that I tired very easily and did want to stay in bed a lot.

As far as meds I was given a morphine pump the first day and then was switched to Percocet pills, 2 every 6-to 8 hours. No muscle relaxants at all. Now that Iím home I take Ultram as needed.

The incision stayed swollen for about 4 weeks and then flattened out. At 8 weeks itís still sore but not too painful.

I was told not to drive for at least 4 to 6 weeks. I really didnít feel up to it anyhow and waited until the sixth week. Plus, getting in and out of the car has not been pain free or easy to do.

My lower back muscles are very tight and painful, which has limited my walking. Plus, I get a lot of spasm pain in the lower back from getting in and out of bed. But I think this is not the norm for most. I believe it may be due to muscle damage from my first fusion years ago. Anyhow, I hope I wasn't too long winded? Best of luck and if you can think of anything else you wish to know please donít hesitate to ask.

fusionman

 
Old 03-20-2007, 07:53 AM   #10
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ibake&pray HB Useribake&pray HB Useribake&pray HB Useribake&pray HB Useribake&pray HB Useribake&pray HB Useribake&pray HB Useribake&pray HB Useribake&pray HB Useribake&pray HB Useribake&pray HB User
Re: Question for those that have had an ALIF fusion?

[COLOR="Navy"]Fusionman,
You are only what, 7/8 weeks out? You need to give yourself alot more time to heal. This was MAJOR SURGERY. It may look good on the outside, but the inside is still upset. You don't see fusion until close to 6 months, so you have another 4 months for that...I had 3 level fusion, rods pins, screws, cages etc. I wore a brace for 4 months and they went in from front and back.....

Give yourself time to heal. A nerve regrows at a mililiter a month...my doctor told me two years in my case for that. What we want and what our body can delivery are two different things. Going slow and allowing yourself time to recover and heal is primary.

My doc. told me 3-6 weeks before I could go back to work. With the complications I had, it was 5 months..and that was for three weeks of half time, two weeks of 3/4 time...and I was exhausted.

The best thing to think of is the tortoise...slow and steady...hang in there you will get there... [/COLOR]

 
Old 03-20-2007, 08:25 AM   #11
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Re: Question for those that have had an ALIF fusion?

ibake&pray,

You really went through a lot! How long ago did you have your surgery and how do you feel now? I hope youíre doing well.

Youíre probably correct; I have to give it more time. Thanks for sharing your experience and for your encouraging words.

fusionman

 
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