I was wondering how long or at what point have those of you who had the ALIF procedure still need their pain medication. I am up walking more this week and my pain or discomfort has increased which is to be expected. I have tried to limit the amount of pain meds I am taking a day but am finding like I said to have more discomfort from the increase in walking. I am taking hydrocodone 10/325 1-2 every 4-6 and 10mg flexeril every 8 hours. I have tried just taking 1 hydrododone but I find I am still fairly uncomfortable. When I take 2 I am able to go about 5 hours and I will be up moving alot more because my discomfort is much more manageble. I do want to get off pain meds ASAP. Would like input from other people in how their recovery went and when the pain was almost gone? What I am feeling is incisional discomfort and also low back that is still very sore from being jacked up and tugged at during surgery. I was on pain meds 4 months pre-op as well so I have been on them long enough. Thank you for your input!!
[COLOR="Navy"]The best thing you can do is to continue your pain meds until you are farther along in your healing. You are still a new susrgical patient. It takes time for the nerves and muscles to settle down and it takes time for the swelling to dissapate. You do more harm than good by not taking your meds because then your body has to fight not only helaing the wound, but fight the pain also.
There is no harm in taking your meds as scripted. You will need them as you get up and do more-and that is-as you said-to be expected. Give yourself time to heal...patience is a virtue....
I had a 3 level 360 fusion so i have been through it all..it takes time to heal, but you will get there. Good luck.[/COLOR]
[COLOR="Navy"]That's fine. That's what this board is for. When I had my surgery it was hard, not having anyone to bounce things off of that knew about how awful you feel. My hubby was great, but he hadn't gone through this![/COLOR]
Is it usually a couple of months for things start to turn around?? I did walk my 30 min today and did so whith a small amount of discomfort until I got home and the muscle spasms were awful!! I walked 30min on Monday and did baby walks Tuesday and yesterday. I feel like I maybe turning the corner. I still feel like a Mack truck hit me in the mornings!
fedup,Usually paients with that kind of surgery go home with some kind of an oxycodone(Percocet). So the hydrocodone (Vicodan) you are on is a weaker pain med anyway. Also, yes it is normal to be where you are at now @ three weeks. Actually I think walking for 30 minutes a day is ahead of the game. The pain I had after my last fusion was almost unbearable for about three weeks. During this period I could hardly do anything except get in and out of bed to go to the bathroom. After that initial three week period (for me anyway), the worst of the pain was over. However I was still on Percocet,then later switched to hydro for another five months.....janiee
At 3 weeks you should need the pain meds a lot. You may be moving around more, etc. I was on very strong medications for 2-3 months before I started to be able to take them "as needed". Take them as scheduled and prescribed for at least 2 months, then start to see if you can change to just "as needed". If you later return to work you may find that you need pain meds when you come home, when you over do it, when traveling, etc. Don't be afraid to take them as prescribed.
[QUOTE=sondra325;4299646]My husband is having L4 L5 alif surgery on 8/9/10, I am scared!!! What should we both expect from the surgery and the recovery? Any feedback would greatly be appreciated.
I have been reading all of these questions and answers and am so happy for this site. I'm also having Lumbar surgery on Thursday and am scared out of my wits. I'm having 3 replaced discs, the lower spine will be straightened with screws and plates because it collapsed. This will be the ALIF surgery, both front and back. How did your husbands surgery go? How is he doing these days? I would like any feedback. I need some kind of peace of mind for my big day and the days to follow. HELP!
ncyankee: Just for terminology, if they are going in from the front and the back it's usually referred to as a global or 360 degree surgery. The "A" in ALIF is Anterior (front). If you have any questions just denote you'll be having a 360 degree fusion.
I'm just so nervous about all of this and my terminology is off some. Thanks for clearing that up for me. The doc never mentioned anything regarding 360 degree. He just said, front and back, 3 discs need replaced and screws and plates........scary for me to absorb all of this.
Just knowing the term "360 degree" will help you when you ask questions here. They call it 360 degree because there is an abdominal incision and one on the back (it's not truly and entire incision that goes all the way around but two incisions one front and one back)
I had an ALIF at L5, cage, screws and synthetic bone graft on 8/9 and returned to work (waitressing) today. Stopped pain meds last Sunday, but am taking Neurontin 300mg x 3/day. Overall feel ok. Some minor back twinges from time to time and stifness, but doing well. I find that the walking helps A LOT. I am however, having a lot of GI problems now. Has anyone elso experienced that? I go in Wed for an EGD Endoscopy to find out what is going on. Also, knots under incision? Is this normal?