It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



Back Problems Message Board
Post New Thread   Closed Thread
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 06-04-2011, 11:53 AM   #16
Junior Member
(female)
 
Pandorasback's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 16
Pandorasback HB User
Re: Fellow ALIF patients, can you help me?

Tetonteri66- thank you for the suggestions of many small walks. I think that is going to be key - I did notice that when I limited myself to one long walk, it didn't seem helpful, hurt a bit. But walking several shorter distances as I have noticed really helps the neve pain level stay lower. Thanks again!

 
Old 06-04-2011, 12:44 PM   #17
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 6,485
teteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB User
Re: Fellow ALIF patients, can you help me?

If you start noticing an increase in nerve pain, just back off a little for a couple days. It is important to try to keep from having the sciatic nerve get inflamed from too much activity. It is hard to get it calmed back down, and then you get into a vicious cycle. So try to avoid it, if possible. Also, you can try varying the length of your stride...shorter usually is easier after surgery.

Be sure to walk on level surfaces (no inclines) and smoother surfaces at the beginning. Don't forget to use ice or a cold gel pack to help with pain, if needed. People forget about using ice and it really is one of the more helpful treatments for back and associated pain.

Be patient. Recovery takes longer than any of us had hoped. Don't get discouraged. Just keep following the rules and stay positive!!

 
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to teteri66 For This Useful Post:
dee289 (06-10-2011), Pandorasback (06-06-2011)
Sponsors Lightbulb
   
Old 06-04-2011, 08:41 PM   #18
Senior Veteran
(male)
 
allanbruce's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 716
allanbruce HB Userallanbruce HB Userallanbruce HB Userallanbruce HB User
Re: Fellow ALIF patients, can you help me?

Hi everyone, I hope your recovery is coming on well. I am over 7 months out from surgery and going ok. I have plateaued out somewhat though and things haven’t changed much in the last few months. I have also had some issues with the nerves in my little toes and they get stirred up as soon as I exercise and walk any distance. The pain has been ok but I still remain on the 25 patch and it doesn’t seem to be changing at all. It has been about the same for 4-5 months and it looks like this is where it will stay for some time. I just hope it never gets worse. I slowed down on the walking and physio exercise but as soon as I do much of anything especially sitting the pain and nerve irritation flares up. I have coped ok though with some panadol. I wonder if the nerves will ever fully recover and stop the darn annoyance between my small toe and the next one. I shouldn’t wine too much though after the way I was for many years this is great.
Well I hope all the members have the success I have had or better. I would also like to hear more from others recovering from this type of surgery.
Allan
__________________
25-Nov-2010: ALIF fusion L5-S1. 9 years of Chronic lower back pain. Nearly 18 months of pain across my upper pelvis, through my butt and down my left leg into my foot. Sciatica relieved by surgery.

 
The Following User Says Thank You to allanbruce For This Useful Post:
Pandorasback (06-09-2011)
Old 06-06-2011, 06:19 AM   #19
Junior Member
(female)
 
Pandorasback's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 16
Pandorasback HB User
Re: Fellow ALIF patients, can you help me?

I need some help. I'm not sure what is going on, but I'm feeling like it's not good. For the first time since surgery, I felt that awful clicking in my back when moving, the first time it happened - I ignored it. It has happened a handful of times, feels like its at the L5 S1 level. How could this be possible? I have a peek cage & screws for fixation. I have had an increase in left foot pain and aching in my hips and back - the weather has been very humid and rainy (I thought that was possibly the culprit). I will be calling the Dr. today, I do not want to take Lyrica, I am hoping that will not be his recomendation. Has anyone else experienced that clicking - poping feeling of the vertebrae? Anyone know what I'm describing. I was up all night with stinking pain and my nerves (mental ones) are alarmed.

 
Old 06-06-2011, 07:01 AM   #20
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 6,485
teteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB User
Re: Fellow ALIF patients, can you help me?

I don't think you can blame it on the weather. The whole Spring has been pretty damp and humid, and you didn't experience the clicking, (I gather) from post surgery up until very recently, right? The clicking could be from a number of different, benign things, but what concerns me is the return of the leg pain, hip pain, etc. Is this new (you haven't had it since surgery, but now do?)?

Hopefully it is something like soft tissue, like a ligament getting hung up and snapping back when it is released, or something similar. It is possible for a cage to move, but is really happens very rarely.

Your surgeon may recommend you take a course of steroids. They usually think the problem is inflammation in the early weeks after fusion. The whole area is very sensitive and "riled up" and when you start exercising and becoming a little more active, it is easy for things to become a little inflamed. When it swells, it can put pressure on the nerves, and thus, bring back the pain. The steroid pack is supposed to reduce this inflammation and quiet things back down.

Let us know what your surgeon tells you when you call today, and try not to worry excessively...(I know...easier said than done....)

 
Old 06-06-2011, 08:53 AM   #21
Junior Member
(female)
 
Pandorasback's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 16
Pandorasback HB User
Re: Fellow ALIF patients, can you help me?

Thank you once again Tetonteri66 - your becoming my new comforting spinal buddy! Your advice is greatly appreciated. My little zingers of pain since surgery were not like they have just become. Now, I have not done anything foolish, I wear my brace 24/7, taking smaller walks, I do go up and down stairs many times a day(I'll try to lessen that), and try not to sit long. The left foot pain is primarily on the outer side from the mid foot to the 3-4 outer toes. OKAY, Dr.'s office just called, they wanted to put me on Lyrica, I asked to please try something else before resorting to Lyrica. So, an increase from taking Skelaxin (muscle relaxer) only at bedtime to 2x a day for 2 days, then 3x a day for a few and let them know. Also, Celebrex - 2 today, 1 for the next two days. Like you mentioned, they say the nerves are irritated and letting me know, the clicking popping could be a number of things - but because it is not causing pain - I was told not to let it stress me out right now. It's so easy to try to "not let something stress you out", doing so takes so much effort - it's almost as tiring. So that is the plan for now. I'll keep you posted, I'm off to take some Skelaxin and Celebrex. They did say that the Celebrex is the one anti-flamatory that is safest to use with post fusion patient (of course administered in small doses).

 
Old 06-06-2011, 08:43 PM   #22
Senior Veteran
(female)
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 6,485
teteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB Userteteri66 HB User
Re: Fellow ALIF patients, can you help me?

Try to limit your stair-climbing as much as possible. Many docs only allow one round-trip per day at the beginning....

 
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to teteri66 For This Useful Post:
dee289 (06-10-2011), Pandorasback (06-09-2011)
Old 06-07-2011, 06:38 PM   #23
Junior Member
(male)
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: GA
Posts: 40
Jazdaddy HB UserJazdaddy HB UserJazdaddy HB User
Re: Fellow ALIF patients, can you help me?

I'm on neurontin, which I can tolerate a lot better than lyrica. Also, you can get depressed on Lyrica - avoid it if possible.

My sciatic was bad enough that I needed inpatient therapy to regain the use of the leg. Now I'm waiting to see what's next. Depending on where the damage is, it can take 6 months to a year for the nerve to regenerate, if it does. I'm hoping mine will.

You may want to get a pair of arm crutches - a lot better for you than a walker on uneven ground and stairs, and it'll help on excursions. Are you using a wheelchair?

There are leg stretches and exercises that can help with leg pain and limited motion - hopefully your doc will put you into a PT to start getting the legs going. Use ice packs on the sciatic to limit the pain (ice slows down nerve impulses, and I've found it helps a lot to ice the back of the thigh. Keep the ice on as long as you can - sometimes I can put off taking pain meds for a while if I keep the pack on for a couple of hours.)

Try to keep a good attitude, and keep writing!

 
The Following User Says Thank You to Jazdaddy For This Useful Post:
Pandorasback (06-09-2011)
Old 06-09-2011, 04:12 PM   #24
Junior Member
(female)
 
Pandorasback's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 16
Pandorasback HB User
Re: Fellow ALIF patients, can you help me?

Thank you Tetonteri66 and Jazdaddy - Well, since my last posting above the instructions from the Nurse from my surgeons office was to increase my use of Skelaxin and a small dose of Celebrex. Before taking I Celebrex I remembered my surgeon stating I should not take any anti-imflamatories due to an allergic reaction to Mobic (severe hives, eyelids swelled up and it took plenty of benedryl and a few days to clear). I know the Dr.s office is busy and sometimes may not look at pateint allergies - so I decided to skip the Celebrex and I will notify them tomarrow when I call in. My pain has not ceased, although it is not as intense. I have lessened my stair traveling, and have used a bit of ice - which has been good for me. All these crazy aches and nerve pain is something I would of expected early after surgery. I imagine it's because of the incisional pain that is felt more after surgery, then once your healed up you notice other things. I have not used crutches and when I was using a cane I believe I used it improperly because I had horrible arm and neck pain (maybe leaning on it too much). Thank you again for your helpful words and support. I really need (like all of us) to get better, but wonder if this is just something I'll be dealing with for a long time.

 
Old 06-09-2011, 04:26 PM   #25
Junior Member
(female)
 
Pandorasback's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 16
Pandorasback HB User
Re: Fellow ALIF patients, can you help me?

AllanBruce - What type of cage did they use on you? Did they have to use instrumentation on the posterior side (360)? Just curious as our symptoms are similiar.

Last edited by Pandorasback; 06-09-2011 at 04:28 PM.

 
Old 06-09-2011, 04:57 PM   #26
Senior Veteran
(male)
 
allanbruce's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 716
allanbruce HB Userallanbruce HB Userallanbruce HB Userallanbruce HB User
Re: Fellow ALIF patients, can you help me?

Hi guys,
I got a plate with 3 big screws 2 into S1 and 1 in L5, a wedge shaped circular implant that has an alan key into the plate. All on the inside so no posterior incision. I thought I was going in for a 2 disc replacement but apparently when my surgeon saw how bad L5-S1 was he changed his mind and used this device and left L4-5 as he thought it was not as bad and that most of my problems where below. I was a bit concerned but he is the surgeon and the less the better I suppose. Also I won't have to worry about the life span of the replacement as this one is going no where. The screws are quite large and seem to hold things very well.
I do have this ongoing nerve thing in my foot and some pain in my lower back but compared to before it is bearable. I just hope that it does only improve and the nerves settle over the next year or so.
I am still having trouble sitting for any period of time so I have to lay down to rest rather than being able to sit at a table. But I haven't been able to for many years anyway. I wish I could do more without pain but I am stuck with what I have now it seems.
I hope yours settles down for you as it is disappointing after the surgery not to be all fixed but we all know that backs are not that easy and will never be the same once they get as bad as ours have been.
Allan
__________________
25-Nov-2010: ALIF fusion L5-S1. 9 years of Chronic lower back pain. Nearly 18 months of pain across my upper pelvis, through my butt and down my left leg into my foot. Sciatica relieved by surgery.

 
The Following User Says Thank You to allanbruce For This Useful Post:
Pandorasback (06-10-2011)
Old 06-10-2011, 07:18 PM   #27
Newbie
(female)
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Texas
Posts: 1
dee289 HB User
Re: Fellow ALIF patients, can you help me?

Thank you for sharing your insight and experiences with recovery from an ALIF.
My plan is to soak up as much info as I can about this procedure and recovery prior to ALIF surgery in July.

Pandorasback and Allen, hope you both feel better soon. And thanks again.

Last edited by dee289; 06-10-2011 at 07:20 PM.

 
Old 06-16-2011, 06:17 AM   #28
Junior Member
(female)
 
Pandorasback's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 16
Pandorasback HB User
Re: Fellow ALIF patients, can you help me?

Welcome Dee, I have learned so much from this message board and it truly prepared me for the major surgery of an ALIF. I wish you all the best and know that being informed was really a key issue to my ability to handle the stress that comes with back surgery. I will be seeing my surgeon next week for my 6 week follow up (2nd post op visit). I really was hoping to be back at work in 6 weeks, but I realize I am not ready. I have seen patients go back to work in 6 weeks (as I work in an orthopedic ofc), but each person heals differently, and of course it depends on how long you have suffered, how severe your issue is, how skilled your surgeon is and also how well your body heals (and I'm sure there are more alternatives I haven't mentioned). My nerve pain has been present for years, this is my second surgery, I hope my last. I will post next week after my Dr. visit. I will say I am still glad I went forward with the surgery, I can't imagine how painful it is for those who can not. Stay as positive as you can, your mind is a powerful tool!

 
Old 08-05-2011, 06:42 AM   #29
Junior Member
(female)
 
Pandorasback's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 16
Pandorasback HB User
Re: Fellow ALIF patients, can you help me?

Well here is my 3 month post op update! I finally can ditch the hard lumbar brace I've been wearing for the last 3 months, with the exception of driving. I will start work again on Monday on a 6 hour, 3 day a week schedule to start. My job is sitting most of the time, so I'm a little worried about the pain that might begin with sitting so long. The chairs at the office are awful, so I might be switching around a lot. My back pain has really diminished so far, with the exception of occasional sciatica, lower muscle ache and buttock pain. My feet are my main concern, as I have a different type of pain now in both, with the occasional nerve pain that comes and goes. I walk like a penguin by the end of the day - My ortho's nurse directed me to see a foot doctor since I do wear custom orthotics and have pronation of both feet. The foot doctor told me that since I have been walking barefooted in the house since surgery (one month after surgery at time of visit) my feet have bursitis. He told me to get rid of the hard plastic custom orthotics and buy good new shoes and soft arch supports. His words, as we age, our feet don't like hard supports, and the softer the better and NEVER walk barefoot if you have foot pronation. Well, new expensive shoes, 3 different pairs of off the shelf arch supports and no difference - I would say its getting worse. I have an appointment to see the orthopedic specialist I first saw for the original orthotics. I hope this in no way is connected to my back - the spine specialist just had a puzzled look and is interested in what the fellow ortho doctor will say (they work in the same practice). Anyone else have this type of problem? Hoping everyone else is doing well and continuing to heal

Last edited by Pandorasback; 08-05-2011 at 06:46 AM.

 
Old 08-05-2011, 06:59 AM   #30
Junior Member
(male)
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: GA
Posts: 40
Jazdaddy HB UserJazdaddy HB UserJazdaddy HB User
Re: Fellow ALIF patients, can you help me?

I'm having feet problems - feels like a bone bruise, esp. with my big toe and heel. It's something to do with the nerve damage I experienced (sounds like you may have the same problem). Bad sciatica, and continued numbness in the butt, the hip and/or the feet seems to come along with the deal. I've tried a lot of neurontin (watch out for the Lyrica side effects if your doc perscribes that), and if they won't get you a new chair, see if you can find a cusion (I call mine a 'butt donut') - it helps with the sciatica at times. Get up, move around, all that stuff.

Are you off the painkillers?

 
Closed Thread

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Board Replies Last Post
ALIF w/Sacro-pelvic Anchoring Patients??? yakkwak Back Problems 0 08-17-2010 12:51 AM
Having L4, L5 ALIF MAY 6 Want to know how bad it will be Ematork Back Problems 28 05-17-2010 01:30 PM
ALIF so not what I expected jkssaphire Back Problems 10 09-15-2009 03:37 PM
2.5 weeks after ALIF. Back pain horrible. Help! Becky2008 Back Problems 8 07-10-2009 07:35 AM
Arterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (ALIF) mewcamaro Back Problems 10 05-15-2007 02:24 PM

Tags
alif surgery, collasped disc, l5 s1



Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is Off
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Join Our Newsletter

Stay healthy through tips curated by our health experts.

Whoops,

There was a problem adding your email Try again

Thank You

Your email has been added




Top 10 Drugs Discussed on this Board.
(Go to DrugTalk.com for complete list)
Ibuprofen
Lyrica
Morphine
Neurontin
Oxycontin
  Percocet
Soma Tylenol
Valium
Vicodin




TOP THANKED CONTRIBUTORS



teteri66 (1120), gmak (131), SweetPeainSF (78), maltluver (71), twohands (64), pebblebeach3 (63), cheryl1213 (51), Moldova (46), ibake&pray (41), workinmom572 (40)

Site Wide Totals

teteri66 (1180), MSJayhawk (1011), Apollo123 (909), Titchou (856), janewhite1 (823), Gabriel (761), ladybud (755), midwest1 (669), sammy64 (668), BlueSkies14 (607)



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:02 AM.



Site owned and operated by HealthBoards.com™
Terms of Use © 1998-2014 HealthBoards.com™ All rights reserved.
Do not copy or redistribute in any form!