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Old 04-24-2013, 08:26 AM   #1
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Unhappy Looking for Positive Outcomes after ALIF

After looking through the posts about ALIF surgery.. I see a lot of negative things.. I really need to see some positives about the surgery. I am on a pro and con analyzation about getting the surgery or not compared to TLIF. I have to make a decision and I really need to see it led to positives rather than negative. Any good news out there? It will assist with this major decision.. HELP !!

 
Old 04-24-2013, 07:39 PM   #2
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Re: Looking for Positive Outcomes after ALIF

You might also want to ask if there are any positive experiences with
TLiF. I think the negatives you have seen pertaining to ALIFs are probably generalized comments about having a fusion rather than specifically to the anterior approach.

Doesn't your surgeon have a preference? Usually one approach is more appropriate to the specific patient than another and there are valid reasons for choosing to do one over another. It isn't usually a personal preference left up to the patient.

At what level are you in need of fusion surgery?

 
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Old 04-27-2013, 10:15 PM   #3
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Talking Re: Looking for Positive Outcomes after ALIF

Hi,
I am less than one week post ALIF done in NYC on April22 . I can tell you that I feel better than before the surgery already. My legs feel heavy, but not that nerve pain. And, they are better everyday. There was a neuro team in the OR that tested nerve response entire surgery, so my nerves now have plenty of room, they just have to get used to it. I have lots of pain from the incisions, as well as being tired due to blood loss. I followed many of the suggestions on this board, re organized my kitchen, bedroom, had a higher potty put in, my gardener came early so my yard for early spring looks good. I am walking around inside with a cane, outside 2x a day around yard and steps with supervision and a walker. I wish I didn't wait so long is the bottom line. My back pain is all gone! Good luck and let me know if u want the doc name he was wonderful.

 
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Old 05-07-2013, 09:30 PM   #4
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Re: Looking for Positive Outcomes after ALIF

I had a 2 level ALIF on L3-L5 in 2007. It was a tough surgery and a rough recovery but the fusion is perfect and gave me 5 years of no pain and my life back. Now the level under the fusion blew and i am 3 weeks post op from PLIF w/decompression on L5-S1.
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Old 05-10-2013, 07:15 PM   #5
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Re: Looking for Positive Outcomes after ALIF

Have you made your decision?

 
Old 05-14-2013, 03:28 PM   #6
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Re: Looking for Positive Outcomes after ALIF

Hi Dsthwrth -

I am 5 weeks post-ALIF and very satisfied so far, althought it's too soon to really say. My surgeon said that it's better to use the anterior approach than to go through the back muscles. My abdomen hurt quite a bit for about 2 weeks, but now it only is sore if I overdo things!

Just remember that discussion boards can present a skewed sense of success. Those who have had successful surgery are typically not taking time to come to the boards and share because they're busy living the life they want to live!

Those who have struggled need to support that the boards provide. Also, I've noticed that everyone's situation is so different that it is hard to get a true sense of what you should do in your situation.

 
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Old 07-21-2013, 06:30 AM   #7
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Re: Looking for Positive Outcomes after ALIF

[QUOTE=zog81;5174806]Hi Dsthwrth -

I am 5 weeks post-ALIF and very satisfied so far, althought it's too soon to really say. My surgeon said that it's better to use the anterior approach than to go through the back muscles. My abdomen hurt quite a bit for about 2 weeks, but now it only is sore if I overdo things!

Just remember that discussion boards can present a skewed sense of success. Those who have had successful surgery are typically not taking time to come to the boards and share because they're busy living the life they want to live!

Those who have struggled need to support that the boards provide. Also, I've noticed that everyone's situation is so different that it is hard to get a true sense of what you should do in your situation.[/QUOTE]
Hi zog81,
I was wondering how you are doing since your last posting in response to my post. I am getting my ALIF on Aug 28 and anticipating a successful outcome. Please let me know your progress.

 
Old 07-21-2013, 06:36 AM   #8
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Re: Looking for Positive Outcomes after ALIF

[QUOTE=Gerrij;5167453]Hi,
I am less than one week post ALIF done in NYC on April22 . I can tell you that I feel better than before the surgery already. My legs feel heavy, but not that nerve pain. And, they are better everyday. There was a neuro team in the OR that tested nerve response entire surgery, so my nerves now have plenty of room, they just have to get used to it. I have lots of pain from the incisions, as well as being tired due to blood loss. I followed many of the suggestions on this board, re organized my kitchen, bedroom, had a higher potty put in, my gardener came early so my yard for early spring looks good. I am walking around inside with a cane, outside 2x a day around yard and steps with supervision and a walker. I wish I didn't wait so long is the bottom line. My back pain is all gone! Good luck and let me know if u want the doc name he was wonderful.[/QUOTE]
Hi JerriJ,
I was wondering how you are doing post op since your last post? I am getting my ALIF on Aug 28 and hoping for a positive outcome. I am only getting 1 level done (L4/L5). I look forward to hearing how you are doing.

 
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Old 07-21-2013, 06:50 AM   #9
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Re: Looking for Positive Outcomes after ALIF

Hi Dsthwrth,

Glad to hear that you have set a date! Everything has been going well for me and it has been almost 4 months now. The only problem I had was an "angry nerve" that likely got stretched during surgery and caused some problems in my leg and foot, but my doctor put me on Gabapentin and that controlled it until the nerve settled down. It upset me for a while because there was no guarantee it wasn't permanent damage, even though I knew it would probably go back to normal. I weaned off the Gabapentin around 10 weeks, got off of hydrocodone around 9 weeks, and just take extra strength tylenol as needed now (usually every day).

I still have soreness every day but I'm working full-time and doing a lot more daily activities. My abdomen is still a little sensitive too. I am pretty confident the soreness will be gone by 6 months. The doctor and physical therapist are happy with my progress and did an x-ray at 12 weeks that showed it was starting to fuse. I'm definitley happy with my decision to have surgery and I think the anticipation in the weeks beforehand was the worst part

Good luck!

 
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Old 08-14-2013, 09:10 AM   #10
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Re: Looking for Positive Outcomes after ALIF

Hi there. How are you doing these days? I have 2 more weeks until my ALIF.

 
Old 08-14-2013, 05:52 PM   #11
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Re: Looking for Positive Outcomes after ALIF

Hello all
Sorry has been so long. I am back to work full time, 3 days in the city and
2 days remote. I feel fantastic, only occasional Tylenol for pain. My leg and back pain are about 90% gone. I am back at the gym about 3 to 4 times a week. I still get tired and when I do I just lay down with my feet up. At work I make sure I get up every hour and walk around even if it is just in my office. I have also started very light gardening, trimming hedges that are waist height or higher, and if I pull weeds I sit on the ground, no bending. I feel very blessed and amazed that I feel so well I see the doc in the hospital I work at a lot so he is aware of my activity level, I started using elliptical at the gym, but will never be able to take any high impact type of exercise. The water cardio fitness is also great. Good luck and stay positive all

 
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Old 08-26-2013, 03:02 PM   #12
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Re: Looking for Positive Outcomes after ALIF

Hi Zog81,
Wondering how you are doing? My ALIF is in less than 2 days. Wed, to be exact. I really do not know what to expect. I am keeping a positive outlook. I hope you doing well. Keep me posted on your recovery. I will be posting during mine and advise on my progress. HUGS!!

 
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Old 08-26-2013, 04:58 PM   #13
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Re: Looking for Positive Outcomes after ALIF

Hi Dsthwrth,

I think the anticipation beforehand is the worst part! I had confidence in my surgeon and I just had to remember that leading up to it. I can tell I'm making progress every week. My 6 month appointment will be Oct. 3 and I'm confident I will have almost no pain by then. I definitely think the ALIF was the right option for me and wish I would've done it sooner, but I wasn't mentally ready until this year. I've started exercising more (walking, tiny bit of jogging, elliptical) in the last 2 weeks. I have more soreness the day after working out, but tylenol controls it. There are some days I don't need tylenol at all.

The thing I like about post-surgery is that the pain is predictable. Before, I would have good days and terrible days and I never knew when it would happen. In the last 5 months, I've knows the pain would gradually get better and would be worse if I overdid my activity.

Good luck and stay confident that you've made the right decision!

 
Old 09-03-2013, 01:24 PM   #14
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Re: Looking for Positive Outcomes after ALIF

Hi Zog. I am 6 days Post Op and doing much better than expected. The only pain I feel is incisional and that was crazy right after, but subsiding now somewhat. It still hurts , but not as the first few days after. I was discharged after 2 days and home moving pretty well. The only thing that really got to me is the initial constipation after. That was not fun. At the hospital, I did enough for them to discharge me. But when I got home, not for 3 days did I do anything. OUCH!! After Metamucil, a laxative and Smooth Move Tea, finally something happened and even the incision pain was eased a little. I can see now what they mean when they say your digestive tract in a fog for a while. So, trying to get regular again. Was that an issue for you after your ALIF? Hope you doing well.

 
Old 09-03-2013, 04:54 PM   #15
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Re: Looking for Positive Outcomes after ALIF

Constipation is a big problem after spinal fusion, primarily due to all the pain medications. It will be important to keep up the fluids, high fiber, etc. while you are in early recovery, not just right after surgery.

Glad you are doing well and the worst is over. Remember to take frequent short walks, and get plenty of rest. Limit sitting to 15-20 minutes at a time.

 
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