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ALIF L4-S1 May 2010 & PLIF L4-S1 11/28/11

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Old 12-10-2011, 02:18 PM   #1
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ALIF L4-S1 May 2010 & PLIF L4-S1 11/28/11

Hello every one. I haven't posted since my 1st surgery, May 6, 2010. I had ALIF L4,L5 & L5, S1. Although, I thought I was doing fair and the pain I had in my back was just part of the way I was going to be, it turned out my fusion failed. I have had nerve damage in my left leg from the beginning and fell a lot. Mostly straight on my behind. The Neurosurgeon thinks I blew it with my first fall two months after surgery. I hurt a lot to sit, stand or walk for any period of time. My latest surgery, 11/28/11, had PLIF same levels and also spent 4 days in the hospital. I did have a harder time this time. Getting up took more than the last time so I think there is a difference on front verses back. I do have 25 staples in my back that are hurting more than the front incision probably because I'm laying on them. I had glue and terry stripes in the front so I think the front didn't hurt as bad healing wise. My question is how do you live with this and still try to work? I am an accountant and most if not all my time is sitting and it hurts constantly. I did apply for Social Security this week while laying here wondering how am I going to do this again. Any input would be appreciated.

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Old 12-10-2011, 03:49 PM   #2
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Re: ALIF L4-S1 May 2010 & PLIF L4-S1 11/28/11

Hopefully your pain will ease up when you have the staples removed.

How soon were you planning on returning to work? I'm not sure I understand your question about "how do you live with this....?" Hopefully, you are able to be off work and devote all your time and attention to healing and recovery before you have to return to work.

Since your first fusion failed, I hope you will be extra careful this time 'round so as to increase your chances for success.

Did the same surgeon do this procedure?

Old 12-12-2011, 01:14 PM   #3
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Re: ALIF L4-S1 May 2010 & PLIF L4-S1 11/28/11

Hi, thanks for the reply. I do a lot of computer work so I am able to work from home laying in bed. But my employer is not going to do this too many more times before he finally says that's enough.

What I meant of how do you live with this and still work is that I have been in pain from one degree to unbearable for around nine years now. With this last surgery, I feel already that this still is not going to alleviate my pain trying to sit and such for working. I guess I have to wait to see how good or bad it will be with the healing I have to do. I'm just so tired of it all. Just wondered after reading how some people have it so much worse than me, how do they keep going? Are they working? How do you keep from feeling sorry for yourself. I haven't much considering I fell mainly while I was trying to live my life (fishing, gardening, etc.,), but I do have times where I do hate the fact that I can't do this or that cause of this.

I am being very careful, using a cane to help with balance and slowing down so my leg, hopefully, will not trip me up.

I did have the same surgeon do this. He has a great bed side manner and does a great job as a neurosurgeon, It wasn't his fault that the insurance company made me wait for 4 months to have the first surgery. That was what cause the nerve damage in my left leg in the first place. And he was nice enough to say it wasn't my fault I fell. As I have said to my husband every time after I fall and he would say, "Why did you do that?", and I reply, "like I threw myself down on purpose" LOL

Thanks for listening any knowledge is greatly appreciated.

Old 12-12-2011, 03:10 PM   #4
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Re: ALIF L4-S1 May 2010 & PLIF L4-S1 11/28/11

warning -- rambly and a bit jumbled....

I think it is important to stay hopeful on the PLIF this early. I'm 4m out from my ALIF and I do still hurt and worry but I am trying to stay positive. I do see improvements and there's bone growth happening per the 3m appt. Dont give up yet!!

On the working side -- I think the right workplace can def help. I actually recommend against leaving entirely unless you truly need to. I've been unemployed for longer than I care to say and talked with several docs...all said it is harder when a patient just has all that time to focus on the pain etc. Obv, time off post-op is CRUCIAL, and you are still very much in a rest stage, but I think it is good to keep as mentally active as you can.

I do have other health issues that are chronic. I can't say how I live with it...I just kind of do. I was somewhat pleased with a doc saying "The reality is you will probably always have pain and I don't know that we can help". He did then give me a 1/3 poss on a minimally invasive surgery helping...I took it and it did have good results but the pain is still there and built back a bit. My Evil Ex was ****** at the doc's statement but it helped me...I needed to hear it (although I'd already concluded it myself, the doc saying it was useful) so I could just take it as the likely truth and move ahead. Do I have cry-in-bed days, yes....both from pain and from anger at it ("it's not my turn anymore!")....but you can learn to move ahead.

You do the best and you DO keep pushing and asking but you also learn what your life needs. For me, i need a lot more down time than most. if i go out friday night, i prob want a quiet saturday. having a support network helps too....the BF values me as me and knows the pain comes with the package. he knows i need the rest, once or twice it has bugged him if he wanted to stay out and i was fading, but he is generally supportive and totally fine with at-home-weekends (not so much the case w/ Evil Ex who said I was too dull).
Of course, you should also still seek treatment. Keep at the docs and get a pain management team. It is easier to live with it when you know you've done everything you can (the reason I had that surgery above...esp since i'd had it before and knew it was an easy-ish one for recovery).

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