I'm headed for my second back surgery in 3 years. 1st. one was a lumbar laminotomy and micro diskectomy at L4-L5. I had ruptured a disc and had a 12mm fragment that was causing me a lot of problems. Had the surgery and they DIDN'T find the piece of disk and ended up in the same place as before the surgery, probably a little worse. Now I've been told that I need a fusion at L5-S1 because of a severely degenerated disk. The procedure that I will be having is a ALIF (Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion).I would like to talk to some people who have had this procedure and see how they are doing. Did it work? Are you better than before? How long we're you down? Etc. Anything that would help me make this decsion would be great! Thanks!
I had an ALIF (L5-S1) in March of 2006. I was really worried about having this done (I was 36) and actually went to 3 different surgeons before deciding to let one of them cut on me. I was down for less than a month - actually went back to work part-time after 2 weeks! (my surgeon wasn't too thrilled about that but he understood that I had to work in order to get a paycheck) I would tell a difference from the moment I awoke after surgery! I had one leg that was tingling/numb and once I woke up after surgery I had feeling in my leg again! My disk was completely gone - the surgeon used titanium cages to do my fusion. I did what the doc said and walked like I was suppose to - walking is very important! I went through a few months of physical therapy (2x/wk) and had great success. I am still doing great 3 years later - even went through a pregnancy last year without any back problems! I had a wonderful surgeon and great physical therapists. I think as long as you walk like you're suppose to and do what the Physical Therapist asks of you, you should do great. I don't know where you are located - I had my procedure done in the North Alabama area. I wish you the very best and should you chose to go through with it, I wish you a speedy recovery! Please feel free to ask me more questions!