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Question regarding upcoming ALIF surgery-Failed fusion

Started by Archeun1980 on 03/21/2017 6:10pm

So, I will give a brief rundown of my condition. I was injured at work and this injury required a L5, S1 fusion PLIF using graft from my hip. After 8 months, we discovered that the fusion had failed to heal properly. This was over 14 months ago. I am going to be getting a ALIF with hip bone and bonemorphogenic protein.

My questions are these:

Is the recovery from this second surgery likely to be significantly worse then the 1st?

Is this surgery likely to fix the pain and instability I feel in the lower part of my spine?

Last but not least, who has had the above 2 procedures and would you do it again if you had?

Thank you.

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1 Response


Hi, Archeun1980--thanks for posting questions about your upcoming ALIF. While we can't answer all your questions, we'd like to share some information with you that we think will help as you prepare for your surgery.

Regarding your first question: Your second surgery may have a completely different recovery than your first surgery--and it won't necessarily be for the worse. The ease of your recovery depends on so many factors. We recommend asking your doctor as many questions as you can about what you should expect from recovery before you undergo the procedure. This will help you feel prepared and confident--and having those positive feelings before surgery may pay off during the recovery (there are some interesting study findings on this subject: http://abcnews.go.com/Health/story?id=117317&page=1).

As for your second question about reducing pain and instability in your low back--those are two of the main goals of ALIF. This procedure decompresses pinched spinal nerves (a source of pain) and then provides spinal stability by fusing together spinal bones into a single, solid bone. We have a good overview of what to expect from ALIF that we think you'll find interesting ( Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (ALIF) Surgery Treats Low Back Pain ).

While we haven't undergone PLIF or ALIF ourselves, we know lots of people visiting this Community have, and we hope they share their stories with you. We wish you the very best of luck with your ALIF. Please keep us posted on how you're doing!