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ALIF recommended for DDD I

Started by 111775478157745... on 02/18/2016 1:17pm

Hi , I am 39 yrs old , stay at home mom I was diagnosed very young w DDD and herniated disc. I've had pain on and off for over 15 years. This past August the pain / muscle spasms are so bad I can no longer function . Sitting is excruciating , driving is a nightmare , and I basically have lost a lot of flexibility . I have done everything offered from pt , meds , injections etc and I we able to function somewhat normally w periods of flare ups every other mother or so that turned into a continuous pain this summer. I can't get any muscles to relax they are so tight it restricts my movement and I have butt pain hip pain front leg pain. My ortho dr stated I have hardly any disc left at L4 s1 and herniation. He offered me ALIF as a last resort. I don't have any nerve damage or leg weakness , no trouble walking except when the muscle are bad or I'm in a flare I take care of a 4 yr old and a home and this pain is not manageable anymore even w 2 muscle relaxers and opioids. So this will be a decision I have to make and I need to do it soon. But I keep reading that evening seems to have nerve damage prior to ALIF or sciatica , I don't have that thank god but I do have pain and muscle spasms so bad I want to die. This is not a life this is existing and I have been stupidly waiting for my back to " go back to normal " meaning intermittent times of being flat out but it's been 8 months and I need to do something. Has anyone else on here had ALIF for DDD and gotten relief. I can't walk more than 15 ft w out stopping and bending forward. Bending foreword and stretching is the only time I'm not dying in pain. It's affected my marriage my friendships my ability to go to the store or a movie cuz I can't sit and driving has recently become something I hate. I won't leave unless it's for a dr appt and then I pay for it for days on end. Dr can't tell me if it will work he gave me a 50/50 chance if the discs are the source of pain. Well how am I supposed to know that ? Where else would it be coming from ? I need to make a decision and in MA they are very strict with narcotics now so I am not on any. I want to be able to drive and walk and function for years I worked where I sat for 12 hrs a day and I was fine I haven't been able to work since 2009. I'm afraid it won't work and that the lengthy recovery will affect my husband and mothers jobs and how do you take care of a 4 yr old after ALIF ? This is my second opinion , the disc space is just gone and I can't handle the muscle spasms and tightness and inability to simply drive to the store to pick up milk !!! I'm so sad for my daughter and husband and if I don't do it this will e my life , if I do it what if it gets worse or I have nerve damage I don't have right now ? I'm so lost at this point and scared of recovery and having my stomach cut open even tho I had a c section that's different ! How is the healing in the abdomen ? I don't care if I still have pain I know pain but if it will decrease it a little bit it's better than nothing , now my middle back is starting to hurt cuz it's compensating for my lower lumbar my dr says. I've never had any pain in middle back he says it's common for those who suffer chronic lumbar pain for decade. I need a success story and I need to be able to walk and drive again and not be on a shitload of muscle relaxers. He told me 2 months of recovery as far as taking care of my daughter my mom will move in for a month and help , what if I'm not better after that ? My husband. Has to still work ! Any advice or a success story w ALIF ? I mean I have read you guys are up and walking on day 3 ! That's crazy to me ! I'm scared he will do something to my stomach by accident. I don't have any spinal instability at all. I can live w this and not have anything be affected but I can't love in this much pain anymore nothing helps I've been in and out of er and urgent care more times than I can count . So if you had this much pain all day everyday cried you self to sleep at night and am on the verge of losing a marriage would you do ALIF ?

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3 Responses


Hi Rebecca I know a bit about what you are gong through I haven't had an ALIF but I am on surgery waiting
I ist for an acdf you are right it's not living its existing my problem is DDD with c6c7 herniated disc with crushed spinal cord and crushed c7 nerve so mine mainly effects my arms some days my arms feel so heavy that I cannot lift them above my head and some days which are getting more frequent it's really hard to drive. I have read a lot on my surgery and yes it's scary but really what choice do I have I think a 50/50 shot is better than no chance but ultimately you have to make the descision .i hear you about your friends I really now only have a couple of friends who drop by because I'm in so much pan all the time trying to have a normal conversation when you are dopped up to the eye balls and in so much pain it's hard.My GP has just added more drugs to my list . Have you ever tried magnesium tablets for your muscle spasms they really do work you should be able to get them at any health food shop or here in Australia you can get them at the supermarket but please check with your dr first ,it was my GP that got me not them and it's has really reduced the amount of muscle spasms and cramps that I was getting. Please keep me posted on what you decide to do and how you are feeling I'm here if you just want to vent take care and I hope this helped just a little bit.


I'm new here, recently diagnosed with spinal stenosis and disc issues. (haven't done enough research yet) I was already a chronic pain patient for 20 years when my back started up. Only because my Internist insisted on a MRI did I find out about the spine issues......it took 5+ falls to convince me!
I've had the muscle spasms, cramps tc since the beginning. The magnesium helps but plain old water helps even more! I need to drink 6 to 8 glasses a day of fluids. Decaf :) diet ;) Also helps with the constipation.
I thank God for my hubby, he's my helper & protector! You can get better.........better than you are now.



I have been dealing with back pain since a herniated disc and discectomy back in 2002. I had bouts with pain radiating down my leg and nagging low back pain. Over the past two years I went to a few different doctors and had MRIs and the usual exams. I finally had had enough of the lingering pain and decided to have a neurosurgeon perform a 360 fusion of the L4 L5 S1 spine. I had six screws two rods and two artificial discs with cages inserted.
I spent a four days in the hospital and came home to recover and start rehab. I was driving within five days and grocery shopping with my son in about seven days. It was not as bad as I expected. Trust me I was in a bit of pain but tolerated it with meds {hydrocodone and muscle relaxers). I told myself and my doctor before having the surgery, that I would go back to work full time in three weeks post op. That is exactly what I did. I had to convince my doctor that I was ready. It was a little uncomfortable sitting for long periods, I got up from my desk and walked for a few minutes.
Don't get me wrong, it is not a walk in the park, but if you have a good attitude going in and want to get you life back, you can do this and be fine. Don't let people on blog sites get you believing otherwise. Those are the people that want to convince people around them that they have to stay on workmans comp longer or take disability payments.
Good Luck and please feel free to respond with any questions you might have.