What to Expect During Recovery
After a minimally invasive ALIF, the doctor will prescribe medication for pain around the incision. You can usually return to your normal activities and diet within a few days, but individual situations vary. You may need x-rays or other procedures to determine the success of the surgery. If you have no complications, you can usually go home within 48 hours. After surgery, the symptoms of the degenerative disease may go away immediately or gradually.
Your healthcare provider will tell you which medications or supplements to avoid while recovering. They may also tell you to eat a diet that is high in Vitamin D and calcium to promote strong bones and healing. Although a little drainage from the incision site is normal, you should call your doctor if you notice an increase in swelling, redness, or drainage or if you have significant pain or a fever. If you have stitches, they will be removed two weeks or so after the procedure.
During recovery, follow all your doctor’s instructions about exercise, work, driving, and follow-up visits. Medical journals estimate the ALIF procedure to have a success rate of 87 to 97 percent, and most people return to their daily routines and activities with few or no restrictions.