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Old 07-13-2008, 05:53 AM   #1
KKE KKE is offline
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XLIF Surgery

Hi. I'm scheduled for XLIF surgery at L4-L5 at the end of the month. I had similar surgery last year, with a plate put in at L4-L5, but from the back, this will be from the side.

Looking for real recovery info., like what can I realistically expect the day of surgery, right after, and days/weeks/months down the road?

If anyone can share their personal experiences I would really appreciate it. All I know right now is, no riding in car first two weeks, no driving for 6 weeks, and I have to wear a back brace for 6 wks.

Thank you very much!

 
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Old 07-13-2008, 09:07 AM   #2
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Re: XLIF Surgery

If I understand you correctly, you had XLIF last year at the same level as is now being done. Did that surgery not work out and now they are redoing it from a different approach?

 
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Old 07-14-2008, 10:09 AM   #3
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Re: XLIF Surgery

I had a thoracic XLIF, which is probably quite a bit different. It was a difficult recovery. The only benefit is that the incision is not as big. You still have all the internal healing to do, so be prepared! I had a revision from posterior, and it was much easier. But, again, this is thoracic. For the XLIF thoracic, they had to deflate a lung and I had difficulty with breathing for several weeks and you won't have that problem at your level. I think at lumbar, people are liking the XLIF better.

I wish you a successful surgery and a speedy recovery. But, prepare for the same challenges and time frame.

 
Old 04-01-2009, 01:36 PM   #4
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vlaud HB User
Re: XLIF Surgery

[QUOTE=KKE;3645306]Hi. I'm scheduled for XLIF surgery at L4-L5 at the end of the month. I had similar surgery last year, with a plate put in at L4-L5, but from the back, this will be from the side.

Looking for real recovery info., like what can I realistically expect the day of surgery, right after, and days/weeks/months down the road?

If anyone can share their personal experiences I would really appreciate it. All I know right now is, no riding in car first two weeks, no driving for 6 weeks, and I have to wear a back brace for 6 wks.

Thank you very much![/QUOTE]
Hi I had XLIF surgery in Nov. I really didn't want to have fusion surgery after reading all the horror stories on pt forums, but my doctor convinced me that this surgery was less invasive and i would be walking 2 miles by the end of the month. Mind you I was walking 2 miles prior to surgery. I had back pain no leg pain or weakness. The back pain was tolerable but interfered with my ability to work my nursing job. Think long and hard before having this surgery. I did not find any negative stories on this procedure. So imagine my surprize when I woke up with one of my legs have paralyzed due to a bleed in the muscle. No explaination. Other that you signed the consent. And with time you might get you feeling and function back. Nerves take a long time to heal if they do. I'm using a walker and a wheelchair now and taking strong pain medications. The pain is 100x worse than what I ever had. Nerve pain is unbarable. My life as I knew it is over.

 
Old 05-05-2009, 09:12 AM   #5
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onthebeam HB User
Re: XLIF Surgery

in reference to VLAUD 4/1/2009 below. the exact same thing has happened to me also, April 7th 2009. what exactly is a muscle bleed? hypersensitive on inside of thigh, mainly knee area. also, knee is completely numb with neuropathy pins and needles. inside of rt thigh aches immensely. knee buckles and/or thigh flops to side when walking so therefore am also faithfully using a walker. also alot of aching and pain in groin area with numbness in entire leg top to tip of toes. IT IS WORSE THAN MISERABLE!!! also put off surg for almost 5 yrs, but increasingly got worse back/nerve pain. could walk without walker though and other activities now history.

Last edited by onthebeam; 05-05-2009 at 10:29 AM.

 
Old 06-07-2009, 08:50 AM   #6
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Re: XLIF Surgery

[QUOTE=onthebeam;3975892]in reference to VLAUD 4/1/2009 below. the exact same thing has happened to me also, April 7th 2009. what exactly is a muscle bleed? hypersensitive on inside of thigh, mainly knee area. also, knee is completely numb with neuropathy pins and needles. inside of rt thigh aches immensely. knee buckles and/or thigh flops to side when walking so therefore am also faithfully using a walker. also alot of aching and pain in groin area with numbness in entire leg top to tip of toes. IT IS WORSE THAN MISERABLE!!! also put off surg for almost 5 yrs, but increasingly got worse back/nerve pain. could walk without walker though and other activities now history.[/QUOTE]
Would like to know what your surgeon said to you about you post op recovery. Were you told of these possible complications. Have you gain any feeling back?. Is your quad muscle working yet?. When I mentioned I had a muscle bleed. I know that I bled during surgery and it compressed the nerves. I don't know why. Does your surgeon have an explanation for you?

 
Old 06-08-2009, 11:54 PM   #7
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onthebeam HB User
Re: XLIF Surgery

[QUOTE=KKE;3645306]Hi. I'm scheduled for XLIF surgery at L4-L5 at the end of the month. I had similar surgery last year, with a plate put in at L4-L5, but from the back, this will be from the side.

Looking for real recovery info., like what can I realistically expect the day of surgery, right after, and days/weeks/months down the road?

If anyone can share their personal experiences I would really appreciate it. All I know right now is, no riding in car first two weeks, no driving for 6 weeks, and I have to wear a back brace for 6 wks.

Thank you very much![/QUOTE]

 
Old 06-09-2009, 12:04 AM   #8
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onthebeam HB User
Re: XLIF Surgery

My surgeon whizzes in and out. Hasn't explained any "whys". Did say on scale on 1 to 10 at a -3 now (since surg) that i will on only rehabilitate to a -5. Seeing neurologist and have mri scheduled, then emg. neuro said "we'll get to the bottom of this". am using quad muscle quite a bit more now, but knee is worthless. just have to keep it locked up when walking and it wears on it alot. thanks for responding. how are you doing?

 
Old 06-09-2009, 12:21 AM   #9
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Re: XLIF Surgery

[QUOTE=onthebeam;4007448][/QUOTE]

Hope you've discussed all possible risks with surgeon. Like possible permanent nerve damage. I must happily say on the other hand...my back feels GREAT! I'm afraid i will continue alot of leg pain/complications for quite some time though. It's been 8 weeks and still can't drive and i know it will be alot longer if i ever do.
Have your home ready to accomadate with paths the width of a "walker" just in case. at least four pillows or "body" pillow.let loved ones know it takes a long time to answer door and phone!!! Don't let more than 1 or 2 visits occur in one day when first get home. Cook up food you can freeze and stock up easy to prepare meals. Ask surgeon how many times has he done this? My surgeon was "green", but can't be too choosy when on medicade.

Wish you the best that i didn't have. It will be worth it if they know what they're doing.

 
Old 06-13-2009, 09:50 AM   #10
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vlaud HB User
Re: XLIF Surgery

[QUOTE=onthebeam;4007453]My surgeon whizzes in and out. Hasn't explained any "whys". Did say on scale on 1 to 10 at a -3 now (since surg) that i will on only rehabilitate to a -5. Seeing neurologist and have mri scheduled, then emg. neuro said "we'll get to the bottom of this". am using quad muscle quite a bit more now, but knee is worthless. just have to keep it locked up when walking and it wears on it alot. thanks for responding. how are you doing?[/QUOTE]
I just had an MRI with contrast CAT scan of the lumbar spine and extension and flexion x-rays. I see the doctor on Monday for the results. He is my second opinion that I got from the owner of the Physical Therapy place I was going to. Then he's is sending me to a Neurologist for further evaluation. Fill me in on when your getting your test. I'll let you know what happens to me. Just keep the faith I know it's hard
Vlaud

 
Old 06-13-2009, 09:29 PM   #11
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Re: XLIF Surgery

I had 3 level fusion done from side and back. One thing they didn't tell me is that due to coming in from the side, my iliopsoas muscle on the side they came in from was spread apart during surgery. For me this left very irritating nerve damage and considerable muscle weakness in the leg/thigh. For a few weeks I couldn't even tolerate having pants rubbing on that leg. It started to get better at 6 weeks and now at 3 months it's not bad, but still have to work on strength issues. Good luck.

 
Old 06-14-2009, 01:23 PM   #12
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Re: XLIF Surgery

[QUOTE=bobs300;4011752]I had 3 level fusion done from side and back. One thing they didn't tell me is that due to coming in from the side, my iliopsoas muscle on the side they came in from was spread apart during surgery. For me this left very irritating nerve damage and considerable muscle weakness in the leg/thigh. For a few weeks I couldn't even tolerate having pants rubbing on that leg. It started to get better at 6 weeks and now at 3 months it's not bad, but still have to work on strength issues. Good luck.[/QUOTE]
It seem like the surgeons are not giving out any information or explaining the complications of going through the psoas muscle in the XLIF surgery. Does your quads contract? Are you having problems with your knee buckling?I wonder how many people opted for this procedure because of being told that it was less invasive and that there would be no fooling around with the nerves. And it has a high success rate.
Vlaud

 
Old 06-14-2009, 06:00 PM   #13
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onthebeam HB User
Re: XLIF Surgery

[QUOTE=bobs300;4011752]I had 3 level fusion done from side and back. One thing they didn't tell me is that due to coming in from the side, my iliopsoas muscle on the side they came in from was spread apart during surgery. For me this left very irritating nerve damage and considerable muscle weakness in the leg/thigh. For a few weeks I couldn't even tolerate having pants rubbing on that leg. It started to get better at 6 weeks and now at 3 months it's not bad, but still have to work on strength issues. Good luck.[/QUOTE]

YEA, they didn't tell me either til morn after. I've just been lucky to be female cause i can wear dresses or shorts. Thanks for responding. Just don't know what's up with knee issue AND lower leg. from what read, could be pressure from cannulas and/or the cage insert at 4-5. been 9 wks now and am walking better, but with knee locked up so it doesn't buckle. This hasn't gotten ANY better yet.

 
Old 06-14-2009, 06:12 PM   #14
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onthebeam HB User
Re: XLIF Surgery

Anxious to here what you find out. My mri not til wed. we'll just HAVE to compare notes. Lame! we're lame! i'm really not spazzing that much, but it is a bummer and i believe things will get better for us.

 
Old 06-17-2009, 03:26 PM   #15
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vlaud HB User
Re: XLIF Surgery

[QUOTE=onthebeam;4012368]Anxious to here what you find out. My mri not til wed. we'll just HAVE to compare notes. Lame! we're lame! i'm really not spazzing that much, but it is a bummer and i believe things will get better for us.[/QUOTE]
Well had my appointment with the ortho and he said the MRI films were bad and that he would need to call the diagnostic center and have them do another set with thinner splicing. He was also upset that the center did not have Ct films to give him so he might want this repeated. Seems like the appt. Was worthless. F/u in 2 weeks. Another thing he told me was instead of using a walker he wants to try another leg brace on me so I could use a cane. I tried to explain to him that the pressure of the brace is very painful and I can't stand on the leg for longer than 10 minutes before it feels like my knee is going to explode. My next course of action is finding a Neurologist. Then one he was sending me to doesn't take my insurance.
always something. In you blog you said that you had some improvement in your leg. Is your muscle working or do you have partial paralysis like me from the procedure? Hope you get better news
Vlaud

 
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