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Old 11-05-2010, 05:43 PM   #1
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Who can tell me about XLIF Procedure (Pro & Con)

I have had 2 back surgeries. The first in 2000, a Lumbar Laminectomy on (L4 - L5) It was successful until recently I lifted something heavy. In March of 2010 I tried again because of the pain. (L4-L5-S1). Now I am being told that I need to have a fussion on L4-L5 and the doctor is recommending the XLIF procedure. I am trying to find out what positive experiences people have had with this and negative experiences people have had. < edited >
Alan

Last edited by hb-mod; 11-05-2010 at 11:23 PM. Reason: Please don't post personal info such as real name, email or phone.

 
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Old 12-04-2010, 05:50 PM   #2
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Re: Who can tell me about XLIF Procedure (Pro & Con)

I had the xlif in 12/2008 for the right side. They went in on the left. My left leg didn't function very well after that. Walking, driving and living were very difficult. I just learned after all kinds of therapies, acupunctures, laser, arthrogram that the dr. that did the surgery nicked a nerve at L1-L2. I had an ablation 4 weeks ago in out patient surgery. My leg is weak still, I am back in therapy but I can walk for longer periords of time and the pain has subsided. It is not a good surgery

 
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Old 12-04-2010, 08:26 PM   #3
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Re: Who can tell me about XLIF Procedure (Pro & Con)

It is always important to find a spinal specialist who has performed the surgery that is being recommended to you [B]many[/B] times. In the case of XLIF, it is even MORE important. In the great scheme of things, it is a relatively new procedure and you do not want to end up being a guinea pig.

Too many doctors sell this procedure to their patients by saying recovery is much faster, there is less muscle that is cut to access the surgical site, etc. They make it sound "easy" and quick. What they neglect to tell you is more important. I hope your doctor provided you with lots of good information pertaining to this procedure. There is an organization called the Society of Lateral Access Surgery that has a website with complete information.

Also, there are a number of older threads on this site from people asking a question just like yours about XLIF. If you read through them, you will see a number of patients who had the procedure and ended up with muscle and nerve damage they had never counted on.

As with any surgery, it is very important that you do your research and know exactly what you are getting into, along with the qualifications and experience of the surgeon who is doing the procedure. Do not rush into a decision. Your situation is not life-threatening. You have plenty of time to weigh your options.

I wish you the best as you make your decision.

 
Old 12-15-2010, 11:00 AM   #4
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Re: Who can tell me about XLIF Procedure (Pro & Con)

Well had my xlif 11-17 and initially the sciatic pain was gone. I was so amazed. Then...4 days after surgery I felt it coming back. All I can say is I have good days and bad. Today unfortunatley I feel pre surgical and the sciatic is screaming over butt and down to knees.
Doc said if you've had it for a long time and the nerves had been annoyed a lot then it would take time for them to calm down.
This is my first back surgery and hope my last, however, I still need pain medication. The thigh on side of surgery usually hurts for a few weeks; the incision was really nothing pain wise. Low back pain still there but usually tolerable. For me, it's this sciatica thing.
It seems like the pain moves around a lot during healing.
I hope the very best for both of us so we can go on to live full and active lives.
God Bless,
Cubby

 
Old 12-16-2010, 08:00 AM   #5
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Re: Who can tell me about XLIF Procedure (Pro & Con)

This surgery disturbs the psoas muscle and some patients end up having more problems with that than with their back...but eventually it heals.

Regardless of how the surgeon gains access to the spine, it can take a long time for the nerves to recover. There is residual damage from the compression and the recovery rate is long and slow...so patience is required.

cubby-- do you have sciatic pain in both legs?

 
Old 12-31-2010, 05:33 AM   #6
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Re: Who can tell me about XLIF Procedure (Pro & Con)

Hi Alan,
Ihad one 11/17 and was relieved of sciatic leg pain for 4 days then it all came back. Yesterday I hadmy 6 week review. My pain is due to a cyst i developed inside spinal canal which burst synovial fluid and is impinging on nerves.
Doc said this is due to just bad luck. He's going in again thru the back thistime with a 1" incision. I'm glad cuz I would not have allowed another side entry. Xlif trajectory goes thru the hip"s psoas muscle which causes thigh pain and tenderness to inside groin. My thigh pain has lessened a lot but some folks have a real problem as the femoral nerves can be impinged. I dont care about thigh-groin tenderness and it's just sore to touch but no chronic pain.
Doc said my anterior entry would not affect back muscles as he will sort of open them up not cut thru them to get to my L4-5 area and scrape out all that junk. I hope to God it will help as my leg pain is worse since surgery. I have to get back to work now inworse shape---and I teach yoga and cardio!~! No husband, on my own, so haveto go back. I willdirect classes and use a student as a model---I am not going to screw myself up.
All of us have a journey to take with our back problems. I would advise anyone who is considering an xlif to ask the doctor to go in thru the back, Granted, I have not experienced that yet, but this thigh thing ev1 complains about is widespread, and so is hip pain I'm hearing lots about. The incisions thru the back are only 1" on either side of the spine. I think I'd rather have some back pain after surgery than all that thigh pain.
Good luck and prayers to all in 2011!! Cubby52

 
Old 12-31-2010, 08:03 AM   #7
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Re: Who can tell me about XLIF Procedure (Pro & Con)

I'm 14 months post XLIF and can only say -- what back problems?? I barely remember them, or the XLIF, I feel so good -- 100% pain free. I do still have a small area of numbness on the outside of my thigh that might never resolve but truly, for me it was a very successful operation.

 
Old 12-31-2010, 08:13 AM   #8
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Re: Who can tell me about XLIF Procedure (Pro & Con)

lucky you and wish you a continued positive outcome

 
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Old 12-31-2010, 01:29 PM   #9
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Re: Who can tell me about XLIF Procedure (Pro & Con)

I had this procedure done on Oct. 21st. My pre-surgery pain is gone; however, my right leg is now very weak and my right foot swells badly, including the ankle. Has anyone ever experienced this? Did it get better or go away? I had a lot of nerve impingement, central canal stenosis and foraminal stenosis, osteophytes on the left side.

Would really appreciate any responses.

Thanks! And Happy new Year.

Carol

 
Old 12-31-2010, 01:46 PM   #10
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Re: Who can tell me about XLIF Procedure (Pro & Con)

[QUOTE=maltluver;4651279]I had this procedure done on Oct. 21st. My pre-surgery pain is gone; however, my right leg is now very weak and my right foot swells badly, including the ankle. Has anyone ever experienced this? Did it get better or go away? I had a lot of nerve impingement, central canal stenosis and foraminal stenosis, osteophytes on the left side.

Would really appreciate any responses.

Thanks! And Happy new Year.

Carol[/QUOTE]

Carol,

How long have you had the swelling and have you told your Dr about this, I had the same issues and he wanted to see me that nite if there was any pain involved where the swelling was and if it was hot,or go to the ER. The concern was a possible bloodclot. I didint have real bad pain so the next day they did an ultra-sound on my leg and it was negative. The swelling was from the nerves, and all. My swelling did go down but nerve damage is still there

 
Old 12-31-2010, 02:55 PM   #11
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Re: Who can tell me about XLIF Procedure (Pro & Con)

It's been two years and I am still having the pain on the side they went in on. Just keep positive and keep pushing forward. Don't let this get you...because it does. I was in hell for ten mths never leaving my bedroom. It took 2 1/2 hours to do a five minute walk. You just can't let it get you. Remain positive. Good luck

 
Old 09-19-2011, 10:40 PM   #12
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xliffailure HB User
Re: Who can tell me about XLIF Procedure (Pro & Con)

Look on any other boards. Most of us have had nothing but problems. Very few succesful.I would try to find an alternative if I were you.

 
Old 09-19-2011, 10:44 PM   #13
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xliffailure HB User
Re: Who can tell me about XLIF Procedure (Pro & Con)

AMEN .... I know they really screwed me up ....BE CAREFUL

 
Old 12-28-2011, 07:55 PM   #14
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Re: Who can tell me about XLIF Procedure (Pro & Con)

I had XLIF done in February and I was back to my usual exercise routine less than 6 months later (running, pole fitness, aerobics, etc.). I have no regrets. Pre-surgery, I could barely walk/stand for more than 20 minutes at a time. Now I can be on my feet all day with no problems whatsoever.

My surgeon said I was a textbook patient because my spondio was resulting in leg pain, and not back pain, so my prognosis was good from the outset. My recovery was a cinch (was back to work after 2 weeks) and I have no regrets whatsoever.

 
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