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Old 11-28-2011, 11:59 AM   #1
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Newbe with upcoming PLIF

Ok I would like to hear from a few people who have had successful PLIF back surgery PLEASE!! I have been having leg pain for about 5 years now and it has slowly gotten worse, the bad days I can stand for about 3 or 4 mins until I have to sit down on good days maybe 10 if I am lucky. I have been diagnosed with spondylolisthesis L4 to L5 and stenosis L4 to L6. The surgeon has agreed that a PLIF is the right thing to do, I tried the injections in the back and they are good for about 1 week if I am lucky and only dull the pain a bit. But to tell you the truth after reading a lot of these boards for the last month or so I am scared to death to have this done. I am not sure I am doing the right thing but I know I can not live like this anymore, so if there are a few people out there that can say yes I would do it again given the choice I would love to hear from them.
Thank You and God Bless.

 
Old 11-28-2011, 02:47 PM   #2
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Re: Newbe with upcoming PLIF

I had an ALIF on 8/8. It is still too early for a full verdict, but there's definitely bone growth.

Here's my take on things....the nature of the board and other online forums gives skewed results. Even with product reviews, people are more apt to go online to talk about a bad experience than a good one. I know I hopped on to review a product just recently that really disappointed me. I review ll my books online but otherwise don't often run online to review a product that worked...I'll buy it again, but I don't feel the same need to talk about it.

This is even MORE true in medical arenas....people whose operations didn't give good results are seeking support and further options. If it worked, most people move beyond it and are out enjoying their improved lives. You don't see their stories b/c they are too busy with the rest of life while folks in pain are often limited in what they can do and need a place that can offer sympathy and ideas. Some people who came by here pre-op might make a quick "I'm much better" post but may not stick around. I'm still in recovery myself but I'm hoping I remember to come back when I'm through and to be an exception to help remind people that successes DO exist.

Of course, it is a big decision to have surgery. It is important to have a doc you trust and who is experienced. But I do think most folks have positive results...it may never be to 100% but they get better or the medical folks would stop doing the procedure (yes, they make money off it but most docs DO want to help...). I mention it a lot but I'm a neurosurgeon's daughter so I can speak from a unique perspective...my Dad would NOT have had me get the operation if it didn't have a good track record! Again, I can't speak to YOU as an individual patient, but fusions can be the right option for some....it is a long journey of recovery but many people do get relief.


Semi-related: If you decide to go ahead with the PLIF, look at the Questions thread from beadinggirl tha. It is a recent post and both myself and another forum dweller gave tips on recovery planning...the stickied/tacked post at the top of the forum is LONG but also has good tips you should read through if you go ahead with the operation

 
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Old 11-29-2011, 04:51 AM   #3
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Re: Newbe with upcoming PLIF

Thank you very much, you are correct of course that the people who have bad results are going to post at a much higher percentage, I have the operation scheduled for Dec 12 and I almost have to go ahead with it. I can't live this way, the surgeon is very confident that it will work out well, he has a very good track record and has done a lot of these procedures. I guess I was a little shook up after reading the posts on a lot of the boards. I will try and be one of the members that post results after the surgery and I have to be confident that they will be good results. Thank you again.

 
Old 11-29-2011, 07:49 AM   #4
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Re: Newbe with upcoming PLIF

I def got cold feet in the days leading up to me, but I repeated part of what you just said....I just could not keep living the way I was. I had tried other thngs, including epidurals and two rounds of PT, and didn't get results. I knew no surgery is guaranteed, but I needed to take the chance at a good result. At 33, I couldn't face another 40-50 years the way I was without knowing I'd tried every option.

It IS scary. And the recovery is tough, esp the first days, but if you trust your doc and you have decided together that surgery is the needed next step, then try to keep a positive mind. HARDER to do than to say, but important.

 
Old 11-29-2011, 09:16 AM   #5
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Re: Newbe with upcoming PLIF

Thank you again. Yes I have tried the injections and for about two years I was able to keep it sort of at bay if I spent a good hour or so on the treadmill every day. But the last year it has gotten rapidly worse. The mri shows my spine is for all purposes closed at L4-L5 I dont know how anything is working to tell you truth there just is no opening showing at all. I will try and check in as things happen. I hope you continue to progress and meet all your expectations for your surgery.

 
Old 11-29-2011, 09:34 AM   #6
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Re: Newbe with upcoming PLIF

I had almost the identical issues that you are having, and I had a PLIF at L4-L5 for spondylolisthesis and stenosis in Jan of 2008. I had a PEEK cage with BMP, rods and pedicle screws. The surgery was uneventful (from the surgeon's perspective) and was considered a success (by the medical and surgeon's standards).

I too had a pin***** of space showing on the MRI....had gotten to the point where I was driving to my mailbox to collect mail, and could only stand about a minute or two. The surgery definitely relieved all these issues.

I'm happy to answer any questions you may have.

 
Old 11-30-2011, 04:54 AM   #7
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Re: Newbe with upcoming PLIF

thank you, glad to hear its working out for you. Its good to hear from people that have had relief from the pain, I have had this going on for a long time and after a while it just gets very old living like this, I am sure you know what I am talking about. God Bless and I hope you continue to improve.

 
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