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  • Has anyone had XLIF Lumbar Surgery?

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    Old 02-23-2014, 12:33 PM   #1
    PGCalGal
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    Has anyone had XLIF Lumbar Surgery?

    Hello out there - I'm new to posing on any board, but read some posts and feel like reaching out here.
    I'm a 54 year old female, and I used to be very active. I worked out, I came home and worked in my yard and on other days deep cleaned my house. Now, after my 2nd lumbar L3/4 herniation, I can't do much at all. I feel like I'm leading the life of an inactive 80 yr. old. I have to remind myself that things could be worse - and that helps - but I want my life back. I first went to a orthopedic specialist. I've been doing physical therapy for 7 months now. Recently, at our 2nd meeting, I told him how weak my legs have become and that it's becoming difficult to walk. He then recommended sugery with fusion for spondylolthesis and stenosis. I told him I had to think about it. I then went in for a 2nd opinion. 2nd doctor a neurosurgeon. I immediately liked him. We talked and he suggested a surgery called XLIF. Has anyone out there had this type of extreme lateraly implementation of a disk spacer? After side entry, (2 cuts) the posterior is still opened. I don't like the idea of 3 incisions, but he feels the side entry will allow him to implement a one piece solid spacer. Otherwise, he can put in a 2-pc. spacer posteriorly. Then I wonder which spacer/hardware is the best with the least amount of failures? So much to consider. Is anyone out there investigating along these same lines?
    Thanks -

     
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    Old 02-25-2014, 09:59 PM   #2
    teteri66
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    Re: Has anyone had XLIF Lumbar Surgery?

    Welcome to the forum. I usually post on another board, "Back problems," where more people with lumbar issues tend to post, but I happened to spot your post here.

    You can type XLIF into the search box and it will pull up posts pertaining to the topic. I had a PLIF from L3 to S1 a couple years ago. There have been some people on the back board who have had XLIF and I would say the results have been mixed.

    I would suggest you get a third opinion to gather more information. Perhaps that will help you decide. The most important decision you will make (once you decide to have any surgery) is the choice of the surgeon. Take your time. Do your research and do your best to find the best trained, most experienced surgeon you can find. You do not want to have XLIF unless the surgeon has performed it many times with good results...and even then, be sure you consider all your options.

    Good luck.

     
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    Old 02-26-2014, 06:12 AM   #3
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    Re: Has anyone had XLIF Lumbar Surgery?

    I had XLIF a few years ago and have done well with it. I had had 2 previous posterior surgeries on lumbar spine before, and the lateral approach was much easier recovery. I don't understand why they would do the lateral approach but still open posteriorly. The disc spacers works well, and a single level is ideal for lateral approach. I would also recommend a third opinion and see if this can't be done laterally without posterior work, or posterior if need be for your situation, but both doesn't make sense to me. This is a big decision and you need to feel comfortable about both the procedure and the surgeon.

     
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    Old 03-05-2014, 07:00 AM   #4
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    Re: Has anyone had XLIF Lumbar Surgery?

    What did you decide to do? Have you had the surgery yet?

     
    Old 03-05-2014, 01:43 PM   #5
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    Re: Has anyone had XLIF Lumbar Surgery?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by teteri66 View Post
    What did you decide to do? Have you had the surgery yet?
    No, not yet. I have an appt. with a doctor March 20th for a third opinion. I would think I will schedule surgery shortly after that.
    I have a question for you - do you think a neurosurgeon is better than an orthopedic? I have been seeing an ortho from the beginning, and then just saw a neurosurgeon for a second opinion. I really liked the neurosurgeon, and feeling like this will be a tough decision.
    It "seems" like an ortho makes more sense, yet a neuro has strengths too. What are your thoughts?

     
    Old 03-07-2014, 09:34 PM   #6
    teteri66
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    Re: Has anyone had XLIF Lumbar Surgery?

    If you saw a fellowship-trained orthopedic spine surgeon, there is very little difference between their training, and that of a neurosurgeon. I in either specialty, you want to be sure the practice is limited to treating patients with back or neck problems exclusively.

    It is a good idea to get opinions from both as sometimes there will be a difference in treatment or surgical recommendations. Also, it can vary from state to state which specialty is more common or does more spine surgeries.

    If the recommendation is the same, then go with who you feel most comfortable with. I think I saw 18 spine surgeons between my three surgeries. I am influenced by things like the doctor's office, how it is run, if they use physician assistants, how often you see the doctor, etc. I look at my spine surgeon as someone I will be having a long-term relationship with, so these things are important to me.

    Some people prefer teaching hospitals associated with a university because they feel they get the most up to date technology ...but you also see a lot of fellows or residents before you see the doctor, and who knows who ends up doing the surgery and how long it may take?

    There are many points to consider when choosing a surgeon. Take your time as it is the most important decision you will make once you decide to have surgery.
    If you elect to go with the XLIF, be certain the surgeon has performed it many times. The three incisions will be very small.

    I had a spondylolisthesis at L4-L5 and very severe stenosis. I had a PLIF with about a 4" incision. XLIF is sufficiently new that no one knows the long-term viability for a spondylolisthesis...but it depends on the extent of your instability, etc.

    I usually post on the "back problems" board. People with cervical issues tend to post here and lumbar spineys congregate on the back board. I look in here from time to time but not every day.

    Good luck making your decision.

     
    Old 04-06-2014, 08:46 AM   #7
    Susiewads
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    Re: Has anyone had XLIF Lumbar Surgery?

    Have you had the surgery? I had xlif 6 days ago so the jury's still out. Please let me know how you're doing.

     
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    lumbar fusion, spinal surgery, spondylolithesis



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