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MAST TLIF Double Fusion Surgery Success (Part1)

rebew_nadrrebew_nad Posts: 7
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:36 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery

Today, I've decided to post some information about my spinal fusion surgery called a MAST-TLIF.  I choose to do so in effort to put some encouraging information out there for any fellow DDD people.

Please visit: http://mrdjw.spaces.live.com/blog to follow my complete blog as I will post the other parts there. I don't have time to update both locations, but wanted to share this with you all and humbly hope I can be of help.

Note:   It's my hope this information will encourage persons who need help.  The experience I've been through has been such a big one, that I feel sharing this will allow me to collect thoughts as well.   This is informal and not intended for professional reference.  Please excuse any misspelling or other grammer mistakes as I don't intend to slow down for that stuff.

***I will be uploading more information in the days to come, but to start, I would like to give some basic details to outline the condition and procedure.

  • Condition leading to surgery: Degenerative Disk Disease - Severe Spinal Disk Pain, low back instability causing upper back stress and muscle spasm.  2 Disks ruptured - L4- to -S1. 
  • Tests used to diagnose: MRI, CT, and Diskogram (Diskogram was solid proof of disk specific pain)
  • Injury: Mild scoliosis since childhood seemed to be the cause of premature DDD.  Back kept "going out" and then one day....never came back while mowing lawn.
  • Time from initial injury to surgery: About 2 years of suffering and trial including a minor Diskectomy
  • Surgical Date: 8/18/09
  • Surgical procedure:  MAST-TLIF 2-level. (Minimally invasive double fusion surgery from the back- two small incisions.  screws, rods, cages)
  • Today's status:  At 3 weeks and 3 days post surgery, I can happily report that ALL of the disk pain is gone.  I have muscular pain and surgical healing pain, but my chronic pain seems to be completely gone.  -When I lay in bed, abter the muscles relax in a few minutes and movement is stopped.... pain is gone!  I can walk around the block at nearly the rate I used to, but still feel pain when "Jiggled" in a car and so-on.  I'm told it's mostly the muscles that were stretched during the procedure.
  • Personal Feelings:  This was the best thing for me.  Although I am only 32, and am aware of the need for caution over the years, we have young children, and I do not want to miss out on these important years. The incisions are so small and the recovery time much better than I was freaked out about.  90% of the professionals I worked with didn't even understand the concept of actual disk pain.  Injections don't solve it - only removing the disk does.  TRIA orthopedics diagnosed this and I have been all over trying to find help and they are the only ones who understood.  This procedure should only be done when the pain is too much to live with.  I've been through training in pain management and everything and this was the last straw.  -I should have done it a year ago!

PS> As a person who works behind a computer, I am already in front of one (to point out the obvious), and this should never interfere with my ability to work!  yahoo!  I can live a normal life and can already say I am not disabled beyond recovery period. 




  • Hi rebew_nad

    So happy that you're feeling so much better now, especially at only 3 weeks and 3 days post-op. You were lucky that you could have the MAST surgery.

    Will go over to your blog to read the rest. Hoping you continue to heal as well as you have so far.


    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
  • Thanks Trish,

    Please pardon, the best web address for my full blog is: http://mrdjw.spaces.live.com/blog (corrected it above as well)

    I realize that it's mroe difficult to add comments and questions on my main site with windows live. Please let me know if you/anyone has a question.

    Adding more to my blog now....

  • I've been over to your site and had a read about your diskogram and now going to have a look at the latest update on your fusion. It's encouraging for us to hear positive feedback, even though most of us won't have minimally invasive surgery. I live in Western Australia and I don't think we have the same advances in surgery as in the US. As an example - one neurosurgeon I saw said he'd have to do my one level fusion in two parts !! I'm now under a more experienced surgeon and I've just remembered he said I may have to have some microsurgery after the ALIF next month - not sure what he meant may need to be done at a later time, but I guess I'll find out after the op.


    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
  • rebew_nad

    I am glad to hear your story.

    I am having TLIF in 2 months, so your story keeps me happy!
  • my boyfriend just have a double fusion following two awful discectomy. im probably not even spelling that right. i just happened upon your blog and think its a wonderful idea. my boyfriends story is similar to yours. i recommended this site and your blog to him in hopes that he will be able to reach out to people with the same chronic pain and the terrible surgery. i obviously have no idea what he is going through. i think an online support/informational group is amazing. THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH. my heart and prayers go out to everyone suffering and their loved ones who feel powerless.
  • Thanks for posting your story!

    I LOVE hearing the successes :)

    Do continue to be VERY careful. Baby that back and enjoy your new pain-free life!

  • Hi All,

    Thank you Trish, scarlett ... (and everyone) for your encouragement. Finding time to post info can be tricky, but I'm so glad it's getting to someone it may humbly help.

    NOTE: I have a couple busy days here and will not be posting until maybe Sunday Night.... But please tune in. I think I have a couple juicy topics I'll be adding. (http://mrdjw.spaces.live.com/) On my main site, and then maybe a quick preview here...

    -scarlett , Because of my limited time, my main post is here: http://mrdjw.spaces.live.com/ -I am very willing to get more personal via email if you two would have any questions or suggestions that I may humbly add info to. I'm only an expert on my experiences, but (for example) perhaps my Chronic pain clinic would have advice for something in your area. -We are discouraged from listing specific names on this site, but I coudl share details with you on my blog, or over email. -That place literally saved my life.

    Best to all~
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