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Nuvasive XLIF

alhallowellaalhallowell Posts: 5
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:39 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I am scheduled to have a XLIF procedure in a few weeks, can anyone tell me good or bad how there experiences have been and what to expect. It is for L3/L4. I have had back issues for seven years and have been through virtually every type of treatment, which did nothing.... I am actually pretty excited that I might finally have some relief.


  • I am considering this same proceedure so please let me know if it helps you.
  • I just added a post yesterday on my XLIF. One thing my surgeon stressed was that he was highly confident of success with me because he saw my structural problem (spondylolisthesis) and knew he could fix it. We were talking about the bad reputation of back surgery and he said too many people were operated on for the wrong reasons. Just throwing that out as food for thought. Given that, here's my post from yesterday, which was addressng someone's specific concerns about post-op pain and time in the hospital:

    Hi, I'm 6 weeks post-op from an XLIF (with pedicle screws and rods) and I couldn't be happier -- or more pain free.

    The first thing I'll say is -- XLIF is as good as the doctor. Check how many of the procedures your doctor has done, how many revisions were necessary, if any, etc.

    I was actually in the hospital 4 nights, and that was estimated upfront. I know all the literature says 1 night and that's just crazy if you're having the screws and rods done. The literature also says it's a hour procedure and mine, which I'm told went so smoothly it "should have been taped for a class," took 3 hours, 1 1/2 for the XLIF, 1 1/2 for the screws. That's a lot of time on anesthesia, so forget the literature. I've never taken painkillers and don't even pop Tylenol so the combination of the painkillers and anti-nausea meds (which worked! Yay!) really knocked me out for two days. I asked them to cut them back -- I didn't need half of what they were giving me -- and progress was immediate re: getting up.

    Seriously, there was minor pain for me, nothing that wasn't controlled easily. Before I left the hospital I'd walked the floor and done 2 flights of stairs (gingerly but still). By the end of the first week I was walking a half mile outside. Within 3 weeks I was down to only half a painkiller before my walks. I am literally pain free when I sit or walk around and I take the painkiller for the distance, as I'm now walking miles a day.

    I know that going through the psoas muscle can cause pain or numbness in a thigh/hip that "is worse than the pre-surgery pain." I had almost no pain but I do have a swath of numbness around my hip and the top of my thigh. Really, I'm unaware of it most of the time. They say this is normal and will resolve anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 months. The thigh was a bit weaker after surgery -- I wasn't racing up the stairs -- but that has resolved.

    Prior to the surgery I had awful pain in the hip -- couldn't walk more than 3 blocks -- and intermittent numbness that started in the thigh but had progressed down the whole leg and was starting on the foot. So to say I'm thrilled and relieved is an understatement.
  • I have seen an over abundance of MD's and searched for the best for my procedure, I think I will be OK in that aspect. I am very good health aside from my back issues, which I am hoping will help my recovery. During the procedure they are using a cage and screws but I do not think they are using rods. My pre op is the 14th and I am scheduled for surgery on the 29th, I cannot wait.
    Thanks for your post, it helped to ease my mind, I have not found a lot of people responding to the post, not sure if the Nuvasive is not available in many areas. Thanks again. Good luck and I wish you a speedy recovery.
  • SpineAZSpineAZ WiscPosts: 1,084
    Have they said how long you'll be in the hospital and if you'll have a brace after? I am having XLIF in February but I have two prior back surgeries so it's likely to be a bit complicated.
    2 ACDFs, 2 PCDF, 3 LIFs; Rt TKR; Rt thumb fusion ; Lt thumb arthroplasty; Ehlers Danlos 

  • It is so good to read of your very successful surgery.
    I'm trying to avoid surgery, but the surgeon that I have seen (who is of the opinion that surgery is very much a last resort) did say that with me, it is obvious what my problem is, which makes the decision easier for me. He did also say that it wasn't inevitable that I needed surgery, which is why I am trying to avoid it.

    Hopefully CityLife's post has encouraged you. It is very scarey going for surgery. What is the date of your operation? I really wish you well, and hope that it deals with your problem and lets you get back to a pain free, active life.

    I also wish you well for your February surgery. Enjoy Christmas; I hope that you have some good pain free days over the holidays.
  • I too have had an XLIF and it worked so well that I'm now working with the company that pioneered the procedure, Nuvasive, and am reaching out to others that are suffering like I was. I was up walking within 24 hours, never had to wear a brace or truss, went on a three mile hike 2 and a half weeks after surgery and was actually fighting again for the Ultimate Fighting Championship, 15 months after my surgery. You can see more of my story at EDITED where you can learn of other patient's success stories as well. I had degenerative disk disease at L2-L3 and couldn't even pick up my little girl. Three years later and I am pain free and have fought five times since my surgery. Surgery is never fun and every outcome is different but I can honestly say that getting my XLIF done was the best decision of my life.
    Nate "Rock" Quarry

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  • Tito had the same surgery and is back fighting again too. I haven't seen you in the ring lately, are you taking a break or are you done fighting? Did you have your surgery in San Diego or elsewhere?

  • It is great to hear the success stories, If that was really Nate Quarry that posted, you are the reason this surgery has come about I found Nuvasive through you, watching MMA and UFC, and then tracked down an MD in my area and got in to see him after almost seven years of the same problems so thank you Mr. Quarry, you are making a difference in many people's lives. I never thought I would be able to do all the things that I wanted after back surgery and if you can compete at the highest level of MMA you give us all hope. I tried sending you an email at your site, not sure if you recieved it or not, but thank you. My surgery is on for 12/29, I am very excited and hopefully should only be in the Hospital for a day or two. I will keep everyone posted and thank you for all the support. Hopefully I will be able to provide some answers and/or reassurance post surgery. Thank you all again.

  • Not long until your surgery now. Wishing you well and hoping to hear from you soon, that it went well and that you are well on the way to full recovery and a painfree life.

    Hope you had a good Christmas.

    Take care
  • Just a quick thank you to everyone for all the support, I will be having surgery on 12/29. I promise to keep everyone updated, thank you all again!
  • city life
    thanks for the post about the xlif procedure, schedule to have same procedure 1/5/10 with rods and screw placement nice to hear that there is a good outcome

    I have a diagnosis of severe arthritis of the facet joints at l3-l4 and spondylolisthesis grade 1 and a synovial cyst

    thanks for the words of encouragement
  • city life
    thanks for the post about the xlif procedure, schedule to have same procedure 1/5/10 with rods and screw placement nice to hear that there is a good outcome

    I have a diagnosis of severe arthritis of the facet joints at l3-l4 and spondylolisthesis grade 1 and a synovial cyst

    thanks for the words of encouragement
  • had surgery 1/5/10 all went well home 1/1/8/10 glad to have it over, some pain and discomfort but not like before able to walk without the sharp pain.
  • Two weeks out of Surgery, minimal pain, off all pain meds except for tylenol. I am back to the gym walking 3 miles a day. My procedure went very well. As of this writing I would highly recomend this procedure, if it is an available option for anyone's back problems. Thank you all for your support and encouragement, I wish everyone the best, and hopefully we can all overcome our back issues. You are not alone.
    Thank you,
  • :))) 8 weeks post op, doing great,able to walk without pain, no pain meds for 4-5 weeks. Tired of laying around these past 8 weeks. To see Dr. Wed 3/3/10 hope to be able to return to work.

    Glad I decided to have this done.
    diagnosis of severe facet arthritis of L3-L4, spondolylisthesis of L3, synovial cyst at L3
    (XLIF procedure L3-L4, synovial cyst removal, 1 rod/2 screws insertion).
  • Hi: Just wanted to know how you are doing. I'm going for PLIF 4/7/10 on L2 to L5 and want to know what to expect in the way of pain and how long recovery might take. I also have arthritis, osteoporosis, severe scoliosis and DDD (sound impressive?) I've lived with this for 12 years and I'm finally at the point where I have to do this or I might not live that long because of other possible complications.

    Thanks for any info from anyone!
  • Doing great, able to go back to work half days for the next month, still wearing brace, only limitation I have at this point is not to lift anything more than 10 pounds.
    diagnosis of severe facet arthritis of L3-L4, spondolylisthesis of L3, synovial cyst at L3
    (XLIF procedure L3-L4, synovial cyst removal, 1 rod/2 screws insertion).
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,732
    Al, It's good to hear there have been others who have had this surgery. And are doing well.
    I had XLIF surgery on L,2-L,3 with plates,basket' with bmp, No hardware, and just a corset brace. On 1/19/10 I'm doing pretty good as long as I don't push things. Ive had other fusions and this is by far the best way to go. A surgery is a surgery, and there will be pain. But nothing like the others. And with the others I was one of the unfortunate ones that had permanent nerve damage from waiting to long to address the situation and from the cutting with those surgeries. I was on vacation when this thread was started and I didn't know anyone else on the forum had had this new surgery.
    Good luck, Jim
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
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