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j.howie's Guiney Pig XLIF surgery

j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,730
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:41 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
3 week report. I still have pain that keeps me up at night. But it's not surgical pain. It's from having to lay on my left side to go in laterally from the right side. I have a spinal chord stimulator impulse generator and battery pack on the left side that has always been tender and bothered me if anything pressed up against it. And I was on that side on a fluoroscopic table for 2+ hrs. I have an appointment with the surgeon this Thursday to find out if it's massive internal bruising or a abscess or what?
If it were not for that I would have very little pain to complain about.
At my 1 week check up, I showered myself without the use of a shower chair. Then dressed myself except for my socks. I didn't need any help.
The mobility has just continuously gotten better and better. And I really have to be careful not to hurt myself, because of that.
My walking, has gone from 10 min. 2xday the 1 week. to 20 to 30. and yesterday I walked 45 min. 3x day and I could have done more, but the Dr. cautioned me against doing to much just because I can.
The recuperation and recovery of this surgery is amazing!
If it werent for the problems I'm having with my SCS, IPG, I probably would be cutting the meds way back by now.
After having other fusions and other surgeries, I have to say I'm verry impressed with this XLIF surgery procedure!
Good luck, Jim :D

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!


  • you're mobility has improved and having less pain. I hope it goes well with your Dr. appointment and find out what's going on where you have the abcess or bruising. Take care and wishing you a complete recovery and to get more sleep. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Yes! I am so glad you are doing better-it sounds like you have gotten some sleep the last few nights?
  • That is so great to hear! To know that your mobility and ability to do things has made such a dramatic improvement, is a great uplift. I'm really happy for you. Bummer that your IPG is a cause of such pain right now. I hope the doc says it is something that will resolve and heal. When I fly for any length of time I feel like I get a bit bruised or irritated around my IPG, but it heals up quickly and calms down.

    Anyway, it's great to hear that you are finally doing so much better. Just remember "easy does it, but do it".

  • So I guess you promote the use of red pumps for healing :lol:" alt=":lol:" height="20" /> I am so happy for you and your healing process. I hope the doc will have positive news about your SCS and IPG, just bruising and no infection.Dont push to hard, remember you are still healing. You dont want to end up in timeout :timeout: :lol:" alt=":lol:" height="20" /> Positive stories are always a blessing to the group :applause:
    Keep us posted,
    God bless and keep You...Healing
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,730
    would be good for something more than just going to Kansas! :D
    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!
  • Glad to hear you're doing well! I'm amazed you can walk so much already. That's a shame about your SCS issues. You'd think they could have laid you on folded towels in a way that would keep the pressure off that area. Or something! To be improving so well after surgery and also facing another issue is a big bummer. Good luck tomorrow, hopefully it's just temporary bruising.

    Faith M
  • Good to hear that you're doing well except for the SCS. Hope that'll be resolved soon. I bet it feels so great to be able to walk as much as you are.


    XLIF L2-4 20.8.15
    ALIF L4/5 2009
    Laminectomy/discectomy L4/5 2008
  • Hey Jim,

    Good news! Hope this provides quicker turnaround than fusion. It looks interesting. Like a hybrid between fusion and ADR. From their website it looks like a fully articulating joint made out of metal. I assume titanium.

    How does it feel pain wise? Can you feel a deep seated pain from it? Do they install and BMP or glue to stop it from sliding or shifting? It appears like it has cleated backing to grab hold of the bone. Seems the only drawback is you get no cushioning at that level now like a fusion. I know 3 months out I can still feel the hardware from AxiaLIF.

  • Wtg Jim, Keep those red pumps pumping. Seems to be doing the trick ;))
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,730
    But the XLIF can be done with an ADR or a fusion. mine was a fusion. With plates used to jack up to get extra height, then a basket with BMP. And I'm pretty sure he said It was cleated. There is no hard ware. And after having 2 fusions w/ hardware and then having to have more surgery to remove the hardware. I'm very happy that I don't have to worry about that! And I don't feel the basket. At lest, at this point. I complained to him that there should be a ADR that's designed to have both motion and suspension. He did say that being taller and some other factors, that it would have more motion than a traditional fusion. But seeings how my adjacent discs keeps going out after having a fusions. I just can't believe that someone has not engineered a ADR with suspension and motion!
    If you read my weekly XLIF guinea pig reports.Youll see that I had recovered enough motion at 7 days. To shower without my chair, by myself and totally dress myself, except for putting my socks on. and 2 days latter, I could put on my socks! And with my other fusion surgeries I couldn't do that at 4 or 5 weeks!
    IT IS AMAZING!!! =D> :>
    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!
  • Jim,

    I think I confused which surgery you had with what I read on Nuvasive's website. I was looking at XLIF TDR. Which is supposedly full motion preservation. So you had conventional fusion? Spacer/barrel or cage as they call it installed? Then BMP to glue it all together, but no screws and rods?

    Looking at their TDR it looks like a hybrid idea. Since it is metal on metal there is no cushion. But motion is preserved as the 2 plates pivot in the center. I suppose the thickness of the plates can be controlled to set the appropriate space oh a healthy disc.

    I couldn't agree more on the ADR issue. I can't believe the medical engineers can't design something that provides cushion and mobility. I hate to say it but it isn't rocket science! The idea of sticking metal cylinders full of BMP in the space and causing fusion is just crude... Even the Prodisc and the likes are just solid pieces, still crude. A bushing made of delrin or polyurethane that can be installed against the bone to stop slippage. Apparently there must be some real catch to this. The solution just seems so evident. Anyway, I digress.

    I'm glad this surgery is moving your recovery quicker. Not having additional hardware must be nice. We're both playing guinea pig with the types of surgeries we chose versus the standard methods. I must say my recovery is quicker than the conventional mode. Whether this is a good long term approach remains to be seen.

  • Glad to hear you are doing well from the actual surgery. Sorry the 'side' effects (no pun intended) are causing pain.

    I thought the XLIF was for fusing, not ADR but I haven't read that much so I found that interesting.

    I thought ADR was thru front in the US but again, haven't read much.

    Regardless...glad your doctor has reminded you that you neeed to pace yourself and not overdo it. But also pleased to hear how well your mobility is!

    Let us know how the appointment this week goes.
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,730
    That with this "lateral" procedure, you can also get a TDR. Because I'm now fused from L2-L3 all of the way down the surgeon thought that the plates and BMP cage would give me the most motion. And I'm fine with that, but, like you said, it's not rocket science to make a ADR with mobility and suspension! In my opinion take a good medical engineer and a auto mechanic. And have them work together. And they could probably come up with something!
    On my surgery there is no hardware, and no screws.
    the "Nuvasive" is a separate technology that is used by a tech. to help the surgeon go in and miss, or go around any nerves or anything else that they don't want to damage. Really, state of the art. Type in XLIF into the S.H. search box and you can surf from one site to another and get all of the info on all of the procedures. And exactly how the Nuvasive works with the lateral approach. The only thing more exciting than the no hardware. Was the no nerve damage. And I have more than enough permanent nerve damage from the previous surgeries!
    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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