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AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:43 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Just wanted to update everyone... so I have been in pain management for the past year and a half. I have/had 2 degenerated disc, only 3MM of space with my L4/L5, and L5/S1, and my L5 Vertebre had shifted out of place. I have been in severe pain and over the past year and half had built up a pretty good tolerance to pain meds.... after thinking about this for a long time and getting tired of living my life a day at a time, I decided to go ahead with surgery.

On 4/12/2010 I had a axialif 2L done wich involved drilling up thru 3 vertebre and placing a rod to restore disc height, 2 facet screws, 3 pedicle screws, and a double fusion. As of today, 4/29/2010.... my recovery in the past week has really begun to accelerate. I am up to walking over 2 miles a day and just up'ed to a 20lb weight restriction, from five.

I have to say thus far (keeping fingers crossed) I feel little to almost zero disc pain and very little nerve pain (most of my problem was the disc pain, constant throbbing). I am dealing with bone pain where they drilled and incision pain where they cut thru the muscle for the screws...My pain doctor as of yesterday has started weening me off my post op pain med dose, i was scared yesterday when he decided to do this, but I have to report the pain is no worse... so maybe I am ready to keep comming off. We are going to update my med dose every 2 weeks now untill I am completely clean.

I have to say, I should have done this sooner. I will be honest, this surgery was the worst pain I have ever been in my lift for the first 4-5 days.....To the point where they could not stabalize me after surgery and had to knock me out again just to control the pain. My high dose of pain meds for the year before the surgery made getting getting control of pain post op very difficult.... happily now, 2 weeks later, I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

If anyone has any questions about this procedure or is thinking about getting it done, please feel free to PM me, you can even call me if you would like.

Most insurance companies still see the Axialif (and Axialif 2L) as experimental...so may be difficult to get them to pay. Best of luck to everyone and thank you all for the support this past year!!!!!



  • That is great news. I'm thrilled to hear that you are now beginning to feel the benefits of the procedure and see a brighter day dawning. I hope this trend continues for you and that as time goes on, that the bone pain will begin to diminish and leave you feeling much better. Stay the course, but don't over do things!

  • Congrats on making it through. Unfortunately, it's a 3 steps forward, 2 back sort of process. The good part of that is that you are still making a steps-worth of forward progress!

    Did your Dr. tell you why he used the facet/pedicle combo? Also, was it 3 of each, or just 2?

    It will take patience. I still can't workout like I want to at 3 months out.
  • Glad to hear it. I'm going in for my 6 month post-op from the single level AxiaLIF. I can tell you that I understand that 1st week pain all too well. I weaned off the meds fairly quick because they all make me nauseas.

    I'm now doing 1 on 1 PT (modified Pilates) and the PT told me I could do classes now if I want. My weight restriction was not cleared at 2 weeks though. It was 3 months. At that point I was told 20-30lbs is ok as long as I am not twisting. I suspect next week he will bump it higher. I'm not a weight lifter so it doesn't bother me about the weight restriction. As long as I can lift groceries and basic stuff I'm fine with that.

    The only lingering issues I have now is some scar tissue that is being a real pita. It causes me a lot of tightening in my back. My calves and hamstrings seem to be naturally tight. Left leg is weaker and we are starting to work that now.

    I'm going to update my journal after the 6 month checkup. So far so good though.

    Thanks for posting an update. A lot of people are on the fence about this surgery since it is new to many. Having more feedback, good or bad, helps.

  • Thanks so much for the update. It gives hope to those that have upcoming surgeries and for those that are still in the beginning weeks of recovery. Like you, I also thought the first few weeks were after surgery were very painful, but once it starts getting better, it wonderful. Additionally, when you start to realize that the pain you feel is from the surgery itself and you know the symptoms you had resulting in the surgery are gone, it makes it much easier to get through the additional pain.

    Congratulations on your recovery and I hope you keep healing at a great pace.

  • It sounds like you are doing very well for so early on in your recovery.
    Take care you don't overdo it as you want the benefit of this surgery to last.
    Keep slowly increasing what you can do and your life will get back to where you want to be.
    Thanks for sharing your experience with others, it is very encouraging for people waiting for their turn.
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