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AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:44 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Well some of you awhile back replied to my post surgery post for the AXIALIF 2L surgery, Double fusion, with 3 pedicle screws, and 2 facet screws.

My doctor was REMOVED by Z06, using Doctors names is against SH policy and according to the manufacturers of the Axialif rods, he IS the best and most experienced in the nation... if anyone is interested in this surgery he is at the...

As of week 5:

disc pain is 95% gone...you know the pain in your center of the back that throbs and throbs and never seems to go away and just feels deep inside your spine...NO MORE!!!!

The 3 pedicle screws are giving me a bit of pain along with that incision. They seem to be throbbing all day, and get swollen very easy. I find myself icing it multiple times a day.

As of week 5 I am able to bend over and pick things up, if I brace myself with my other hand and kick one leg up... much better then I was doing. Still can't really do much physical stuff or go back to lifting. But I have been walking 2-3 miles a day, and doing very light nautilus stuff in the gym (anything that keeps my back in position and puts NO PRESSURE on the spine)

Some of you said this is a 3 steps forward, 2 steps back process...and its starting to feel that way. my back (around the screws) has been giving me more problems this week, but could just be nerves growing back...because I am also getting alot of shooting nerve pain, and leg twitching.

All and All there was 3 incisions..one below my tail bone where they drilled a 15mm hole up thru my spine from S1 to L4 and inserted the double level rod. in order to restore disc height.

A small incision a few mm to the Left of the spine where they put two facet screws. this one gives me no problems.

A 3-4 inch incision 2 inches to the right of my spine, where they did 3 pedicle screws... this one is giving me problems and is where most of my pain radiats from now.... nerve pain? incision pain? swelling? not sure what is causing it or if its normal, or if its something else.

**someone had also asked me why they only used 3 pedicle screws on my right, or why they used that amount. According to my surgeon there are 2 things a surgeon can do in order to really screw up a fusion.
1) not giving it enough support thru pedicle and facet screws to allow for proper fusion.
2) giving it too much support, i.e. bracing both sides with facet screws. As in his words, a little movement in the spine actually encourges blood flow and proper fusion. If you total stabalize the spine, you will have more failures then fusions... this comming from the top surgeon in the nation for axailifs (he travels for the country and is also a teacher for this teqnique)..so I trust him!!!

Best of luck to anyone...I am always here to answer questions...in private or public.

I see my doctor next week for week 6 follow up...I will see what he has to say about my pedicle screw/incision pain (on right)


  • I havent been on the forum in a long time, but since my last visit I have had a L2 ALIF. I am 2w1d out as of today and am feeling better every day. But just like u said, one step forward two steps back...Ive been saying that since day one.

    I moved across the country for my surgery, dropping everything and just going..you write as passionately about your surgeon as I feel about mine. I had my surgery done in Los Angeles. REMOVED by Z06, using Doctors names is against SH policy. I had my check up just this past monday and so far things are going well, Ive been cleared to drive..yay for me.
    I'm glad to hear your recovery going so well. Gives me something to bounce off of.

  • I had to remove Doctors and Facilities names from both of your posts. We're not allowed to give doctor name recommendations on here.

    If anyone wants their recommendation then PM them.
  • Removing Admin hat and going back to being a user...

    If you're like me the pain you speak of is 2 things. 1 is scar tissue forming. No choice we all form scar tissue. The other is muscles being draped/stretched over the rods and screws. They get irritated.

    I get the tightness and stretch every day. Walk every day also. Some basic Pilates stretches I was taught helped. But it is still tight even after 6 months! That deep ache thing went away quick for you. I felt that puppy for about 8-12 weeks.
  • Sorry I didnt mean to cross rules.

  • sorry about that, forgot the doctor name thingy...

    anyhow, I still do have a good amount of pain, but it just seems to be focused over the incision where they did the pedicle screws....so I hope that means the back pain will be resolved, and not just moved elsewhere in the back.

    I plan on starting aqua rehab this week....I have 3 certifications for personal training and nutrition, but I figured maybe aqua rehab might have something to offer, in terms of being weightless and allowing me to move in multiple directions without putting added pressure on the spine.

    I will also have to try to start stretching again this week, I have just been so terrified to damnage anything in my back...Granted I have been working out some, but nothing at all that would put my lower back in jepordy or any added pressure on it. I.e. preacher curls, natilus bench presses, lateral raises (but only using 15lbs for high high reps)...I would love to jump back into some heavy lifting, but for the time being I am trying to be smart. its just hard watching my body in the mirror getting smaller and softer...my wife says I still look good, but a very psychological thing for me. My bodyfat hasn't been over 8% (offseason) in years, and now I am at a point where only my top two abs are visable. I know this sounds stupid, but I think this is the hardest part of the surgery for me.

    I would however recomend a axialif to anyone who can get insurance to pay for it, as it is still deemed "experimental". The reason foremost being, recovery time. Only pain still left is at the incision points...I can only imagine if they did a plif or tlif and cut me stem to stern how much pain would i have? my doctors argument to insurance was that according to my mri, he would do more damnage then good cutting thru the dense muscle. in the end, insurance covered all but $500 from a $180,000 dollar surgery. so I am happy about that.
  • Just saw my doctor yesterday for 6 week Follow up visit.

    He is very happy with my progress.... said its very common for the pedicle screws to bother someone , especially since my muscles are a bit thicker in my back. if after a year or so once the fusion is complete they still iratate me, he can remove them.

    That being said, he gave me his ok to get back into the gym and lift with only minor restrictions. Nothing bending over, and no squats, and to listen to my body. Was surprised when he said even movements that put compression on the spine were ok. I think he knows I am not gonna go crazy, especially right now being in some pain still and going thru withdrawl from pain meds...but hey, at least I feel like there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

    I just feel sorry for my poor wife.... she has to put up with my mood swings from withdrawl and here me complain about how fat I feel everday from sitting and doing nothing.
  • Great to hear your check-up went well. Doesn't your Dr. want you to do Physiotherapy? It just seems with those restrictions you may need to know which exercises to do other than walking. Best wishes for your complete healing. 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
  • I hope your recovery continues to go well. I could not even have imagined trying to go to the gym after surgery. I had a hard enough time just trying to walk. It's taken me a year and a half, but I'm back to playing ball with the dog, walking, lifting very light items. I do manage the 30 lb container of kitty litter, but that's about as heavy as I'm willing to go. It's great that you had a good muscular frame before surgery. Be careful and don't hurt yourself.

    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • Do you mind sharing the name of your insurance company that covered this procedure. My insurance denied coverage and I am appealing it. Looking for names of insurance companies who cover this procedure. Thank you
  • Would you mind sharing the name of your insurance company that covered this procedure. Thank you
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