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bigcat1960bbigcat1960 Posts: 5
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:48 AM in Lower Back Pain
:? Hello,
I was told i am a canadate for the XLIF procedure.After seven years of pain management, i truly believe it is time.My life has had more pain than relief.I am truly scared of any surgery.The xrays that go with the facet blocks ,MRI"s etc ,also worry me.The procedure calls for going through the side.VERY SCARY.Please do not get the impression that im a wimp.As ive had more injections in my body in these past years, to cover twelve normal people in a life time!!Surgery of the back as we ALL know, carries enormous problems.Espically MOST of the people i know,who had surgeries, are not better off,and in fact some are worse.I need input, if you can take a few minutes of your time, and share your story with me, so it may be easier to make decisions relating to XLIF.Be it GOOD, or BAD.I hope the GOOD.This is THE biggest decision of my life to date, as i am 50.I want to be thourgh in looking at ALL of this.I am scheduled for a Disc O Gram!!I was told by my surgeon that it really hurts!!Any Doctor or persons with anything helpful suggestions on how to avoid the agony that goes with this feel free to coment! My copy machine is busy with the numerous printing i am doing for my research!!! PLEASE ANYONE that can help me, would be GREAT!!There ARE alot of WONDERFUL people out there who can help me with my decision! Please respond! JOE


  • Hi,

    I think if you use the search you can find previous posts about XLIF. I recall about a year ago several folks posting on their experiences.

    I did some reading b/c I re-herniated a disc and some surgeons were telling me a fusion was a better approach. As such, I read a ton on fusions.

    XLIF is not approved by all insurance carriers in the US. Sounds like you are a good candidate. What I did learn is that it is a 'micro' surgery in the sense that they are going in through what I believe is a smaller incision and using high tech equipment to 'see' while doing the fusion. There are pros and cons to that.

    I would tell you that from what I read, they do nerve monitoring during this procedure. Ask your surgeon. I had nerve monitoring done on my last surgery (revision microdiscectomy) and I swear by it as it is a separate neuro team monitoring your nerves to ensure that they do not irritate them based on the monitoring device.

    I never had a discogram but I know for sure folks will comment on that.

    Good luck. You are in the right place.
    I think even if not many people can give you their experience, folks will definitely give you questions to ask your surgeon.
  • Hello BigCat...and Welcome to Spine-health!!

    I dont have any knowledge of the XLIF because mine was a multi-level PLIF with all the bells and whistles, the titanium, so I can only state my experience with that. It has been over 2 and a half years since my surgery....it has been hell, there is no doubt about that!

    Sorry that I cant give you more info but I will keep you in my prayers!!
  • Hi! I had XLIF at L4-5 about 13 months ago and it's like I never had a back problem. You might want to look up my old posts on this site -- I gave a lot of details and a few progress reports. Good luck with your decision!
  • Thank You very much for your input!! Its GREAT to have someone let you know what your up against!! As most people ,i am very concerned of what is about to be done to my body.Espically what i read about the intestines! I hope it does not apply to me.And hope i may return to work! I am an officer in the State prison system. Thank you again!!
  • MY wife has X-lif procedure done june 29, 2010 & 2 rods 18 screws on JULY 7, 2010

    She is 100% better, She has NO Pain since first surgery. We will be going back to DR URIBE, Tampa General Hospital for 1 year check.


  • I was originally going to have this procedure last year, but due to extra lumbar vertabre & angle of my hip, NS said he couldn't fully access my L4-5, so I underwent ALIF. With not great results, almost 10 months post op now. I wonder if the xlif would have had different results????

    Discogram... mine was torture! Sorry, but no sugar coating, I would NEVER repeat that. Some surgeons WILL NOT perform surgery without it. Others DO NOT believe in this provocative test. Be sure the doctor performing it does plenty of them, real important! My guy only does a handful per year, had I've known that, I would have never let him touch me.

    Good luck & I hope you find the relief you need.

  • You've heard alot of comments so I'll keep mine brief. I had an XLIF in July last year and it was the best thing that ever happened to me. It was a fairly large one, a 4-level and I was back in the saddle, literally, in 4-months so if you feel the time has come, all-too-many times doctors AND patients react to an MRI or an xray or a this or a that. It's a compilation of a thousand different things so long as there are no mitigating factors that make surgery a must-do so in the end, it's up to you. When you've tried everything else and nothing is working anymore, then you go for a surgical consult. And I do mean a consult. These are brain surgeons; really smart guys. So the idea is to use them for their brain and see what they have to say. Maybe they have thought of something your other doctors haven't. Maybe they haven't. I don't know but what I do know is that, in the end, it's up to you and a doctor you trust. Now mind you, I'm not a doctor; just a patient who's been there and done that and ended up with an accident that made my mind up for me. Not having surgery wasn't an option after 30 some years of successful alternative treatments but it still may be for you. Again, only you and a trusted doctor can know. Best of luck to you and let us all know what the future holds.
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