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Upcoming Surgery - Posterior Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion (PTLIF)

jubie1975jjubie1975 Posts: 8
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:59 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
Hello everyone. I'm been lurking around the forums a while and thought I would make a post about my upcoming surgery. I'm 36 years old and injured my back while picking up a heavy box in 1999. I had surgery in 2006, Microdiskectomy/hemi-lamiectomy which was successful for about five weeks. At the five week point, the pain came back with a vengeance. Unfortunately, I developed a bunch of scar tissue around my nerve causing an enormous amount of nerve pain.

I've tried multiple treatments such as physical therapy, chiropractic care, acupuncture, and many, many pain management injections. After everything failed, my pain management doc recommended a spinal cord stimulator. I had my first one implanted in jan 2009. The placement of the battery caused an extreme amount of pain in my right buttock so they revised the site and moved the battery to my left buttock area. I had the same problem so the doc moved the battery to my abdomen. I couldn't use the machine because it was too painful to charge--my skin is extremely sensitive! So…my doc replaced the chargeable battery and implanted a nonrechargable SCS in my abdomen. After my back and nerve pain starting getting worse, my pain doc put in a referral to a neurosurgeon.

Over the course of the past two years, my nerve pain (radiculopathy) has increased and so has my back pain. I have severe degeneration in my lower back (l5/s1 area) which prevents me from bending forward and pretty much doing anything. My life has come to a screeching halt in the past two years from the debilitating pain. I swore I would never have another surgery but…I saw a neurosurgeon today and he recommended a spinal fusion. On the 27th of January, I'm going to have the following procedure…and I will quote the procedure from my consent form…"Posterior Transforaminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion (PTLIF) with pedicle screws and interbody cages, bilateral laminectomy with diskectomy, application of synthetic cages, allograft bone, decompression of neural elements at levels :Lumbar 5 Sacrum 1".

My doc said I would be in the hospital for one or two days and I'll be out of work for 30-days. I'll be posting updates on my progress for anyone interested.

Thanks and I wish everyone well on their personal roads to recovery.

- Julie


  • Hi there,

    It seems that we have a fairly similar set of circumstances. I am 34, and had a microdiscectomy at l5 s1 in october last year. Results where very good in the short term, however a MRI showed that it had re-herniated after only 2 weeks.

    I than had a anterior lumbar interbody fusion done on dec 15th, (3 1/2 weeks ago). have a peek cage, with protein and titanium plate with pedicle screws. Once the pain at the surgery site settled down,(about 2 weeks), the short term results have been great. All my leg pain is gone, and i am so much more mobile than i was before surgery. My quality of life is definitely on the improve.

    I am very happy with my decision to have the surgery, and i hope that your experience is a positive one, so you too can get back to living your life !
  • Thank you so much for your reply! I'm positive I will have a great result. I can barely move most days and haven't' been able to bend forward to pick anything up in about two years.

    I'm glad you are having a great result. I appreciate you sharing your story.

    - Julie
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