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XLIF results and recovery

My 86 yr old father in law is having the below surgery after losing strength in his lower extremities and once having incontinence. His Dr. has performed numerous fusions using this approach in San Diego. I am not familiar with these and because of the incontinence they are scheduling the procedure rapidly, next friday. I am leaving Weds to be with him but want some information first.

What should our expectations be, good and bad, and recovery since my husband will be there for at least 2 weeks but need to know if we should have a plan, ie caregiver lined up.

His surgery levels are L4-L5 for the XLIF/posterior fusion and L2-L3 for posterior decompression without fusion for severe spinal stenosis at those levels. He has instability (spondylolisthesis) at L4-L5, which is why he needs more done at that level.



  • Hi Susanna,
    Have you checked out the "Post-op must haves" thread at the top of this Surgery section?
    It's probably a good place to start, while waiting on some surgery experienced ppl to reply.
    Happiness is your chronic pain being less than it usually is...

    Migraines and so many herniated discs (the same ones over and over) that I have literally stopped counting
  • Sussana

    This is a major surgery. And generally, the older we are, the longer the recovery.

    For the middle aged, recovery is often about 3 - 6 months. Many here will attest to it. Beware that most surgeons are very optimistic in the recovery timeframes and often we see here that doubling the time is more realistic. So, I expect that a caregiver plan will be necessary for a while for an 86 year old.
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