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Partial leg paralaysis after XLIF Fusion L4:L5 and follow-on surgery to "correct"

jasonjaxjjasonjax Posts: 2
edited 04/21/2013 - 8:29 AM in Recovering from Surgery
Hi folks,

I'll try and keep this somewhat from becoming a novel.

I had XLIF surgery in February to resolve ~10 years of pain from DDD. The procedure went as expected with nuero monitoring used throughout the procedure all showing everything ok, but the surgeon couldn't believe the amount of muscle he had to go through to get to the bad disc. I had zero leg issues before the procedure.

I awoke without any ability to move my leg on the incision side with exception of moving my foot/ankle/toes. Three weeks later and very little had improved. Pain levels were easily in the 10 range regularly with tons of narcotics and nerve drugs (neurotin). Surgeon recommends going back in as maybe a nerve fell between the side plate and screws thus compressing it. Surgery goes as expected with removal of all instrumentation except the spacer between the discs.

Fast forward to now, six weeks since the second surgery (2 mo's+ since first) and SOME improvement has been made. A little less pain, more mobility with my leg, but some movements are still entirely impossible. I cannot extend my leg for instance from a sitting position. I can't even move it. I have significant quadricep atrophy even with what I think is aggressive PT three times a week and a deep circulatory massage once a week.

Has anyone else had similar experiences and have any tips on recovery? I believe this is more than just trauma to the psoas during surgery, but again all nerve tests showed good results accross the board.

I'm not looking for blame or anything like that. My doctor has been fantastic throughout this ordeal in my opinion. I am however looking for solutions to my issues. I go see my neuro surgeon next week so I thought this may be a good time to ask around for folks who may have experienced something similar and have wisdom to share.

Thanks for reading,


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832
    edited 04/21/2013 - 9:47 AM
    I am sure that you will find your time on Spine-Health very rewarding. This site is a powerful and integrated system that is dynamic and continues to grow.
    Here are just some of the highlights:

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    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
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