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Spondylolisthesis & XLIF

Sandisea0316SSandisea0316 Posts: 4
edited 11/04/2014 - 9:02 AM in New Member Introductions
Hi everyone,
I am new here, therefore I am not sure I am posting this in the correct Forum. I am 55 YO female.
I was referred to a NS and was diagnosed with spondylolisthesis in August. I've had back issues for 10 yrs but it was mostly tolerable. (have neck issues too) Osteoarthritis runs rampant in my family.
I referred to this site often during my journey. So I thought I would share a little of it. My NS looked at my MRI and said it was my L4/L5 that was causing the problem, after some PT we scheduled surgery for Oct 6: Lateral Anterior lumbar interbody fusion/posterior instrumental fusion with hip bone marrow....that was the procedure in short XLIF. I read about it thoroughly, the good, the bad, and the ugly. I've had many surgeries over the yrs (not related to the spine) so I though I could handle the pain. I don't think the pain is explained well by the doctors. They say its so much easier this minimal invasive surgery compared to cutting into the back. Well I don't know what that feels like to compare. I think it's important to be prepared.
23 hours and you go home. Well, first of all no one should go home from a major surgery after one night.
I woke up in so much pain, yet I managed to get to the bathroom, sit up in a chair. I suggest not to eat even soup.
So home we go....you have to have someone with you to help with care. I was on Percocet and Valium but the pain was still at a high level. All I could eat was fruit lots of it for weeks and juices. Lost my taste for coffee and my evening wine....even now I don't like it.
Not being able to bend over makes it difficult to do anything. Later I learned about a grabber tool.....wish I had known about that. I could have used a walker the first week but didn't have one. Very hard to walk with the thigh pain.
Week two is somewhat but not much better. Week three again better, pretty much going off the pain meds unless a flare up.
Yesterday was week four and what a difference. I still wear my brace and will go back to work later this week.
My biggest scare was in the second week I had this incredibly increased pain in my left thigh. I read here that it is the psoas muscle.
I had a 10 day post op and I could see the concern in my NS eyes. He believed it could have been the femoral nerve because it was right there exposed but he was sure he was in safe range of it. So he gave me some steroid pills to take for a week. The pain went away the next day. The psoas muscle is still tight and sore, I hope some PT will help with that. My next follow up is Nov 13th. I look forward to that and see how the fusion is going with Xray. I know it takes months. I've read on here that maybe up to a year or more to feel right again.

I guess the reason for my above journey story is to let others know about the pain...even with XLIF but with time it subsides. I have to say my heart goes out to those on here that don't heal or have unsuccessful surgeries. With my short weeks of pain, I have more compassion and wish you the best.


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