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pending TLIF L5-S1- what to expect?

been contemplating 'next steps' in one shape or form for the past 4 years.  Not sorry I opted for the minimally invasive discectomy 3 years ago, but it didn't last.  So now weighing recommendations for Artificial Disc Replacement by one surgeon, and TLIF by another.  Both saying 'it's the only way to go', of course!  It makes me crazy that I haven't had the years of schooling but I still have to make the final decision: which surgery is best?  My main complaint is lower back pain that seriously cramps my style.  I've not worked for 3.5 years.  Any amount of sitting ruins my day/night, so travel, coffee dates, movie nights, dinner out...you get the picture.  I spend alot of time in my bed on my computer and watching TV, no pain there.  I am 48.  Like to exercise, so I've got that going for me...as long as I stick to aquacise, that is.  Walking for exercise is not very doable anymore.  Will a TLIF give me a life back?  Will I ever be able to sit comfortably again?  Will I be able to quit the pain pills?  Looking for some hope, but moreso, honesty.  I trust YOU are not trying to make $ off of my pain!


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Comments

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 6,060

    First of all, how would we be trying to make $ off of your pain?

    Either way you are going to have artificial disc replacement. It's just in which approach the doctors use.
    One, you said, is going to do a TLIF. What approach is other one going to use?  

    Sandra
    Spine-Health Moderator
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    Please read my  Medical History
  • smartens162smartens162 Manitoba, CanadaPosts: 447

    I'm sorry, what I meant was: doctors make a living off of my pain, so their recommendations are biased.  Everyone here is only speaking to their experiences, and have nothing to gain by it.  That's a good thing :)  I have a very guarded trust of the spine doctors by now... The fusion at L5-S1 will be TLIF done close to home (Manitoba, Canada); the artificial disc replacement will be anterior, to be done in Germany. 

     

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  • smartens162:  I think I knew what you meant about $ and docs :)

    I had a TLIF in addition to a 5 level lumbar fusion in December for degenerative scoliosis.  I don't know anything about artificial disc replacement. I DO know that I have an awesome surgery whom I trust, and this is what he recommended. 

    Hope this helps.

  • memerainboltmemerainbolt IndianaPosts: 6,060

    That's ok, sorry, I miss read it. lol. But if you don't mind me asking, why is the anterior going to be done in Germany? The way TLIF's are done is that are are so much less invasive. 

    Sandra
    Spine-Health Moderator
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    Please read my  Medical History
  • smartens162smartens162 Manitoba, CanadaPosts: 447

    I cannot get an artificial disc replacement in Canada, it is not approved here (US equivalent - FDA approved).  Any surgery through the back muscles seems counterproductive, so the idea of the disc replacement being done through the belly makes sense to me.  I mean, I've been researching the minimally invasive TLIF, and it is less scary than I'd imagined...but are the results lasting?  Or am I just having another surgery down the line on adjacent levels that have been compromised from the first fusion?


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  • I didn't know that a TLIF can be minimally invasive....how does that work?  (Mine was done while also having a L1-S1 fusion).

    BTW, I am recovering well from this surgery 10 weeks out.


  • smartens162smartens162 Manitoba, CanadaPosts: 447

    My guess is, a fusion of your scale cannot be done with minimally invasive.  For one or even 2 disc levels, the hardware can be secured through 2 small incisions in the back on either side of the spine.  I'm glad to hear you are recovering well!  

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