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Has anyone had XLIF? At more than one level?



  • Hi all, my name is Nate Quarry and I've had an XLIF done at L2-L3. My recovery went so well that I'm now working with Nuvasive, the XLIF people, to help get the word out about XLIF. I had degenerative disk disease at that level. I have an approx 2 inch scar on my left side and about a 2 inch scar directly over the spine where the doctor put in facet screws and a small scar as we opted to take some bone out of my hip to aid in the fusion. What really stands out about my story is that I returned to full activity which for me means fighting in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. (those cage fighting knuckleheads you see on Spike tv) If you go to www.xlif.com you can see some of my story but basically the timeline was this.
    Walking 24 hours after surgery.
    Hospital stay of 6 days, usually patients are out in a couple but due to my graft coming from my hip, I stayed longer. That really was the worst part and now there are artificial bone grafts that can be used.
    At about 2 weeks you could see me working the corner of fellow fighters on Spike tv on a live UFC event.
    2 and a half weeks after surgery I went on a 3 mile hike at Mt. Charleston just outside of Las Vegas where I had my surgery performed.
    3 months I began boxing training.
    6 months to the day I was full sparring and wrestling at my gym.
    15 months postsurgery I had and won my comeback fight live on Spike tv. You can actually purchase this fight at Best Buy. UFC Ultimate Knockouts Volume 6
    Words can't express how grateful I am that I really just kind of lucked out and had the right surgeon that was performing XLIF.
    If you go to the aforementioned website and put in your zip you can find the closest surgeon to you who is performing XLIF. And what I have found is that even if an XLIF isn't right for you, these surgeons are on the cutting edge of spinal treatment and patient care.
    You can find me at www.myspace.com/rockquarry or my website www.nathanquarry.com
    Oh, and I didn't proofread this so excuse any spelling errors. Hope this helps and I'll try to check back here to see if I can help anyone out with my experience.
  • I had a xlif will be 4 weeks ago in two days.. had levels l3-4, l4-5 done., i have a 4 inch incision on my side.. and a 3 inch incision in my center back.

    can give any further information if anyone has an xlif upcoming or wants to compare are recoveries!
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  • Hello Everyone,

    There's a lot of good information on this board. I have XLIF surgery coming up next week, May 5th. It's going to be at the L4-5 level. I have lived with excruciating lower back pain on the left side, radiating down through the hip and into my leg and foot, with occassional numbness in the foot. This has gone on for over a year. Tried numerous pain meds and other non-surgical techniques, even accupuncture. All to no avail. This seems to be my only alternative as living with this everyday pain is extremely difficult. I say the video from Tampa General and they completed the surgery in less than an hour. My surgeon said mine would take about 4 hours. What gives? He said he wants to do a thorough job. I thought the XLIF is a shorter procedure. The thought of being put out for this long makes me quite uneasy. The thought of surgery also makes me quite nervous as I've never had it done before. Any input from anyone who is post-op XLIF or getting ready for their surgery would be kindly appreciated.
    I wish you all a quick, speedy and healthy recovery.
  • I have had several traditional TLIF surgeries in the past - mostly not so bad as far as pain and recovery go. I usually get back to work within 5-6 weeks - but I do understand that I am one of those that is very tolerant of pain. Many people are just not as tolerant and I understand that. My next surgery is a choice between the traditional TLIF and XLIF. After reading many of the posts here and on other forums I am not sure that the XLIF is that big of an advantage. My surgeon is pretty straightforward and advises that somewhere between 30 and 35% of XLIF surgeries simply are not successful - for one reason or another. This results in an additional surgery usually within 3 weeks and up to six months later. For those of you that are of the "glass half full" persuasion, I'm not sure that a 65-70% odds of complete success are really that good. It sounds good on the surface, but looked at from the other side of the fence, and hearing some of the failure horror stories, I'm about ready to just go with the proven TLIF procedure. A less than 2 to 1 chance at a little less pain and recovery time just isn't enough to convince me.

    Post edited to remove doctor bashing
    Ron DiLauro, Spine-Health System Administrator 02/19/11

    - it only gets better when you find another surgeon! 4 hours for an XLIF procedure??? Wrong - you have a student doctor. ALWAYS get a 2nd opinion.

    Good luck to you all.
  • Where did your surgeon come up with these numbers? Based solely on how many he has done? How many is that?

    I'd love to see some serious stats to back that up.

    Many of these newer surgeries don't have long time stats so that is obviously a concern. The direction to move almost every surgery to an MIS format is a big win for patient, doctor, hospital, insurance company alike.

    1 doctors opinion is just that.
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