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Does your XLIF look like this?

rod65rrod65 Posts: 30
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:49 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I had a XLIF Fusion over 2 years ago and the pain has been excruciating. Here is what it looks like:


Does this look normal?? My hips get RED HOT, I've got muscle spasms on my back, even my legs. Impotent now post surgery as well.

Since it is 2 years post op how come we can see those metal pins floating and there's no bone growing together??

What's holding me together? Anything?????

Narcotics aren't helping me anymore...the pain is unbearable!!!


  • I didn't didn't have this type of surgery I am not in the medical field but after two years that doesn't look right to me. I had spinal fusion six weeks ago and I had two rods and four screws put in. I don't have any bone growing yet and my surgeon said they would give it six months to see if anything starts growing before the next steps. My original pain is gone. I of course have new aches and some pain but nothing like what you discribe.

    What did your surgeon say? Have you had a second opinion?

    Take Care,
  • """What did your surgeon say? Have you had a second opinion?"""

    I'm over here on Guam. Nobody does spine surgery here and I had the surgery in San Francisco at the VA hospital.

    I can't even get a doctor here to look at my Xrays and MRIs. They just send them off to Hawaii's VA hospital to get filed in a folder.

    My wife just sent them to a hospital in another country in our region to see if they can fix me. We're waiting to hear what they come up with for a surgical plan.

    I wouldn't recommend this surgery to anyone. I think they should have put some metal screws and plates in there to hold it together.
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  • I just looked up the FDA Approval letter for Nuvasive's XLIF implant.

    They were supposed to use "Fixation" with the implant they put in me.

    There's nothing holding me together!


    FDA Approval Letters:


  • I understand your concern, but am unsure who your complaint is with. Is it the manufacturer of the Nuvasive XLIF implant? If so, were they the ones that did your surgery? I read the documents that you included above and the one thing I noticed is that the FDA does not require internal fixation but indicates that the implant is intended to be used with internal fixation. I agree, it sounds funky not to screw you together. Were you required to wear a brace after your surgery to limit movement? I'm just trying to understand. Good luck with the avenue that you and your wife are examining, I hope you find a resolution to your problem.

  • Nuvasive was marketing this procedure as being a quick yank out the disc and hammer in their implant...close and done.

    Problem is....their implant was never approved by the FDA for such use.

    They JUST recently got a disc implant approved by the FDA to be used WITHOUT fixation.

    How many people were disabled across America for fast money????
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  • Look at the description here and other sites.


    Few show using stabilization, ie, rods and screws.

    You might want to research further within FDA that there isn't an update to that doc. The one you posted is 2005. Nuvasive is a 1 trick pony and this is their bread and butter. They have been pushing it hard and they are one of the few medical device companies that has shown profit quarter after quarter.

    There are few cases that appear documented about the cage slipping. In the images I saw they keep part of the disc in place as a wall and as you say hammer the spacer in along with BMP.

    Your images don't look like a misaligned spine, like slippage, unless it is minor. Those pins are the grabbers that dig into the spine to keep the XLIF device, CoRoent System, in place. Look at their new XL TDR. It has the same grabber feet only now instead of a spacer it is disc. More like a ball and socket. But supposedly motion preservation.

    If it was illegal to use this device with no other support then Nuvasive would have been in deep trouble a long time ago. You need to go back to your original surgeon and discuss this with him. Go see a second surgeon and get another opinion. Maybe you have a legal case. I'd be concerned first and foremost how to get fixed then second if the original surgeon is at fault.

    Good luck.
  • Maybe you should return to the states for real care. Are you in the military?
  • Keep this on track and don't turn it into a bash on any one specific health care system or medical company.


    Spine Health Moderator
  • So sorry that you are still in pain. I recently underwent XLIF 9one month ago) with combined posterior approach fusion at 3 levels. I will say that the lateral approach incision did cause great discomfort and has taken one month to quiet down. But you say your surgery was 2 years ago? i didn't know XLIF was approved back then. You need to get your records, MRI, CT, etc. together and seek another opinion or two or three if necessary.

    I have 8 rods, 12 screws and they threw in a cage for good measure! My insides look like a chicken coop!
    You definitely have a cage implanted in there you can see it on the films.
    Good Luck to you.
  • The is a cage but you can see those metal pins do not touch bone. The Xray images I have you can zoom in.

    No contact.
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