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Xlif w/Aspen bracket L4&5. and L3&4

Surgery date 12/14/2010
looking for helpfuf info for recovery
I have endured a lot of back and leg pain over the years, but nothing compares to this surgery. I hope the upcoming weeks will be more promesing,because right now I don't see any significant improvements when it comes to my pain management.


  • HI
    I also underwent XLIF in December. The first month was hard. Terrible pain in the lateral incision site, not so bad in the back (I had posterior also) You need to speak with your doctor and also pain management to find something to get you through the initial period. Everyone is always afraid of "addiction", but we can not get better and focus on improvement if pain is in the way.

    Keep your chin up!
  • for the XLIF and PLIF combo...
    i was/ am SHOCKED by the pain since i have also had the ALIF/PLIF and PLIF prior- and the XLIF was supposed to be "easier"... i also had combo XLIF/PLIF- but so far, what has bothered me the most- is the pain and issues from the PSOAS muscle stripping for the lateral incision... i have also been SUPER swollen thru my entire torso- and at 3 weeks, i am STILL giant!!! my pain is improving, but VERY VERY VERY slowly- i have much more to share, but need to rest- i am looking to communicate with fellow patients who have had the XLIF/PLIF too-
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  • queenjillybean,

    I am interested if you are doing any better since your post in 2010. I have several bad levels and the worst being L5-s1 and T11-12, T12-L1. I am trying to avoid fusion, and that was proposed at those levels. I was looking into the Xlif procudure especially in the low thoracic. I discovered, and researched the XLif approach and found that the L5-S1 level cant be done with that approach because of the hip bone. I hope you are doing better, I too am 42 years old and its hard for me to cope with being this young and having to suffer for the rest of my life. This all started when I was 35 and severely hurt my back lifting a heavy object at work and its been a living hell ever since.

    Anyway, I would love to hear more details of your procedures and how you are doing.

    Thank you very much,

  • Keith, I just had my XLIF on 1/25/11 - 4 weeks ago yesterday... I also had a PLIF with the XLIF... I am getting better- slowly...
    I have had 2 prior PLIF and ALIF/PLIF and was a little too overly optimistic as to the XLIF... I guess what I am saying is that I clung to the term "less invasive" and expected it to be less of a recovery than my other fusions...
    Now, I also had the PLIF with the XLIf, but most of my post op pain has been attributed to the XLIF... I have not had much luck finding patients who discuss their experience with the XLIF ... All patients are different, with unique diagnosis...and I already have an unusual amount of hardware and double level fusion- now I am triple...
    I had the XLIF/PLIF combo on L3/4 and for the first time, I did not have my own bone harvested as I had on other fusions- which meant one less giant incision... I can tell you that until week 2 I was miserable and pain was bad... I have left thigh/groin pain that is horrific and it is a result of the psoas muscle being split for the XLIF... I also have experienced massive swelling through my torso that I never had previously... So far, my pain is still worse than prior to surgery, but hard to differentiate, as this surgery was not going to eradicate a good part of my pain that is a result of other issues that are inoperable... It has been a slow slow process, and by no means, for ME a simple surgery...but that is just my experience. If I can answer any specific questions please feel free to ask.
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