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My Recovery from XLIF

garycdewittggarycdewitt Posts: 51
edited 09/10/2012 - 9:11 PM in Recovering from Surgery
I will write about my recovery from XLIF surgery.

Day 0
Woke up in recovery with less pain that before the surgery. Spent most of the day lying in bed. PT came by and walked me in the afternoon. Have to wear a back brace if sitting above 30 degrees of back angle. Right foot and leg a little numb. Left leg does not want to lift or abduct.

Day 1
Still less pain than before surgery. Dr. has me on a cocktail of pain medicines and antibiotics. I may not know for a few weeks on the results. Came home in the early afternoon. Did have to take a break through pain pill on the way home. Now that I am sitting up (with my brace on) feeling better.

Day 2/3
Incision pain going away rapidly. Only hurts now where the back brace rubs it. Still have some right leg weakness, but it is getting getter. So sleepy though.

Day 3 into Day 4
Ouch. Incision pain pretty much gone. Really hurts where the bone work was done. All I can say is I am thankful for break through pills and ice today. Around midnight had to come sit in the recliner with the brace on. Bed was too reclined.

Day 5 - Monday
Starting to feel Human again. Able to walk around the house without a walker and without fear of falling. Noticeable dropoff in the amount of break through pain medicine. Right hip still hurts some. Right leg still has some numbness and problems with adduction. But, my back is hurting the same to less than it did before.

Day 6 - Tuesday
PT begins. If you had any pre-surgery PT, its about the same routine plus and weakness specific exercises. Stretching, hell slides, ankle pumps, straight leg raises, etc. Still able to walk afterwards, so it was a good session.

Day 7 - Day 11 Sunday
Had cramps in my quads last night so bad. Finally got them to subside with the muscle relaxers and ice. This morning the right leg feels better than it has since the surgery. Pain is down to almost nothing. No incision pain at all.

Day 12 Monday
Cramps going away quickly. Was up and down all day with my morning and afternoon lay down sessions.

Day 13 Tuesday
Cramps continue to go away. Now can really feel where the muscles were split. Uncomfortable, not painful. Almost 100% functional in the right leg now. Can raise and adduct it. Just PT to get the strength back.

Day 14 Wednesday
Overdid it yesterday. Too much riding in a car. Have PT today which won't be too much fun. Down to very localized pain in the back where the bone work was done, and pain where the Psoas muscle wa split.

Day 18 Sunday
Really overdid it Thursday and Friday. Had a two day orientation for a journal that I will be helping with. Sitting upright all day with no lay down time really made me hurt Saturday. Today isn't so bad. Ultram + TENS unit + Laying down. School starts tomorrow which should bring its own pain.

Day 19 - Day 24 (Monday August 20 - Friday August 24)
Continuing PT 3 times per week. After PT go walk to campus and attend class all day. Study, then drive home. Still have to lay down when I get home. The pain in the back is fading away rapidly. Having trouble getting the psoas muscle to re-engage fully so other muscles are over compensating for it. My quads really hurt. Starting to trust the fusion and hardware not to break. Can do bridges now without pain.

Week 5
PT continues. Pain still fading. Psoas muscle is working, but difficult to get full range of motion yet. Quads will really hurt. They have me doing 45 minutes of exercise at PT 3 times a week. Incision healed up nicely.

Week 6
Has it really been 6 weeks already. Psoas muscle finally reacting properly. Can do leg lifts now without assistance. Pain continues to fade into the past. PT down to 30 minutes, not because its less, but because I'm getting it done faster. Right Quads finally quit hurting as the Psoas comes back online. They must have really been trying to compensate. Get the support belt off! Yea!


  • That's amazing how they get people home so soon. I'm one of the August surgery buddies, (mine on the 27th), and I've been told by my surgeon that I'll be in the hospital for at least 4 days. uggh.

    I hope you continue to do well, and that you don't need many break-through pills.

    Congrats for getting to the other side!
  • LA_runner_chickLLA_runner_chick Posts: 91
    edited 08/21/2012 - 1:18 PM
    Hope you are continuing on your way to recovery. How has it been since your last entry?
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  • The last entry would have been Sunday the 19th of August. I really need to keep it more up to date, but got busy with school.
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