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Please help!!! Considering Axialif for L5-S1, out patient surgery what to expect



  • I am over 2 months out of L5/S1 fusion, and my doctor said that it is too soon for an MRI or CT scan because the magnet would dislodge the screws. I can't have either for possibly a year. Yet, you say that your wife was given an MRI immediately after surgery. Somebody please explain.

  • wouldnt do an CT until a month ago, seven months out. I didnt have a mri for 6 months and that was because of increased unbearable pain.
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  • Is there a possibility that the screw (in the middle) might be pressing against the spinal cord? I had the same surgery on June 10th and was up the next day walking unassisted. There was never any numbness in any area. This doesn't sound textbook to me, and I wonder if the doctor knows something that he's not saying. I'm sorry that your wife is having so much trouble. I hope that you will keep us posted on your wife's condition.

  • hi i had axia lif done on july 21,2009
    i spent the night in the hospital-dont remember the 1st 3 days i was home-3rd night my right leg hurt so bad i couldn't move-went by ambulance to hospital spent 4 1/2 days in the hospital
    i use a walker still-my right leg bothers me so bad
    when i sleep at night both my legs bother that i have to sleep in the recliner
    i cant sit for long periods, i cant walk far, i'm miserable
    i've had my medication changed 3 times
    nothing seems to help me
    my dr told me he would have me back to work in 3 weeks
    i'm 5 weeks post op and i cant hardly move

    i cry sometimes the pain is so bad
    this was suppose to be a quick and simple surgery and recovery was suppose to be a breeze
    i went to walmart and i used the little motor cart
    because i cant walk far-next day i could hardly walk again

    anyone else have these problems after axia lif surgery ????????????????
  • I'm 55, w/ disk surgery in 1986. DDD finally caught up with me and my sacrum and L5 fused naturally. This caused my surgery to be postponed as Trans1 had to make an extra long rod. Am having mine done October 2 in Wichita Falls, Tx. as Dr. Gleason is one of only a few in Texas that have done a ton of these. He was involved in getting the procedure approved. Heard differing stories about recovery. My job is not physical; however, I am a trial lawyer so I go to court a lot. Been told everything from 2 weeks to 8 weeks before I can do a full work day. What has your experience been? Also, can I expect lots of post op pain? Have been in terrible pain for long time, so that is o.k., I'm just kind of curious. Thanks for any response you can give me. Ted
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  • Just as with any spinal procedure, mostly there will be good results, but there will also be some that do not turn out as expected.

    The problem with a new technique such as Axial-IF is that some surgeons are more experienced than others. It is up to the patient to ask questions to determine how many procedures the surgeon has performed, the outcomes, whether you are an appropriate match for a particular procedure, etc.

    Sometimes on this board people seem to think they should go to the surgeon and demand a particular procedure. I have read repeatedly that one of the most crucial aspects of a successful outcome is the appropriate patient selection for a particular procedure. We are not all candidates for all types of procedures.

    I could want a minimally invasive fusion but I would not have a successful outcome even if I talked a surgeon into doing it because I have some of the issues that would disqualify me from MIS as it was originally intended. What happens is that some surgeons ignore the "guidelines" and make inappropriate matches. This can result in an unsuccessful outcome.

    But sometimes, things just happen. There is nothing about medicine that is an exact, predictable science. Any time you have surgery, you are facing an unpredictable outcome...you are playing the odds.

    All you can do is learn as much as you can about your condition, the suggested procedure and do your research to be sure you have the best possible surgeon you can find.
  • I think perhaps you misunderstood your surgeon. MRIs can be given at any point after surgery. It is not commonly done as there is usually enough swelling that it makes it difficult to see what is going on.

    The instrumentation is made from materials than are not damaged by the magnet. You will, however, have to have the MRI with contrast, meaning they will inject you with a type of dye for the later part of the procedure. This allows certain things to show up better on the films.

    There is pressure on doctors to minimize the number of MRIs that they order. And some surgeons do not routinely X-ray at specific points to check for fusion or hardware placement. My first surgeon does not order X-rays unless the patient is complaining of pain after fusion. I developed a new pain almost immediately after fusion. I was still complaining loudly at ten days, so I had MRI and X-rays. The MRI technician commented that it was unusual to do one so soon after surgery, and it was uncomfortable for me...but, we did it.
  • I'm all done my tests and we did the final review today. I will be doing Axialif at L5/S1 at the end of October. This surgeon has a slight modification to the procedure. I think I may start a separate post on my adventure since this is not well documented here.

    Finally going to get this surgery done.
  • Please start a new thread and share your experiences about this relatively new procedure. I know many are interested to learn about it.

    Good luck with your surgery. I hope it accomplishes what you are anticipating.

  • Hello Lili,

    I have just joined this forum, because I so heavily relied upon the information posted here before I myself decided to go ahead with the AxiaLIF or Trans 1 (who make the instrumentation).

    I had the L5/S1, just as you are deciding to do; I also had a Coflex device inserted at L4/L5 as the disc was showing loss of hydration, with potential future problems. The fusion at L5/S1 would put extra pressure onto this disc and that is why the Coflex (a slight spring-like device) was inserted to offload any future issues.

    I was booked into hospital for a stay of five days. The first night, I begged the attending staff to let me walk a short distance, but they wouldn't allow it. The following morning, the physiotherapist (who was rather smaller in stature compared to me) was chasing behind me, asking me to slow down! I felt like the weight of pain had finally been lifted off of my shoulders (or back) and the consultant surgeon allowed me to go home that day.

    I had unfortunately, a post-op infection to the AxiaLIF site, which knocked me for six; Two lots of antibiotics later and I am much better, although sitting is still a bit of an issue! I can't feel a thing at the L4/L5 site...honestly!

    If you are in enough pain...and you will know what I mean by that, then you have only one thing to consider for what my own personal opinion is worth; Search out and locate the best surgeon that you can. This is what I deem to be the biggest hurdle, but fortunately tracked down the right guy. Ask lots of questions, because with this procedure, there is no going back.

    I hope this has been of some help to you and wish you all the very best for your future health.
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