Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!


Quick Start Forum Video Tutorial


In this Discussion

Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

The main site has all the formal medical articles and videos for you to research on.

Lumbar Fusion via XLIF

PainSurvivorPPainSurvivor Posts: 1
edited 08/29/2015 - 12:10 PM in Recovering from Surgery
History of lower back pain that matured into chronic lower back, right sciatica and, left quad pain. Got progressively worse over a 25 year period with pains moving into groin area that eventually prevented sitting. First surgery on 4/2/14 was a Discectomy/Foraminotomy at L3-4-5 and it relieved the leg and groin pain for only a month. Within six months I was in pain when walking, sitting, sleeping, or standing. Pain followed the side I slept on which made it impossible to sleep without pain. Tried yoga, bicycling, swimming, epidural injections. Injections gave limited relief for a week or two at best. I could hear my bones grinding and clicking during certain movements and the MRI confirmed that the discs were herniated, degenerated, and slipping out of position (retrolisthesis, spondylolisthesis) with osteophyte complexes. After several opinions, reading a few books on Spine Surgery, and collaboration with first surgeon, I elected to have an XLIF decompression in which they remove the disc material and replace with a fusion graft material inside a cage.

Day 0 (6/19/15): Pre Surgery. Pain in Lower Back, Left Side Ribs, Radiating Left Quad & Right Hamstring, groin.
Day 1: Discs between L3-4 & L4-5 removed via Right Side. Implants inserted. Pedicle Screws and Plates added via 6 small cuts in back.
Day 2: Very sore lower back, mid-back, buttocks, and legs above knee.
Day 3: Very sore lower back, mid-back, buttocks, and legs above knee, walk short distances.
Day 4: Very sore lower back. Bodily waste functions restored, Left hospital via wheel chair.
Day 5: Very sore lower back around incisions. Walk short distances. Pain and Fatigue.
Day 6: Sore lower back around incisions. Walk short distances.
Day 7: Sore lower back around incisions. Fatigued Legs. Walked 700 feet. Intense spasms left quad through the night.
Day 8: Slept most of day. Sore lower back around incisions on right. Fatigued Legs. Stretched quads and hamstrings.
Day 9: Lower back less sore. Walking slowly around house without walker. Fatigued Legs requires resting frequently.
Day 10: Lower back less sore. Walking slowly around house without walker. Fatigued Legs requires resting frequently.
Day 11: Weakness in legs. Friend took me for 45 minute car ride. Slowly climbed 14 steps to restaurant. Spasms in right legs prevented sitting.
Day 12 (7/1/15): Crippling pain Right Leg felt during sleep and walking. Woke in pain several times. Weakness and fatigue while standing.
Day 13: Woke with sharp pains in right quad (side of entry) that went away after an hour. Reviewed X-rays with surgeon and the new disc spacing looks good. Lumbar lordosis greatly improved. Surgeon explained the sharp pains in quad are from the psoas muscle that was moved during the surgery. For first time, I don't feel fatigue or weakness when standing and walking. I see myself walking on a long beach with no pain in another 2-3 weeks.

Days 14-16: I discovered that taking Flexirol is much better than Metaxallone in terms of my leg pains. With Flexirol , I'm able to do short walk and stretch.
Whereas Metaxxalone puts me in bed with symptoms of a severely strained hamstring. This is all due to the nerves being irritated by the instruments inserted into my right low back during surgery. Healing pains (On a scale of 1-10 pain is 10). again. Staying with Flexirol for now. The right side of low back around incisions remains sensitive. The feeling in this area is slowly coming back and the pains to my right quad is directly related to healing in this area. Looking forward to PT on Monday after this 3 day holiday weekend. My emotions were on a rollercoaster this weekend with the hamstring pain but I managed to reach out to several family and friends via phone and this helped me to relax. Even went on Facebook and listened to standup comedy via audible.com for few to keep my minds off the leg pain and tightness. I'm doing my best to keep an upbeat attitude. Better days are just around the corner and I will recover. This I'm sure of.
Day 17: Had a spring to my step this morning. Only Flexirol and Tylenol now. No more Oxycodone. Drove to PT. They stretched my quads and hamstrings.
By afternoon, feeling weakness and low back and leg pain while walking. Testicular(groin) has less pain today. On a scale of 1-10 pain is a 6 today.

Day 31: Leg weakness 95% gone. Sleep on left is preferred over right due to healing pains around abdomen incisions. Walking 1/3 mile 2-3x per day. Right abdomen gets sore following crunches or light pedaling so I'm going to stick to walking next two weeks.

Days 32-43: 6 weeks post-op and seeing the surgeon today to discuss my recovery, next steps, and possible meds. Taking Tylenol daily for pain. Left lower back and left quad finally feeling better. However, any type of sitting -especially driving car- increases testicular pain. Sciatica shooting down right leg into arch of foot after an active week of walking 1-2 miles(not at once) day and highway driving car 10 miles to beach each day. Stretching hamstrings helps sciatica in right leg but Testicular pain increases with sitting. Taking a break from driving and long walks in order to calm down Sciatica. Breaking out the donut cushion which keeps the tailbone suspended while sitting. It does help a little. I feel disappointed and frustrated that this old pain is back with increased activity. I hope we can find a way to free up this right sciatica nerve.

Day 71: Testicular pain is 95% gone. Sciatica 90% gone. Increasing physical activity each day. Feeling happy and upbeat about the success of the procedure. Taking one day at a time. Moderate beach walking, light swimming, 10 minute bike rides. Going back to work very soon. Woo-hoo!



  • LizLiz Posts: 9,745
    please take the time to read this post and refer to it when you have questions

    i am sure that you will find your time on spine-health very rewarding. this site is a powerful and integrated system that is dynamic and growing.
    here are just some of the highlights that are available as tabs on the main spine-health menu bar

    spine-health main menu tabs

    conditions detailed medical libraries of articles and videos that address almost every spinal condition.
    treatment list of treatments to the conditions identified by spine-health.
    wellness section contains articles, tips and videos to help patients after surgery and also to help people avoid surgery.
    medical articles
    pain forums these are the forums you will be using
    find a doctor this provides with a method to search for doctors in various locations.
    videos index to all spine-health videos

    as a bonus, spine-health provides these patient forums. here you can meet thousands of people who understand and can relate to your situation. you will soon become part of the spiney family[/u] who provide comfort and the advantages of a support system. you are now part of this family that is approximately 27,00 international members and growing daily.


    - it is very important to understand the forum rules to make sure all of your posts[u] do not violate any of the rules.[/u]

    - all new members must read our faq in order to understand the layout of the forums, how to navigate through the forums, helpful terms, how to make effective threads and posts, plus a link index to many of the important medical forums and key medical articles on spine-health forum faq

    i am positive any member, new or old will find this chroinc pain - step by step thread very valuable.

    here are some links that all new members need to review to create effective threads and more

    read before you post
    more info tips for newcomers
    understanding the rules

    all of this will help make your threads better and improve the times and quality of responses you will receive.

    you can also find spine-health on these social networks

    facebook www.facebook.com/spinehealth
    pinterest https://pinterest.com/spinehealth/boards/
    twitter https://twitter.com/spinehealth

    if you have any questions or need assistance, you can use the private message facility to[u] contact any one of the spine-health moderators



    doug hell


    also working with us very closely is allison walsh from the spine-health company



    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
Sign In or Register to comment.