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Post op XLIF L3-4 and L4-5
Hi I'm a 53 y/o male post-op XLIF L3-4 and L4-5 done October, 2015. This is actually my 3rd surgery. My 1st surgery was a PLIF L5 - S1 that ended up getting a staff infection while I was still in the hospital (thus 2 surgeries because they had to re-open me up and clean out the infection) I was in the hospital a total of 14 days, this was back in Jan/2000. It took about 18 months to heal and I had virtually no problems. I was very active and in very good physical shape. In 2013 things suddenly started to get bad my L3-4 and L4-5 discs were degenerated and I started to get severe lower back pain all the way from my lower ribs to buttocks and I also had mostly Rt. Sciatic pain (I use a cane to walk) In Jan 2014 I started pain therapy with pain meds and about 5 epidurals, (none of them worked) the Pain meds help just to get by... Finally we decided on doing the XLIF and NOW with the post-XLIF I'm very concerned. My orthopedic surgeon was unable to put in screws or plates due to the angle of the XLIF and my old hardware was in the way... 2 surgeons did my XLIF surgery a neurosurgeon who is the primary and the orthopedist. At first the orthopedist wanted to complete the surgery but the neurologist wanted to go with a more conservative approach and just wait to see how I heal. Well I'm not healing and I have bilateral leg pain and weakness and feel very unstable when I walk (I still use a cane and have developed a ganglion cyst on my left wrist) I also have problems initiating urination and have a very slow stream about 90% of the time. When I walk I feel like I just got off of a horse. I have also fallen a couple of times. Sometimes my lower back feels like it's about to explode. My Doctors send me back and forth to each other, I'll be seeing my neurosurgeon this Monday 9/15/16 and want to demand that they complete this surgery. I know that it will require a complete revision because they will have to take out my old hardware and put in new hard ware going in posterially (PLIF) - I know this will hurt badly for a while but I'm very concerned about Cauda-Equaina syndrome. Also I have not been intimate with my wife of 33 yrs for over a year due to pain and unable to get an erection, plus I can't finish when I do get one with the help of Viagra (ejaculate) even when I try manually. I've been trying to keep a good attitude but this is really getting to me... I don't know what else to do and if it wasn't because I live on an Island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, I believe the red flags pointing to Cauda-Equaina syndrome would have been enough for the doctors to move more quickly. BTW the Cauda-Equana was the red flag my Physical therapist is very concerned about. Unfortunately I don't have money to fly to the mainland. Thank you for allowing me to share my story as I read through some of the other stories my heart really goes out to them! Thank you! Prayers and good thoughts are really appreciated!