Tuesday, February 22, 2011

11 weeks post op from XLIF and PLIF

Had films done today then saw my surgeon.  Everything looks good on all films, hardware in place,  cage in place, signs of bone growth already!   I am 11 weeks out (they call this the 3 month check) finished with physical therapy.   Next check in 3 months.  Off most pains meds except for occasional Tramadol (Ultraset).

 I have returned to work part time and hopefully will try to go back full time next week and see how I feel.
  I do have pain from time to time, my left thigh is still quite numb, surgeon expects this to resolve eventually (its a side effect from the lateral incision going through the psoas muscle). 

I think that any patient going for spine surgery has to have realistic expectations at the outcome.  I for one know that after three spine operations I can not expect things to be perfect.  I expect to be able to walk, sit and stand fairly comfortably perhaps with some discomfort from time to time.   I expect not to have to take drugs the rest of my life for pain management.  I expect that I will be able to enjoy life again although somewhat limited in what I can and cannot do.   I DO NOT expect to downhill ski, do sit ups, touch my toes ever again, lift 50lbs bags of pet food,  or have a spine like I did when I was 25 years old prior to my skiing accident.  I have lived with recurrent back pain for 34 years and three surgeries within 6 years time.  I have been fortunate to find and be treated by the best hospitals, surgeon, pain management teams and physical therapists.  I am also fortunate to have an amazing husband and children who have supported and helped me more than they will ever know.

All in all, I am one of the "lucky" patients.  I know there are so many people out there with failed surgery,  debilitating back pain, unable to work, on disability and on pain medication the rest of their lives.   I wish all of you the best and urge you not to give up. 

Thanks for reading, I hope I have given some insight to at least one person out there somewhere.....



  1. My best wishes to you. It is nice to read your experiences here. Keep posting.
    Do stay in touch.

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