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Back Problems Message Board

Back Problems Board Index

Yesterday marked the 2 month anniversary since my XLIF for L3-L4 spondiolythesis. Today I saw my surgeon for a follow-up and I thought I'd share the news.

I had new x-rays taken last week and today my surgeon reviewed them. The perc screws and implant are perfectly in place and there is already good evidence of bone growth between the two vertebrae. He said that by six months, the fusion will be intact enough for me to resume most strenuous activity (running, etc.), but that the fusion will continue to take place for about a year.

It was a little bittersweet because my surgeon said, "Well, you're basically done with me, now." He's so amazingly humble, considering he significantly changed my life. Unless there is some sort of problem, I don't need to follow-up with him anymore. He wrote me an order to start P/T 2-3 times a week, based on the therapist's evaluation. (Which I am excited to do because I am anxious to know what kinds of exercises I can/can't do!)

As for me, I usually forget that I even had surgery. Sometimes, my incisions get a little itchy, but they're healing nicely. I'm not in any pain, nor do I experience any more soreness after laying down for long periods. The only evidence of my surgery is that I still won't bend all the way over (as if touching my toes) and nor have I tried, because I don't want to disrupt the fusion in any way. I can, however, bend comfortably over at the waist, as long as I keep my back straight (as if leaning across a counter) and I have considerably more flexibility now than I did several weeks ago.

I've been back to work (and driving) since 2 weeks after my surgery and it's a desk job, so I spend a lot of time sitting and it doesn't really bother me at all. I can stand and walk forever now, with no pain, whereas before my surgery, I'd get intense pain radiating down my thighs after 15-20 minutes on my feet.

So, all in all, I'd say my procedure was a complete success.

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