The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons publishes the informational website OrthoInfo. According to the website, OrthoInfo is a “trusted source of information about musculoskeletal conditions and injuries — how they are treated, as well as how they can be prevented.” We were intrigued, so we started exploring the website. That’s when we stumbled upon a list of questions you should ask your doctor before surgery.

Since you are likely considering the eXtreme Lateral Interbody Fusion (XLIF®) procedure, we selected the 10 questions we thought are most important for patients undergoing back surgery. In no particular order, here they are:

  1. What is the procedure called? How is it done?
  2. Why is this procedure being recommended? Are there alternatives?
  3. What are the benefits of this procedure in terms of pain relief, functioning/mobility? How long will the benefits last?
  4. What are the risks involved?
  5. What kind of implant or prosthesis will be used?
  6. Will I have pain following the procedure? What pain relief or pain control measures will I be given?
  7. How long will the recovery take? What are my limitations during recovery? Will I need assistance at home afterwards? For how long? What will discharge instructions be?
  8. Will I have any disability following surgery? Will I need physical therapy?
  9. When can I return to work? When can I drive my car? When can I have sexual activity?
  10. Are there any informational materials about this surgery that I can review?

You can read the full list of 18 questions on the “Questions to Ask Your Doctor before Surgery” blog post on the OrthoInfo website.

As with any surgery, there are potential benefits and possible risks associated with the XLIF procedure. Individual results will vary. Ask your healthcare provider lots of questions. It is important to discuss the possible risks and potential benefits of XLIF with a doctor prior to receiving treatment, and that you rely on your physician’s judgment. Only your doctor can determine whether you are a suitable candidate for this procedure.

You can learn more about XLIF online. If you’d like to talk with a Patient Ambassador, you can fill out our online form or call us at 800-745-7099.