Age: 38
Hometown: Garner, NC
Surgeon: Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC
Procedure: eXtreme Lateral Interbody Fusion (XLIF®)
Surgery Date: May 1, 2014

Life Prior to Surgery: Delana has been struggling with pain since 2009

“It was a long road when my back issues started to come up,” Delana said.

She does not know the origins of her back pain, but she had tried many conservative  treatments to relieve it. Nothing seemed to help. Delana couldn’t stand up from the couch and had to roll to the floor before attempting to stand up. At work, she would often wait for everyone to leave before she attempted to get up from her chair. Her social life and daily routines suffered. Delana knew that something had to change.

“I was in a zombie state from all the drugs,” she said. “I kept telling myself that I was too young to keep feeling this way.”

Moving back to North Carolina from Florida, Delana found a surgeon and scheduled an appointment with him. Upon reading her MRI, Dr. Brown saw that a section of her spine was bone-on-bone and that her discs were slowly degenerating. It was then that her surgeon recommended her for an XLIF procedure.

“I was scared at first,” she said. “Surgery is a serious matter. However, I trusted my surgeon and knew that this was the best thing to do for myself.”

Situation Today: Delana had her surgery on May 1, 2014, and had a successful operation. She was able to get up and walk the next day.

“When I woke up, the pain that I once felt was gone!” said Delana.

Although she had some health complications unrelated to her surgery, she was able to leave the hospital within a couple of days. During her hospital stay, she worked closely with the physical therapist and did a lot of walking. After six weeks, Delana was able to attend physical therapy sessions for four weeks.

“I feel like me again!” said Delana. “I can take day trips. I can hike, go to the zoo or go to the beach. I finally feel normal again!”