Age: 65
Hometown: Atlanta, GA
Surgeon: Georgia Spine and Neurosurgery Center, Decatur, GA
Procedure: eXtreme Lateral Interbody Fusion (XLIF®)

Life Prior to Surgery: Martha first realized she had a problem three years before surgery. She was going to the gym and noticed her legs would get really sore and painful before she would run out of breath. The problem progressively got worse and worse. Martha sought a consultation with a spine surgeon and they decided she should try pain management. Martha tried various types of conservative treatments to treat the leg pain, including physical therapy, aqua therapy, and pain medications. She also had six steroid injections and found that some helped at first and then the others really did not help the pain at all. When Martha was unable to find relief in other methods and the pain was interfering too much with her life, she decided to look into surgery. She sought another consultation with her surgeon and he told her that the minimally disruptive XLIF procedure would be her best option to find relief from leg pain. Martha decided to go ahead with the surgery.

Situation Today: When Martha woke up from XLIF surgery, it was the first time in three years she had no pain in her legs! She had some incision discomfort, but was off all pain medications within a few weeks. She wore a back brace for three months for extra stability and felt great once it came off. During her recovery, Martha followed a physical therapy and exercise regimen and she also walked as much as she could. Martha’s surgery had another positive benefit besides giving her relief from her back and leg pain – she had had high blood pressure for years before surgery and after surgery she has not needed medication for her blood pressure! Now, she has re-joined a gym with her husband and has been able to make up some of the trips that she had to cancel before surgery.