Age: 58
Hometown: Santee, CA
Surgeon: San Diego Center for Spinal Disorders, La Jolla, CA
Procedure: eXtreme Lateral Interbody Fusion (XLIF®) and Transforminal Lumbar Interbody Fusion (TLIF)
Surgery Date: July 23 and 26, 2013

Life Prior to Surgery: For more than 30 years, Rod lived with debilitating back and leg pain. A previous, failed procedure left him with a lot of fear about back surgery, which further contributed to his “tough it out” mentality. But his pain continued to limit everything he did in life, including walking, sitting, and driving. In 2005, after trying several failed conservative treatments, the pain forced him to stop his landscaping business and find a different line of work. In 2011, Rod was again forced to quit his job due to the unrelenting back and leg pain. At this point, he began consulting with spine surgeons—all of which told him they could not operate. Then Rod met a spine surgeon, who recommended the minimally disruptive XLIF and TLIF procedures. “I knew when I looked into his eyes that he could help me. My only wish is that I had found him 10 years ago,” Rod recalls.

Situation Today: Rod underwent XLIF and TLIF surgeries in July 2013. His surgeon was the first person Rod saw when he woke up from surgery. Rod immediately commented that the leg pain had subsided and that he was able to walk pain-free for the first time in a long time. “You don’t realize how much you walk in a day until you can’t. I don’t take it for granted anymore,” he says. For postoperative treatment, Rod walks every day and is no longer limited by back or leg pain. He recently celebrated his birthday pain-free and enjoyed the day more than he had in a long time. Rod believes that because of his surgeon, he now has a new lease on life, where every day is a new day!

“I feel like a different person. I haven’t felt this good in 30 years. I feel 100% better!” Rod says.