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XLIF and Psoas muscle

sharyn51ssharyn51 Posts: 20
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:50 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I just returned from my initial evaluation at Physical Therapy. I am about 5-6 weeks post op from fusion multi level via posterior approach and lateral approach (XLIF)

Since I awoke from surgery I complained of terrible burning, numbness in left thigh. Was unable to even move the leg until 4-5 days after surgery.

I can walk now, but have weakness in the left thigh (quad muscle). Tingling, numbness, weakness persists. My PT told me today that the psoas muscle really gets effected from lateral approach.

Anyone out there have similiar situation? How long did it take for you to feel better? My back feels pretty good, some muscle tightness, but this leg thing is a real bummer, wasn't even warned about this prior to surgery.

Does anyone have exercise for stretching that muscle?


  • I had an Xlif three and a half weeks ago. The first week after surgery I had excruciating pain and muscle cramps in the groin and thigh on the left (entry) side. All the doctor could offer was Flexeril, a high-powered muscle relaxer, and narcotic pain meds. I tried both and neither could touch the pain. I called a masseuse to my house to massage the leg. After the first one-hour massage, I had great relief. The spasms let up, I was able to stand erect again and I could walk without a walker and without the "shuffle" I had been experiencing in that leg. I continued the massage every other day for a week and was soon free of leg pain and spasms and able to sleep again. I am continuing massage so that the muscle does not tighten up again. I am slowly regaining strenght in the leg. I recommend you immediately schedule massage if you begin to experience leg pain after an Xlif.
  • Apparently with the xlif the femoral nerve getting cut is normal too. When they hammer my knees my legs don't move now.

    ""There has been interval development of adjacent bone marrow edema and enhancement"". That's from my last MRI, I'm getting another one next week.

    They think I might have an infection from the plastic spacer flopping around.
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  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,732
    Is rare if your surgeon is using the nuvasive nerve monitoring system. Did your surgeon use this?
    Good luck, Jim
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • There is a FDA Maude report about the Nuvasive nerve monitor. Apparently if you took muscle relaxants or had injections into your spine the nerve monitoring system won't relay correct data and ooopsie...Nerves end up getting cut.

    In 2005 Nuvasive modified their system so the nerve monitor plugged into the surgeon's knife. It works exactly like the kids game "Operation". If the knife touches a nerve, an alarm sounds.

    Unless the nerve was rendered useless by muscle relaxants, or spine injections which would keep it from transmitting a signal to the nerve monitor box.
  • I also couldn't move my legs after the "minimally invasive surgery". It was 2 days before I could get around with a walker.

    The "minimally invasive" was advertised as taking only 1 hour for a 1 level XLIF. It seems 4 hours for 1 level is what the average time is.

    You are under fluoroscopy for the procedure. An xray machine kept on so the surgeon can see inside of you. More than 1 level would be a long time to be under xrays. I read after 5 minutes an alarm sounds on the machine. Surgeon's would be exposed to 1/1000th of what their patients was exposed to from your body scattering radiation back to them.

    "Minimally Invasive" now looks like it's exposing patients and surgeons to LONG fluoroscopy/radiation times. Only way to tell if you got too much is if you get tested to find out if you are now sterile.
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  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,732
    I got that Vasectomy for nothin! X(
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • I see this conversation ended a while ago but I'd like to see how everyone is doing. I'm 2 weeks post XLIF and my left leg is very numb. I can walk and have full mobility but my leg feels gumby like. I can feel if it's touched but it had that odd, limb fell asleep type of feeling to it. I don't know when full feeling will return. How long did it take for all of you??
  • I know this is an old post but I'm in the same boat and wanted to see how long I can expect the leg issues to last. Had an xlif on 12/7 through the left side, since I haven't been able to walk without assistance since. Got feeling in the leg, yet numb at the same time. All kinds of other sensations too.. Pins and needles, spasms, numbness, burning. Dr put me on a Gabapentin (sp) but thinks it is the psoas muscle. Looking for any helpful feedback

  • LizLiz Posts: 9,107


    As you point out this is an old discussion, the member that created it is no longer on the forum so I have to close it

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
This discussion has been closed.
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