Hometown: San Antonio, TX
Surgeon: Dr. Guy Fogel, San Antonio,TX
Indications: Degenerative Disc Disease
Levels Treated: T10-T12
Surgery Date: September 8, 2010
“The accident affected everything. The pain was unbelievable and I was depressed and desperate for a solution. Dr. Fogel is a miracle worker and the procedure was a life-saver. Instead of being a victim, I am a survivor! I have a future now whereas before surgery my ‘future’ was in a bed.”
Life Prior To Surgery:
Ruth’s back problems first started after a car accident in 1995 which caused a bulging disc. On February 12, 1988 she was in another car accident after being hit by a drunk driver at 60 mi/hr. After the accident, she was rushed to the hospital but, unfortunately, she didn’t have any health insurance and couldn’t get coverage for any of her medical bills. Ruth sustained several injuries from the accident and underwent 8 different surgeries (hip surgery, hand and facial reconstructive surgery and orthoscopic surgery) in the subsequent years. According to Ruth, “the injuries were horrendous,” and her chronic back pain worsened over the years. She went from leading an active lifestyle, walking 3 miles per day, to being immobile.
Ruth tried numerous conservative treatments like exercise, chiropractor, heating pads and stretching but nothing provided long-term pain relief. Her pain worsened to the point where she spent 75% of her time lying in bed due to pain and swelling in her legs and feet. As a result of her immobility, Ruth struggled with weight gain and developed Type II diabetes. Ruth’s situation not only affected her physically but also mentally as she battled with depression. In 2010, she heard Dr. Guy Fogel on television speak about the XLIF procedure and, desperate for help, she sought a consultation. Dr. Fogel did an MRI and recommended the XLIF procedure.
After a successful XLIF thoracic procedure, Ruth immediately felt better. She had some post-operative surgical incision pain but was walking the day after surgery. Although she developed pneumonia due to side- effects from the anesthesia, she was treated and left the hospital after 4 days. Ruth spent 10 days in a rehabilitation center where she “learned” how to walk again and did exercises and stretches to regain her muscle strength. When she returned home on October 12, 2010 she did in-home physical therapy for 4 weeks and eventually reached the point where she was able to walk 2 miles per day. Now, Ruth has lost over 40 pounds, her legs don’t swell anymore while she walks, and she was able to drive pain-free from San Antonio, TX to Georgia to visit her family for the summer! Currently, Ruth still has some soreness and stiffness but she hopes with stretching, exercising and pool therapy that will eventually subside. Most importantly, she looks forward to rebuilding her relationship with her family whom she alienated prior to surgery due to depression from her pain.
Important Note: As with any spine surgery, there are potential benefits and possible risks associated with the XLIF procedure. Individual results will vary. It is important that you discuss the possible risks and potential benefits of XLIF with your 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.