Mary Bonda, a 62-year old Winfield resident, is once again taking her regular two-mile walks following a new minimally invasive procedure to relieve certain types of back pain.
Mary's been pain-free since February, when Ronjon Paul, MD, a spinal surgeon with Edward Hospital and DuPage Medical Group, used the innovative procedure-eXtreme Lateral Interbody Fusion (XLIF).
Mary's problems started about four years ago with pain in her legs. She was found to have a fractured bone in her spine, something that probably happened earlier in her life. Her doctor fused her 4th and 5th lumbar vertebrae, but Mary still had pain.
That's when she visited Dr. Paul, who found two screws that weren't properly positioned. In February, Dr. Paul used the XLIF procedure to remove the old hardware from the previous fusion, put in new hardware and fuse Mary's 3rd, 4th and 5th lumbar vertebrae.
"I've always been very fit and athletic, doing aerobics and other activities, so for me it's been phenomenal to feel that good again," Mary says. "The (XLIF) procedure is wonderful. My back is beautifully lined up."
Using XLIF-the physician accesses the spine through a small incision on the side of the body. The procedure takes less time and is less disruptive on muscles and bones, results in less blood loss, fewer complications and allows for more complete disc removal and implant insertion than traditional procedures, in which the spine is accessed through the front or back of the patient's body.
Recovery is also quicker-days vs. weeks or months. In fact, most patients are able to stand and walk the evening after morning surgery. Most XLIF patients are discharged from the hospital the next day and return to normal activities earlier than they would have with traditional surgery. Mary remembers Dr. Paul had her walking up and down stairs at the hospital before she left.
Dr. Paul is one of few doctors in the Midwest with XLIF experience. Through his efforts, Edward has become a national teaching center for this type of spinal surgery. Spinal surgeons are visiting on a regular basis to observe Dr. Paul performing the procedure.
Conditions that may be helped by the XLIF procedure include degenerative disc disease with instability, recurrent disc herniation, problems related to previous fusion or non-fusion surgeries, degenerative spondylolisthesis (slip of one vertebra forward over another) and degenerative scoliosis (curvature of the spine).
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Paul, please call (630) 967-2225.