Julia Steele knew she could no longer live with the pain. Everyday for three months she had been experiencing severe pain in her lower back and leg. “I had tried everything I could think of to try and alleviate it, I even visited a chiropractor to see if that would help. Nothing was working.” Julia had had surgery on her lower back four years ago when Hytham Rifai, MD, a neurologist at Methodist Hospitals had performed a lumbar disectomy. When this new pain persisted, Julia went back to Dr. Rifai.
After reviewing Julia’s case, Dr. Rifai recommended a new minimally invasive lumbar spine procedure, called AxiaLIF. AxiaLIF It is a completely novel approach for an otherwise long-standing familiar operation. Dr. Rifai is the first doctor in Northwest Indiana to use it. The approach is far less invasive compared to other techniques. There is almost no tissue damage and the normal anatomy of the spine is not changed or impaired.
“This procedure provides the same results as the more invasive procedures that we have done in the past. The benefit to this procedure is that it results in a simpler, safer procedure for the patient with minimal blood loss, shorter hospital stay and much quicker recovery,” stated Dr. Rifai.
Julia is very happy with the results of the minimally invasive procedure, “I felt the change almost instantly. I spent one night in the hospital and was walking around the next day.” She is now able to engage in almost all physical activity. “I have one check up left and then I am all clear to start exercising again at the same level as I was before. This procedure and Dr. Rifai changed my life.”
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