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  • Spondylolisthesis Grade 2/3

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    Old 02-07-2016, 06:53 AM   #1
    lisak
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    Spondylolisthesis Grade 2/3

    Hi everyone,

    I'm a 35 year old mom of 2 and was diagnosed with my spondy a LONG time ago. Lately it's really bothering me, basically I'm in constant pain ALL the time. It definitely has gotten worse with the birth of my second child. Picking her up, changing her diaper, etc makes me want to cry. I'm a yoga instructor, I do reformer pilates and barre classes to help strengthen my core and help my back but nothing gives me much relief. I also do PT exercises and go to the chiropractor for adjustments. Basically my entire life is spent trying to minimize this pain (and nothing actually works). Any success stories out there with this high grade and no surgery? I can't really afford to not walk for months...who would take care of my children? It's just not a great option at the moment.

    On another note - anyone try a cryotherapy chamber for pain inflammation relief? I haven't actually done ANYTHING for pain relief besides some advil. I'm actually terrified to go to a spine doctor and have him tell me how serious this is. Last time I went was maybe around 2009 or so?

    Anyway thanks in advance

     
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    Old 02-07-2016, 08:18 AM   #2
    teteri66
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    Re: Spondylolisthesis Grade 2/3

    Is your chiropractor aware of your spondylolisthesis and, are you sure it is still Grade 2/3 or might it have worsened? From your description, it sounds like the condition is not stable...which means you are just one unplanned incident away from potential emergency. Not to try to scare you, but the increasing pain is trying to alert you to the potential danger of an unstable lumbar spine. Also that pain is an indication of nerve compression. You run the risk of permanent nerve damage the longer a nerve is left in a compressed state.

    Even though it may not seem possible at the moment, things could be worse. At this point I would assume a fusion would address your instability. If you fall or somehow impact the spine in a way that results in slipping that segment further, it may no longer be so easily repaired.

    It is entirely possible that carrying the second child and childbirth changed the amount of spondy and slightly rearranged structural alignment. The real key with spondylolisthesis is whether it is stable or not. People can live with Grade 3 spondy if it is inactive, but if it is unstable, all bets are off.

    If you ended up in a situation where it required emergency surgery, you would be much worse off regarding childcare, etc. than if you have scheduled surgery for which you have planned.

    I urge you to see a spine surgeon for an accurate diagnosis. Then you would at least know what you are dealing with and how serious it is.

    I imagine this varies from person to person, but I never found any type of effective pain relief for my spondylolisthesis.

     
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    Old 02-08-2016, 12:03 PM   #3
    littlebean
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    Re: Spondylolisthesis Grade 2/3

    Hi,
    I'm in agreement with teteri66.

    I was in a very similar situation as you, OP, and in November 2014 everything fell apart. I had a two year old, and for most of his life I was able to manage my pain with twice yearly injections.

    One day, I took my LO to a tumbling class, and showed him how to do a somersault on a mat. I didn't think. Woke up the next day with excruciating pain into my feet. I had refractured my pars at the L5/S1 level.

    Had a fusion on 2/27/2015, and have felt progressively better since. Recovery has not been easy, however, by June I felt better enough to care for my son. I do wish I hadn't put surgery off for so long. I am thankful that I was able to give my son the best first two years possible - we were very active.
    Now, I do still have to pace myself.

    Please be very careful with chiropractic work. My spine surgeon and interventional pain doctor told me under no uncertain terms was I to be adjusted. It's too dangerous with a higher grade spondy.

    Also, should surgery become a necessity, insurance can take forever to approve it. Mine took two months.

     
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    Old 02-08-2016, 06:23 PM   #4
    lisak
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    Re: Spondylolisthesis Grade 2/3

    Thank you for your responses! I'm calling a doctor tomorrow, got a few names from a family member who is a physical therapist.

    Who took care of your son during recovery? I have a 5 and 2 year old. I have no clue who would care for my kids during recovery! How does that work? I'm terrified.

    I get lightly adjusted with a machine and it helps me so much. It's the only way I can walk without pain. I also do yoga and pilates which helps short-term and then each morning I wake up to pain again and it progressively gets better during the day, but some days are worse than others.

    Thanks for your responses. I really appreciate it. I'm working on getting some help! Calling a physiatrist in the morning.

     
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    Old 02-09-2016, 03:32 AM   #5
    littlebean
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    Re: Spondylolisthesis Grade 2/3

    I had a lot of help. My husband was home for the first six weeks, and was able to provide care for him. We live close by my parents, too, who helped. My work set up a meal train, so for six weeks, every other night, someone dropped off food - I felt so blessed.

    My son also went to preschool/ daycare two days per week. Once those six weeks were up, I was okay most days to care for him. He understood much more than I thought he would. We had many hours of cuddle time with videos - not that I'm a fan of that. It was what I could offer him though, and it worked for all of us.

    I am no doctor, and this isn't meant to be medical advice. If I were you I would make sure to get some imaging to see if you are stable vs. unstable. I am a big fan of injections too. If you are a candidate, they can certainly buy you some time. Also, with your yoga and Pilates I'm sure you are in phenomenonal shape, which will work to your advantage whatever the recommendations are.

    The cutest thing my son said to me post surgery? The day I put the walker away, he looked at me and said, "mama, you can walk again!" And clapped. The joy he felt was contagious.

    The pain you are in can be treated. That was the part I had the most difficult time with. I am not one to take a Tylenol for a headache, so taking painkillers was something I fought. Once I accepted they were medicine to keep me functioning, I was much better at coping. This is not easy, especially with young children. I wish you the best. Please feel free to ask more questions, and keep us posted.

     
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    Old 02-09-2016, 05:03 AM   #6
    lisak
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    Re: Spondylolisthesis Grade 2/3

    Thank you! So are you able to lead an active lifestyle now? I dread never being able to go back to work (yoga instructor) or be able to do the things I enjoy doing. How long after surgery were you able to walk?

    I'm the same way with pain medication. I'm calling the physiatrist today and going to see what else I can do. And I am trying cryotherapy for inflammation (I do feel like the low back is constantly inflamed...I can feel the heat!) and we will go from there. I get so nervous to go to a doctor b/c I know it will be an alarming appointment telling me how bad I'm off. And that just scares me! But it's stupid to just ignore it also! Thanks again.

     
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    Old 02-09-2016, 05:47 AM   #7
    teteri66
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    Re: Spondylolisthesis Grade 2/3

    You will be able to walk within hours of awaking from surgery. You would not be allowed to return home until you can take care of your own basic needs -- toileting, dressing, etc. and able to climb steps if you have them in your home...

    I believe the key to being able to return to a previous active lifestyle lies in recovery. Too many people push too hard early on, trying to make their bodies do things the body is not ready to do. Even though bone growth may begin as early as the third week, it takes twelve months for the bone to fully set up firm and hard. After this point, when one exercises the body will continue to strengthen the new bone, making it even stronger. But too many people try to go back to all their old habits as soon as they begin to feel better and the body has time to adjust and realign to the fusion. This often results in nerve flare or prevents the joints from fully fusing.

    Do you do twisting postures in your yoga practice? Depending on the location of the fusion, this may be problematic.

     
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    Old 02-09-2016, 05:54 AM   #8
    lisak
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    Re: Spondylolisthesis Grade 2/3

    I do twisting now b/c it feels good - but I have a modified practice anyway b/c of the spondy (obviously I can't even do upward dog, or any backbending!) So even though I teach those things, I don't personally practice those things. I try to focus more on arm & core strength and opening up my hips and stretching my hamstrings b/c that usually helps my back feel better!

    The thought of losing all my jobs is hard to think about. Also the thought of a failed fusion is depressing.

    How is your lifestyle now?

     
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    Old 02-09-2016, 09:58 AM   #9
    teteri66
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    Re: Spondylolisthesis Grade 2/3

    Well, everything is relevant, isn't it? When I had the first surgery I couldn't stand long enough to chop an onion and I was driving down my driveway to the mailbox to collect my mail because it was too painful to walk that far. I wouldn't travel because if something were to go wrong, I didn't want to have emergency surgery at a strange hospital with an unknown surgeon...so I missed my mother-in-law's 90th birthday party, for example. My life was becoming more and more home bound, so I finally agreed to surgery. I kept thinking if I held out long enough, they would invent some wonderful, new procedure...eventually I realized that wasn't happening...at least not in time to help me...and that was 8 years ago!

    I am fused from L3 to S1. I have no sciatic pain and can do almost everything I want to do....some things require pacing and self-monitoring because if I do too much, I would get sciatic type pain. Housework remains difficult. I can only run the vacuum for so long, then I have to stop. I no longer go ice skating because my balance is not good ( due to nerve damage) and I am fearful of falling.

    i am very pleased with my results which surpassed what my surgeon felt was possible. I only wish I had not waited so long.

     
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