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    Old 02-16-2011, 07:04 AM   #31
    teteri66
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    Re: I have spondylolisthesis - and need advice

    I just reread your first post and just wanted to comment that I was told that with spondylolisthesis, inversion tables were a bad idea, as well as any sort of apparatus at the gym/health club where the body weight is hanging from your arms, and the weight of the body and gravity are supposedly "lengthening" the spine. Obviously different doctors and physical therapists have conflicting opinions, so I just mention this as something my team believes.

    When there is an instability, it is safer to avoid exercises or positions in an exercise where that lower spine could slip further. I believe you mentioned that sometimes you feel better after using the inversion table, but other times, you feel worse. It is probably partially because of the position that lower lumbar segment was in and just how gravity is pulling you down on that particular day. There is no real way to control it so you are doing it the same way every time.

    Now on to the problem of trying to decide when is the right time...notice I say WHEN and not IF....because, again my personal opinion based on my experience with spondylolisthesis, if you try to do anything but sit on the couch for the rest of your life, chances are your spine will continue to degenerate at that segment and the pain will not go away. Also, as it wears unevenly at that segment, it will effect the segments around it, sooner or later.

    You say you could probably go through the rest of your life like this...but that is assuming your condition remains the same. In my experience, that is highly unlikely. I think chances are extremely good that slowly but surely, the segment will deteriorate further, and you will develop more and more nerve compression, under ultimately, you will have little choice but to have surgery. Also, by that point, rather than requiring a one level fusion to stabilize the lumbar spine, you will now need a two or three level fusion, because those adjoining segments will also be affected and will begin to rub and deteriorate too.

    The chances for a successful fusion go down significantly when you add on levels. So when you are thinking ahead, this is another point to consider.

    Fusion done because the patient has a spondylolisthesis has the highest rate of success among the various reasons for having fusion.

    I've been through this, including waiting several years to reach a decision...I was the Queen of Indecision, so if you have any questions I can help with, please let me know.

     
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    Old 02-16-2011, 07:04 AM   #32
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    Re: I have spondylolisthesis - and need advice

    I do think we can adapt to a certain level of pain. I went for years tolerating low back & hip pain. I tried OTC remedies, actupuncture, yoga, etc. I talked to my GP & he put me on Tylenol, which did nothing, of course.

    Eventually, it became unbearable. It got worse as my ability to handle it decreased. Now I'm a real mess.

     
    Old 02-16-2011, 07:54 AM   #33
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    Re: I have spondylolisthesis - and need advice

    thanks, [B]tetonteri[/B]. i'm reminded, every time i get off the floor after winding down for night while watching TV - that the problem is still there. i can hear/feel a bit of grinding at the point of instability in my spine. and also, when i do get the flashes in my feet, or my calf muscle twists up a little...i keep thinking 'well that wasnt horrible...but that nerve has got to take on permanent damage at some point'. right? it only seems logical.

    still, i'm contantly second guessing my decision these last....well, for a week now. the pain has been tolerable. but still, that problem is there and stands a chance to be fixed.

    what do you think the odds are that i get this done, and i never have to look back? is that even possible? or will this fusion (S1-L5) inevitably effect the relationship between the L5 & L4?

     
    Old 02-16-2011, 07:59 AM   #34
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    Re: I have spondylolisthesis - and need advice

    [QUOTE=sassy411;4685788]I do think we can adapt to a certain level of pain. I went for years tolerating low back & hip pain. I tried OTC remedies, actupuncture, yoga, etc. I talked to my GP & he put me on Tylenol, which did nothing, of course.

    Eventually, it became unbearable. It got worse as my ability to handle it decreased. Now I'm a real mess.[/QUOTE]

    sorry to hear it. what's your diagnosis - are you avoiding surgery?
    (apologies if you've already mentioned it)

     
    Old 02-16-2011, 08:03 AM   #35
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    Re: I have spondylolisthesis - and need advice

    Tinglefoot,

    I've been told by 2 docs that surgery wouldn't help. I also have Grade 1 spondylolisthesis along with a synovial cyst, both compressing L4 nerve root, DDD, spondylosis with myelopathy & a few others I can't recall off the top of my head.

     
    Old 02-16-2011, 08:08 AM   #36
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    Re: I have spondylolisthesis - and need advice

    [QUOTE=sassy411;4685846]Tinglefoot,

    I've been told by 2 docs that surgery wouldn't help. I also have Grade 1 spondylolisthesis along with a synovial cyst, both compressing L4 nerve root, DDD, spondylosis with myelopathy & a few others I can't recall off the top of my head.[/QUOTE]

    wow. quite the smorgasbord.

    sorry to hear it.

     
    Old 02-16-2011, 08:23 AM   #37
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    Re: I have spondylolisthesis - and need advice

    I cannot really answer that, but I do think l4-5 will eventually be effected even if you do nothing. There really is no such thing as the "status quo" when it comes to the spine. All human beings experience deterioration in the spine as we age, and this process begins in the third decade of life.

    I don't have a crystal ball. Maybe you'll be the one in a million who has no further slippage or deterioration and whose nerve somehow gets decompressed on its own...but I think it would take a miracle for that to happen.

    I can tell you that once you have spine surgery, your spine will always need to be a consideration in how you plan your activities. In other words, if you resort to using bad posture, poor body alignment and participating in activities that abuse your body after having surgery, your spine will suffer from that abuse and will not be happy.

    I've got to run for now, but I'll be back later with a few more thoughts. My 88-year old aunt had a stroke and I flew out to be with her. She is in a rehab unit and it is interesting to see that there are 4 patients (out of 17) in following spine surgery...all women in their 60s. That's where I'm off to this morning....

     
    Old 02-16-2011, 08:45 AM   #38
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    Re: I have spondylolisthesis - and need advice

    wow, god bless. thoughts & prayers.

     
    Old 02-16-2011, 09:55 AM   #39
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    Re: I have spondylolisthesis - and need advice

    I am sorry, TT. Prayers up.

     
    Old 02-16-2011, 10:26 AM   #40
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    Re: I have spondylolisthesis - and need advice

    I have had spondylolisthesis at other levels. Which would have happened with or without my first surgery. The beauty of fusion for spondylolisthesis, in many cases, is that the symptoms are alleviated. Others who have fusion for non-spondylolisthesis might have less of a chance. Simply stated spondylolisthesis is one vertebrae moving over another and only a fusion will address that.
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    Old 02-16-2011, 08:19 PM   #41
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    Re: I have spondylolisthesis - and need advice

    Tinglefoot,
    I'm sorry to hear you have been having such a rough time. Fourtunately, or unfourtunately, I can relate and truly empathize with your stuggle! I am amazed at how much your feelings echo mine, pbviously with some differences... I think I should start somewhat postive and let you know that we can be 'recovery buddies' if you want! :P My surgery is March 03, 2011!! I have't seen anyone else one here that will actually be recovering around the same time and as crazy and wrong as this sounds, I am kind of excited that there is someone who is experiencing my situation at the same time as me... You might understand and be able to relate to my level of anxiety right now and after the surgery while it is happening rather than in reflection! Please, don't get me wrong, I am deeply sorry that you are going through this and as happy I am I might have found some support, I would rather go at it alone if it meant no pain for you..., but maybe we can help each other?
    Anyways, to give you some back ground here is my injury story... I am a 25 year old who is healthy, fit and previously active... My back had been bothering me... aching, hurty and just icky for a couple of months, I had been overworking myself (I am a manager at a pharmacy), so just shoved it off as fatigue... Then I hurt myself at work on Feb 23, 2010 while placing box of bleach bottles on the floor. I managed to herniate two discs at the L4-L5-S1 levels and the MRI showed i also had spondylosithesis (grade 2) and my sciatic nerve is compressed on the left side to the point where I have n o feeling along my nerve pathway, side of my foot or baby toe. Initially I only had pain to my calf in my left leg, it has progressed to the numbness and now on the right side I have a really deep red-hot line of pain through my right butt cheek, thigh and calf, with occasional tingling in my right foot.

    I too have tried EVERYHING available to me. I have been in physio since early April '10 and have managed to get my core endurance up to twice my age-range norm. My TA's are rock solid and I swear my multifidus are to the point where I can turn them on without any movement! (If you don't know what/ how to train TA'd/Multis let me know, it is what helped me the most feel like I had stabalized that spondy area... I say feel like cause soon it will be stabalized with screws and titanium, so I guess the muscles aren't enough, but I swear they help)
    Unlike you, I have not really ahd ups and downs. Sure, daily I feel better or worse, but I have had a steady decline into h*ll and honestly everytime I thought it couldn't get worse, it did... So surgery is really all that is left to me... I am getting a two level fusion with screws and rods as well as a lamenectomy and a bone grafted from my pelvis. Hopefully it does something positive for me, because like you I [I]could[/I] live like this for the rest of my life, but not really. The pain meds make me feel crazy sometimes and sometimes all I do is lie in the fetal postion, which is uncomfortable after a while, but still emotionally comforting, or z-line and cry... or stare at the wall waiting for the latest wave of sickening pain to subside. (By the way, if you want some positional relief I have two that tend to help at least while I am in them)

    Anyways, like I said, I empathize. I don't want this surgery, I am scared to my core of this surgery, and yet I will get this surgery becuase there is no other options left for me. I'm only 25 and I can't help but feeling like some of the best years of my life have been stolen from me... It has been months since I met my BFF for coffee, I just can't sit in coffee shop chairs comfortably, if at all, and I feel absoloutely insane bringing my Obusform Back support in with me, especially because I look like I am 16 at most and people look at me like I have screws loose!
    Sorry, this turned into somewhat of a complain-y post... Just wanted to let you know there are others out there... And one who is going in for a very similar procedure will be going in one week before you! I should be home by March 11 and will try to post an update about how I am feeling... I won't include negatives cause if you are anything like me, you know the risks and now it is time to think about pain relief and our return to routines!! haha!

    Thanks for you posts!
    Take care! - Sarah

     
    Old 02-17-2011, 05:41 AM   #42
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    Re: I have spondylolisthesis - and need advice

    Sarah,

    thanks for the reply.

    it's stories like yours that really make me second guess my decision. when i look at your ordeal and the pain you endur it makes me think - what i've gone thru is nothing and i should suck it up. maybe it will get better.

    i realize this isnt your intention, but ...maybe it just helps with my decision some how.

    heh, i'm sitting at work in my fancy new lumbosacral brace - under my clothes. it's reminding me sit up straight for sure.

    march 3rd! man...two weeks. you have to be freakin' out. hehe. recover buddies sounds good. or maybe you'll come back and say 'don't DO it!!!'

    i just sent you a PM

     
    Old 03-03-2011, 12:43 PM   #43
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    Re: I have spondylolisthesis - and need advice

    i've been moved up to 3/10! one week away!

    had my pre-testing today....i'm nervous and anxious. i'm ready to start fighting back!

     
    Old 03-03-2011, 02:23 PM   #44
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    Re: I have spondylolisthesis - and need advice

    [QUOTE=ssofalvi;4686468]Tinglefoot,

    [B]My TA's are rock solid and I swear my multifidus are to the point where I can turn them on without any movement! (If you don't know what/ how to train TA'd/Multis let me know, it is what helped me the most feel like I had stabalized that spondy area...

    (By the way, if you want some positional relief I have two that tend to help at least while I am in them)[/B]

    Thanks for you posts!
    Take care! - Sarah[/QUOTE]

    Sarah -

    I would LOVE to get your tips on training the TA's & multifidus...if you don't mind. I've been trying (rather unsuccessfully) for years to strengthen up these 2 muscles...so I could use all the help I can get. I have grade 2 spondy at L5/S1 with chronic low back pain. It's also very difficult and painful for me to do any kind of abdominal/core work while lying on my back because I have a boney protrusion (which I presume is my S1) that sticks out at my lower back and hurts like hell when I have to lay on a hard surface...especially with my feet up in the air. At the gym, I have to use multiple mats to cushion that area when I do exercises on my back. Like you, I am active and fairly fit for my age (45). Physical therapy did absolutely nothing for me...which is quite depressing. I'd also be interested in those "positions" that you mentioned in your post that provide you with relief.

    Thank you so much!

    Linda

     
    Old 03-04-2011, 04:58 AM   #45
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    Re: I have spondylolisthesis - and need advice

    [QUOTE=nscrbug;4698268]Sarah -

    I would LOVE to get your tips on training the TA's & multifidus...if you don't mind. I've been trying (rather unsuccessfully) for years to strengthen up these 2 muscles...so I could use all the help I can get. I have grade 2 spondy at L5/S1 with chronic low back pain. It's also very difficult and painful for me to do any kind of abdominal/core work while lying on my back because I have a boney protrusion (which I presume is my S1) that sticks out at my lower back and hurts like hell when I have to lay on a hard surface...especially with my feet up in the air. At the gym, I have to use multiple mats to cushion that area when I do exercises on my back. Like you, I am active and fairly fit for my age (45). Physical therapy did absolutely nothing for me...which is quite depressing. I'd also be interested in those "positions" that you mentioned in your post that provide you with relief.

    Thank you so much!

    Linda[/QUOTE]

    hi Linda,

    i have to ask, is surgery not an option for you? are you just holding out?

    i realize everyone has their own breaking point, but i'm just wondering what your story is.

    take care

     
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