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    Old 03-04-2011, 09:05 AM   #46
    nscrbug
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    Re: I have spondylolisthesis - and need advice

    [QUOTE=TingleFoot;4698632]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[/QUOTE]

    Hi...to answer your question, yes...I guess you could say I am holding out. My pain is concentrated in my back...I have very little to no leg pain at the moment, and it is my understanding that patients with only back pain really don't respond much to surgery for spondy. It's those that have leg pain, that notice a big difference. So with that in mind, I'm just not willing to take the risk. Daily exercise does help me deal with my pain...infact, when I'm exercising is when I feel the least amount of pain. It's when I sit or sleep for any length of time, only THEN does my back pain get exacerbated. I feel tightness, stiffness, and simply cannot move very well after sitting or sleeping. I'm fairly certain that arthritis may be involved here, as well. So I am mainly looking for ways in which I can manage my pain so that I can stay active and enjoy doing the things I love doing - such as riding my bike, swimming, jogging, taking walks, and working out at the gym.

     
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    Old 03-04-2011, 11:54 AM   #47
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    Re: I have spondylolisthesis - and need advice

    Hey There Tinglefoot and Bug,

    Coming to you directly from the hospital... 24 hour post op and I feel GREAT! well, not really great, I am really very sore at the incision, but I HAVE GOTTEN RID OF MY NERVE PAIN!!!!! YYAY!!!! So I at least feel positive.

    Bug, I will and have been meaning to post about the TA's Multifidus and positions, but I was preparing for surgery for the last week and now, as i said I am actually still in the hospital recovering. Give me a couple of days to recover and I will write a glouriously specific acount of what had worked for me previous to my stomachflu/pnemonia that set me back eons.... Kay? i am honestly just a little too buzzed to typr much more...

    Tinglefoot!! Instead of emailing you sepreately I will write here, less brain power for clumsy fingers. Soo.... Surgery was toottaaallllyyy worth it. It is only day one and already I can tell that i am getting better, i do have really bad really intense incision pain, but my nerve pain is gone on the right side, and my left calf and foot are tingly, which is a heck of a lot better than no feeling at all. You are making the right decision, and have confidence. i know it is easy to say, and i won't lie, I was practically bawling as they put me out... It is scary but in my opinion totallly worthit... in a year I could be like nothing everhappened but without surgica lintervention, who knows how long I would live with the pain, 50-60 years? or could live with the pain, 5-20 years?? Anyways, have faith in your decsion.

    Hope you all are doing amazingly great, and if not, please tell me about it. This board has heloed me immensely when it came to preparing for the actualy surgery and the post-op needs, and the emotional support is priceless. Honestly.
    hugs to all!!

     
    Old 03-05-2011, 05:16 AM   #48
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    Re: I have spondylolisthesis - and need advice

    [QUOTE=ssofalvi;4698901]
    Tinglefoot!! Instead of emailing you sepreately I will write here, less brain power for clumsy fingers. Soo.... Surgery was toottaaallllyyy worth it.....[/QUOTE]

    of course it was worth it! you've made the best choice. i'm really excited for you!

    ...and still scared for me.

    talk to you soon.

     
    Old 03-05-2011, 05:31 AM   #49
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    Re: I have spondylolisthesis - and need advice

    [QUOTE=nscrbug;4698795]Hi...to answer your question, yes...I guess you could say I am holding out. [/QUOTE]

    i feel ya. i decided i spent to much time trying to find means of relief instead of living. whether it's exercise or coming home from work, running to the couch and pulling my knees up to my chest so my legs would stop buzzing and waiting for bed time....something had to give.

     
    Old 03-08-2011, 10:34 AM   #50
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    Re: I have spondylolisthesis - and need advice

    Hi,

    I am a 27 year old male who has this:

    L4-L5: Mild facet hypertrophy. No disc herniation. Mild central
    stenosis as a result of facet hypertrophy.

    L5-S1: Bilateral L5 pars defects with mild grade 1 spondylolisthesis.
    Degenerative disc disease with disc dehydration and mild disc bulge.
    No central stenosis. Neural foramina are patent.

    IMPRESSION:
    1. At L5-S1 there are bilateral L5 pars defects with grade 1
    spondylolisthesis. No central or foraminal stenosis.
    2. At L4-L5 there is mild central stenosis as a result of facet
    hypertrophy.

    My heart goes out to everyone who is going through the same thing i'm going through. I don't quite think what I have is as bad as any of you but I do deal with the pain, soreness, tingling on a daily basis. I have learned to live with it for the most part but it seems to have gotten worse over the past couple of months.

    The main symptoms I have are obviously pain and tingling in the legs, some spasms in the buttox area, and some other weird symptoms. I am mainly on here to ask all of my fellow Spondy's if they have had any sexual disfunction and pain in the bowel area. I am a 27 year old male who has a pretty decent libido and have frustratingly not been able to perform to the best of my ability. I have recently been prescribed Viagra which seems to help but it is still frustrating. Another symptom I have is this feeling of intense itching in my rectum anus area. I have tried all of the creams and ointments, been prescribed the stronger stuff as well. Sometimes the itching and fullness feeling inside my rectum is unbearable. Please don't think of me as being crazy. I'm just trying to get a general consensus of some of my symptoms.

    I have decided to strengthen my core muscles and do stretching. I have never been dedicated to doing these things and need to take this more seriously or I might end up needing surgery. The good thing as of the last six months is that I have lost forty pounds due to changing my diet and drinking crap loads of water.

    Well thats enough of my tirade. I hope all of you feel better and have a great day!

    Nate

     
    Old 03-16-2011, 08:33 PM   #51
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    Re: I have spondylolisthesis - and need advice

    [QUOTE=TingleFoot;4699398]of course it was worth it! you've made the best choice. i'm really excited for you!

    ...and still scared for me.

    talk to you soon.[/QUOTE]

    Hi, I am renewing my posts here as I first posted back in 2008, don't even remember what I posted but I have been intrigued by your recent posts. I too have Spondy, Grade 1 although about 8 months ago, I would have thought it was grade 5 after writhing in pain in bed for two months unable to even sit because of radiculopathy of right side. I had two epidurals, first one did nothing but the 2nd one lasted 6 months. I even played a little golf during that time but in early February, I knew it was coming back but thankfully not nearly as bad as the first time. I have been going to a chiropractor and am currently undergoing non-invasive spinal decompression along with core strengthening exercises, natural supplements, ice, electrical stimulation, and back manipulations. My orthopedic surgeon says the only thing that will stabalize my back is fusion. I am hard-headed and want surgery to be the absolute last resort and thus am trying any and everything I can to avoid it. The chiropractor says strengthening the muscles around the damaged disc will help to keep it from slipping further. I of course want to believe him but don't really know if that will occur at my age, soon to be 65. There always seems to be a discrepancy between the medical doctors findings and the chiropractor and I guess it comes down to bragging rights but in the end I will be the one making the final decision.
    I am curious if you had the surgery you said was scheduled for this month? My pain(for now) has decreased from about an 8 to around 3 or 4 and none when sitting(whew, what a relief). I have about 5 or 6 decompression treatments left so I will see how they go. I'm anxious to get back on the golf course but also afraid. Let us hear how you are faring with either surgery or other treatments.
    Thanks

     
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    Old 03-16-2011, 09:45 PM   #52
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    Re: I have spondylolisthesis - and need advice

    I'm curious if your surgeon has given you the go ahead to play golf. Particularly if you regard surgery as a last resort, I would think that golf would rank right up there with things you would want to avoid. Any kind of twisting is hard on the spine. When you are unstable to begin with, I would think you run the risk of making the slippage worse.

     
    Old 03-16-2011, 10:06 PM   #53
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    Re: I have spondylolisthesis - and need advice

    [QUOTE=tetonteri66;4708420]I'm curious if your surgeon has given you the go ahead to play golf. Particularly if you regard surgery as a last resort, I would think that golf would rank right up there with things you would want to avoid. Any kind of twisting is hard on the spine. When you are unstable to begin with, I would think you run the risk of making the slippage worse.[/QUOTE]

    Hi. Well my orthopedic surgeon said to work on my short game and the chiropractor said he wants me to play after all my treatments are completed so he can see if I hurt when I swing or what other part of my game bothers me...I will not do anything right now as I have not completed my therapy...bottom line is I don't plan to hurt myself. When I feel I am beginning to hurt, I will stop playing. This spondy is a day to day kind of problem. When I had the epidural 7 months ago, I painted, cleaned house from top to bottom, etc. Really was a great feeling but I reinjured myself in of all places aquatic therapy. The pain was more in my back; before that and now more in my buttucks and down my right leg. I get really frustrated because I want my quality of life back...I don't expect to run a marathon or anything but just being able to drive, go to church, etc sometimes I can't do but when I do feel well, I try to take advantage of it. Good luck to you.

     
    Old 03-16-2011, 11:23 PM   #54
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    Re: I have spondylolisthesis - and need advice

    [QUOTE=TingleFoot;4332358]I’d like to apologize in advance for this long-winded post….but I’m asking for input so I might as well give you all the info, right? here goes….

    About two years ago I began having a dull nagging pain deep in my right butt cheek/lower back. I figured I was sleeping funny or the mattress was going bad. It would better some days, worse others. after a few months, when I realized I couldn’t stand more than a few minutes at a time, I finally when to my general doctor. He poked & prodded and I asked him if this is something I should go to a chiropractor for. He said he felt around and didn’t feel anything a chiro could fix. Fine. He ordered me to get xrays and sent me to physical therapy. I did physical therapy for a few weeks…until things seemed to get worse.

    Somewhere around this point I was told to get and MRI and was given the name of a neurosurgeon and an orthopedic surgeon.

    The report on my MRI reads like this:
    [I][SIZE="2"]
    L1-L2: There is no canal or foraminal stenosis.

    L2-L3: There is no canal or foraminal stenosis.

    L3-L4: There is no canal or foraminal stenosis.

    L4-L5: There is no canal or foraminal stenosis.

    L5-S1: There is bilateral pars defects and mild to moderate facet hypertrophy with mild anterior listhesis of L5 on S1. There is disk desiccation with unroofing of disk material and superiorly directed disk protrusion with an annular tear, overall spondylotic disease burden causes mild bilateral foraminal stenosis with mild compression of the exiting right L5 nerve root within the neural foramen by a combination of the hypertrophied disk and facet material. There is no canal stenosis at this level.[/SIZE][/I]

    So I met with the neurosurgeon, he took one look at my MRI and said ‘oh, yeah, you’re going to need surgery – it’s inevitable’. Well, I practically ran out of his office.

    I went to the orthopedic guy and he told me I may need surgery but he wanted to try less evasive methods first. He told me to get epidural injections. At this point the pain was traveling down my right leg, and there was occasional tingle in my foot. After I went to my 3rd injection – with minimal relief – I snapped, came to my senses and said to myself ‘what the hell am I doing? This isn’t [I]fixing[/I] anything – even if I DO get some relief’. Meanwhile, a few people said I should really give chiropractic a chance. So, I called my orthopedic guy and asked his nurse if I could talk to him about seeing a chiro. She said ‘make an appointment’. I explained I just want to talk to him – ‘make an appointment’. Well, I can’t wait a month just to talk to him…so, I made an executive decision and made an appointment with a chiro.

    The chiropractor looked at all my info and he was the first person to finally tell me ‘you have what’s called spondylolisthesis’. Yay! A name for this madness! He said they treat many people like me with good results. again, willing to try anything, I jumped in. each visit they did a quick manipulation, and stimulation and started giving me stretches to do. I started getting some range of motion back. But still, that pain and tingling was still there. after a few weeks, the chiro decide to try traction. what a scary day that was. After a few sessions with traction, I did see some relief. But it came with a price. If the traction was too intense, either my hips would hurt, or my lower back would kill me for a couple days. But if the traction was ‘just right’ I’d have some relief. So, I started asking about an inversion table. I asked both docs at the chiro office seperately what they thought and both said the inversion table would help. So, when insurance ran out on the chrio visits, I bought an inversion table. I use it for 5 or 6 minutes each evening. I have to be careful, just like traction, if I go too long or invert too much – it’ll hurt me for days. If I do it ‘just right’ – it’s helps.

    Also, about 3 months ago, I started doing more intense core excersizes & stretches. Everything I read said ‘strengthen your core’. If anything, this has helped with getting more range of motion back, and has definitely helped correct my posture. But still, the pain. The leg pain and tingle

    So, now it’s a year later. Some days I feel like the excersizes and stretching and inverting helps. Then some days I just wanna lie on the floor and put myself in position that doesn’t hurt and wait for the next day. I’m back to thinking I should get surgery. I met another orthopedic surgeon the other day. He said I’ve taken all the right measures and I’m at a fork in the road. I need to decide. When ever they start talking about rods, and screws and fusion – I go blank. it's overwhelming. I can’t wrap my head around it. ….then a couple days pass, and I’m lying on the floor thinking, ‘if rods & screws will fix this – CUT ME OPEN NOW!’ he said that because i'm only 40, i'm not overweight, and i dont smoke, that i'm a good candidate. that i'll recover quickly.

    I need input. I need advice. Anything. i'm trying to find someone who has the same problem as me...or something close. but that is on the other side of this. that can give me advice.

    i'm only 40 and havent done the the things i love in 2 years...fishing, tennis & playing with my kids.

    Thanks for reading….[/QUOTE]

    A sponylolisthesis is the 5th lumbar vertebrae slidiing forward on the sacrum. Many folks have this usually congenital condition and never have pain. Years ago lumbar corsetts were given and some recovered well if they wore it for some time. I think there are 5 grades from minimal to almost slipping off. Fusion of the L/5 and sacrum is probably the most successful of lumbar surgeries. Talking of core muscles, you see it in magazines, TV, every advert for keep fit and in reality seems to be useless for preventing pain of spinal origin.
    James

     
    Old 03-17-2011, 04:09 PM   #55
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    Re: I have spondylolisthesis - and need advice

    [QUOTE=dagnes62;4708388]Hi, I am renewing my posts here as I first posted back in 2008, don't even remember what I posted but I have been intrigued by your recent posts. I too have Spondy, Grade 1 although about 8 months ago, I would have thought it was grade 5 after writhing in pain in bed for two months unable to even sit because of radiculopathy of right side. I had two epidurals, first one did nothing but the 2nd one lasted 6 months. I even played a little golf during that time but in early February, I knew it was coming back but thankfully not nearly as bad as the first time. I have been going to a chiropractor and am currently undergoing non-invasive spinal decompression along with core strengthening exercises, natural supplements, ice, electrical stimulation, and back manipulations. My orthopedic surgeon says the only thing that will stabalize my back is fusion. I am hard-headed and want surgery to be the absolute last resort and thus am trying any and everything I can to avoid it. The chiropractor says strengthening the muscles around the damaged disc will help to keep it from slipping further. I of course want to believe him but don't really know if that will occur at my age, soon to be 65. There always seems to be a discrepancy between the medical doctors findings and the chiropractor and I guess it comes down to bragging rights but in the end I will be the one making the final decision.
    I am curious if you had the surgery you said was scheduled for this month? My pain(for now) has decreased from about an 8 to around 3 or 4 and none when sitting(whew, what a relief). I have about 5 or 6 decompression treatments left so I will see how they go. I'm anxious to get back on the golf course but also afraid. Let us hear how you are faring with either surgery or other treatments.
    Thanks[/QUOTE]

    nice timing! i'm 1 week post op and was just thinking i need to come here an follow up.

    my surgery went very well. the next morning my surgeon visited me - and through my haze - i recall her telling me my L5 was completely detached. she expected to see it by all the imagine she's been looking at....but to hear that. wow.

    that day after was brutal. nothing could have prepared me for the pain the next day. i really did feel like a truck backed over my mid section over & over again. when it came time for the physical therapist to sit me up for the first time and get me to a chair. i can't explain it. i started to black out twice - they say mostly from the intense pain, and heavy meds. i almost puked on them too. that'll learn ya! i made it to the chair and followed orders. get up when ever i could and walk as much as possible.

    the good news is, it (the pain) improves by leaps and bounds every day. i'm 7 days out and walking up & down my street (at an 86 y/o woman's pace ) a few times a day. i even cooked dinner tonight!

    i'm on vicodin and flexeril at the moment. occasionally, i get a slight twang on my siatic, reminding me of why i chose surgery. it's in the same spots, the pinch point deep in my buttock, my right calf, and my right foot. but it's just a quick flash. i dont know what that means. i dont know if that means, is there is permanent damage? does a nerve heal after being pinched for 2 years? with that go away or get worse? i have questions for my surgeon - i see her in a week or so, with new xrays.

    of course if anyone here can offer insight to the above questions, that'd be great.

    i'm not ready to jump into the 'best decision i ever made column' just yet. but i can definitely say i'm happy so far. i'm a little nervous about still feeling the sciatic thing. but look, my sciatic pain went from a 6 or 8 every day to a 0 or 1 (at the moment). i cant ask for more than that, can i?

     
    Old 03-17-2011, 04:18 PM   #56
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    Re: I have spondylolisthesis - and need advice

    Just for the record, spondylolisthesis is not limited to L5-S1. It can be at other levels as well.
    __________________
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    Old 03-17-2011, 06:29 PM   #57
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    Re: I have spondylolisthesis - and need advice

    [QUOTE=TingleFoot;4709037]nice timing! i'm 1 week post op and was just thinking i need to come here an follow up.

    my surgery went very well. the next morning my surgeon visited me - and through my haze - i recall her telling me my L5 was completely detached. she expected to see it by all the imagine she's been looking at....but to hear that. wow.

    that day after was brutal. nothing could have prepared me for the pain the next day. i really did feel like a truck backed over my mid section over & over again. when it came time for the physical therapist to sit me up for the first time and get me to a chair. i can't explain it. i started to black out twice - they say mostly from the intense pain, and heavy meds. i almost puked on them too. that'll learn ya! i made it to the chair and followed orders. get up when ever i could and walk as much as possible.

    the good news is, it (the pain) improves by leaps and bounds every day. i'm 7 days out and walking up & down my street (at an 86 y/o woman's pace ) a few times a day. i even cooked dinner tonight!

    i'm on vicodin and flexeril at the moment. occasionally, i get a slight twang on my siatic, reminding me of why i chose surgery. it's in the same spots, the pinch point deep in my buttock, my right calf, and my right foot. but it's just a quick flash. i dont know what that means. i dont know if that means, is there is permanent damage? does a nerve heal after being pinched for 2 years? with that go away or get worse? i have questions for my surgeon - i see her in a week or so, with new xrays.

    of course if anyone here can offer insight to the above questions, that'd be great.

    i'm not ready to jump into the 'best decision i ever made column' just yet. but i can definitely say i'm happy so far. i'm a little nervous about still feeling the sciatic thing. but look, my sciatic pain went from a 6 or 8 every day to a 0 or 1 (at the moment). i cant ask for more than that, can i?[/QUOTE]

    Wow, glad to hear you are so much better. Do you know how much therapy you will need and for how long? When I had arthroscopic knee surery in 2006, I had therapy for one full year so hope yours doesn't last that long. I guess the one good thing about surgery is that you are knocked out and don't know anything, but I am like you, I would be somewhat concerned to think I could still feel those twinges in the areas you most want to be gone so check with your surgeon and keep us posted. I probably will have to have surgery but sure hope it is farther down the road.
    Good luck and good healing.

     
    Old 03-17-2011, 06:56 PM   #58
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    Re: I have spondylolisthesis - and need advice

    Nerves heal VERY slow.so its normal after back surgery to have some old symptoms stick around for a while andnew symptoms pop up as the body tissues swell and adjust.

    I had L3-S1 fusion 2/2010 and didn't do PT until October. I now have some muscle aches that I'll try to help out by pulling out the home exercises they gave me.

    Be sure to know how many PT sessions your insurance provides per year and when your insurances year runs. I get 20 PT sessions per year and my insurance year runs 1/1-12/31 of every yea. Most are sililar but I've seen them run 6/1-5/31 or 9/1-8/31 for some education based employers.

    Right now ideally I need some knee PT bit opted out as I don't want to run out of PT by midyear given my wacky medical history.
    __________________
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    Old 03-19-2011, 02:54 AM   #59
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    Re: I have spondylolisthesis - and need advice

    I too have degenerative disc disease and spondylolisthesis. I live with chronic pain and have tried all the treatments discussed in this thread. What I wonder is why my doctors dont feel that surgery is an option for me. I am about to get another mri after 6 years and ask to see another surgeon. What questions can I ask besides , am I a candidate for surgery and why not? Maybe they feel its a 50-50 chance of making things better or that my situation isnt bad enough. I dont get it cuz my symptoms and diagnosis sounds like the rest of you who have had or been offered surgery. Anyway I am glad I found this board and hope to get some ideas on what to do besides feel sorry for myself, take lots of drugs, or just live with pain daily.


    Debbie

    Last edited by ilovemybear; 03-19-2011 at 02:55 AM.

     
    Old 03-19-2011, 05:03 AM   #60
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    Re: I have spondylolisthesis - and need advice

    If the MRI shows grade 2-4 spondylolisthesis then set up consultations with at least two surgeons (Orthopedic Spine Surgeon and/or Neurosurgeon. A grade 1 spondylolisthesis is less likely a candidate for surgery unless symptoms are directly related. Physical therapy can be helpful for core strength .
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