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    Old 03-19-2011, 12:21 PM   #61
    dagnes62
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    Re: I have spondylolisthesis - and need advice

    [QUOTE=ilovemybear;4710164]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[/QUOTE]

    Hi, do you know what grade you have? It goes from lowest,0, to highest,5. Mine is grade 1 but at times feels like a grade 5. I do believe I am getting better after 17 treatments of non-surgical spinal decompression. I have 3 to 5 more to go. Right now I feel as well as I did after the 2nd epidural, doing more things around the house, going out for dinner, and walking better without as much pain so I am hopeful this will at least last as long as the epidural did, 6 months. Since you have sustained for 6 yrs. maybe they feel you can handle the pain and are not pushing for the surgery until absolutely necessary. Maybe others who have undergone surgery can give you better advice but see what your doctors are suggesting. Did you also have the non-surgical spinal decompression? If so, how did it work for you. Good luck.

     
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    Old 03-19-2011, 02:30 PM   #62
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    Re: I have spondylolisthesis - and need advice

    [QUOTE=dagnes62;4710417]Hi, do you know what grade you have? It goes from lowest,0, to highest,5. Mine is grade 1 but at times feels like a grade 5. I do believe I am getting better after 17 treatments of non-surgical spinal decompression. I have 3 to 5 more to go. Right now I feel as well as I did after the 2nd epidural, doing more things around the house, going out for dinner, and walking better without as much pain so I am hopeful this will at least last as long as the epidural did, 6 months. Since you have sustained for 6 yrs. maybe they feel you can handle the pain and are not pushing for the surgery until absolutely necessary. Maybe others who have undergone surgery can give you better advice but see what your doctors are suggesting. Did you also have the non-surgical spinal decompression? If so, how did it work for you. Good luck. [/QUOTE]

    Is "non surgical spinal decompression" an expensive name for traction?
    James

     
    Old 03-19-2011, 07:18 PM   #63
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    Re: I have spondylolisthesis - and need advice

    [QUOTE=james079;4710486]Is "non surgical spinal decompression" an expensive name for traction?
    James[/QUOTE]

    Pretty much but it is more advanced now...no hanging from doors, etc .
    The system is called DRX9000 and you lie on a table that is stretched apart while being harnessed in at the waist...I started out with 50 lbs now up to 95. I have no back pain now but still slight tightness in back of thigh which I hope will eventually go away. If I can get 6 mos or longer of pain free out of it I will be satisfied.

     
    Old 03-20-2011, 07:47 AM   #64
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    Re: I have spondylolisthesis - and need advice

    [QUOTE=dagnes62;4710613]Pretty much but it is more advanced now...no hanging from doors, etc .
    The system is called DRX9000 and you lie on a table that is stretched apart while being harnessed in at the waist...I started out with 50 lbs now up to 95. I have no back pain now but still slight tightness in back of thigh which I hope will eventually go away. If I can get 6 mos or longer of pain free out of it I will be satisfied.[/QUOTE]

    My PT says it's the same thing they are doing with my neck in PT & a heck of a lot cheaper that way.

     
    Old 03-20-2011, 09:08 AM   #65
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    Re: I have spondylolisthesis - and need advice

    I've been using an inversion table at home on a daily basis for the past 4 years, which is basically another form of traction. When I first started using it, I had horrible sciatica down my right leg into my calf...felt like my skin was literally being ripped off the bone. Within 4 months of using the table everyday, my sciatica had improved so much, that I barely noticed it...and it's been that way ever since. I still use my inversion table everyday, mainly because it helps my back feel better.

     
    Old 03-20-2011, 10:10 AM   #66
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    Re: I have spondylolisthesis - and need advice

    I have an inversion table but haven't been really using it.

    I think they can be beneficial, but it's important to point out that there are contraindications, ie high blood pressure, for one.

    I think people really should check with their doctors before trying them.

     
    Old 03-20-2011, 12:18 PM   #67
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    Re: I have spondylolisthesis - and need advice

    [QUOTE=sassy411;4710882]My PT says it's the same thing they are doing with my neck in PT & a heck of a lot cheaper that way.[/QUOTE]

    I'm sure it is somewhat similar and hope you are getting satisfactory results...does the PT 'work' your neck continuously for 30 minutes because that is what the machine does. But 'chacun a son gout'(each to his own, French) as long as the job gets done and we r feeling better without surgery. Good Luck.

     
    Old 03-20-2011, 02:39 PM   #68
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    Re: I have spondylolisthesis - and need advice

    [QUOTE=sassy411;4710882]My PT says it's the same thing they are doing with my neck in PT & a heck of a lot cheaper that way.[/QUOTE]

    Your PT is right, traction is traction whether it is done with the hands or a machine or if it is a $500 machine or a $100000 one. I spoke to a chiro recently and he said that a few years ago that they were selling the DRX at 50 a month and now 1 a month. I suspect that the sales are down because you can pick up a used and almost new one for one third of the price. With the medical world and insurance companies and medicare relying on evidence based results it seems that the DRX results are pretty poor. PTs seem to be giving less and less traction in recent years. Evidenced based is often at odds with testimonials, you never see an advert saying thier product is useless. In additions chiros are suing the DRX company for saying they will make their fortunes when they do not. Many patients are suing chiros for bad results. Chiros are looking foolish these days, before the DRX it was all subluxations, now they claim that with the DRX discs are sucked back in, together with oxygen and water. They obviously have no concept of physiology.
    James

     
    Old 03-20-2011, 04:04 PM   #69
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    Re: I have spondylolisthesis - and need advice

    My PT uses a machine that pushes & pulls continuously. We're doing my cervical spine right now, it feels quite good.

    She straps me in & sets a timer & off it goes.

     
    Old 03-21-2011, 02:48 AM   #70
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    Re: I have spondylolisthesis - and need advice

    I dont know what level of spondylolisthesis I have but I will try to find out. I am supposed to get another mri soon and I also requested to talk to a surgeon as well. I have been on disability for 6 years now and really nothing has helped. I am up to 4 norco a day and still they pain and spasms are very bad at times. This past week the pain has barely gone away at all. I was wondering if most or all of you are on disability and if so how do you get your insurance to pay for spinal decompression or other expensive treatments. I am low income as well since I cant work and my insurance does not cover chiropractic or massage and the PT was not very helpful. I have a tens machine at home and thats primarily what they use at the pt sessions and so does the chiropractor as well as adjustments. I really like the massage the best but its not covered and adds up over time. I try ice. I try heat. I sleep alot at nite. I take muscle relaxers and pain killers and have had those epideral injections many times. I think I have had nerve root blocks and fuset joint injections but nothing works. I dont know what to do. When I feel as bad as I do now life is very depressing and its hard to cope. I think people cant understand the pain since they cant see it. I almost wish I was bleeding and than people might help me more or realize how bad it feels.

     
    Old 03-21-2011, 06:34 AM   #71
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    Re: I have spondylolisthesis - and need advice

    I've been on disability since April 2009. Started with my employers Short Term Disability and now on Long Term Disability. I applied for SSDI in August 2010 and was denied 12/2010 and the attorney applied for reconsideration 01/2011.

    I have a great Pain Management doctor who has me on a mix of long acting Med (MSContin) and break thru (Percocet ) and neurontin and soma (muscle relaxer). My insurance is still via my employer and I easily had my lumbar fusion of 02/2010 approved as well as my upcoming carpal tunnel surgeries. Although still unable to work most days I do relatively well. There are days I have to cancel plans or drag myself to appointments (PM doctor requires monthly visits).

    I no longer do epidurals as I don't react well to the steroids (just had cortisone in my knee and it was a bad week after) and occasionally do physical therapy especially if I getto the end of the year and have sessions left over (I get 20 PT sessions per year). I would NEVER do chiropractic. Spondylolisthesis is inherently a spine instability and thus I don't want a chiropractor to touch my spine and potentially change my spine structure. I briefly went to one right before I found out how bad my neck was and that he could have done severe damage. It did take me a while to find THE right orthopedic spine surgeon but I've now found a great one and see others in his practice as well for my knees and hands.
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    Old 03-21-2011, 10:42 AM   #72
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    Re: I have spondylolisthesis - and need advice

    [QUOTE=ilovemybear;4711539]I dont know what level of spondylolisthesis I have but I will try to find out. I am supposed to get another mri soon and I also requested to talk to a surgeon as well. I have been on disability for 6 years now and really nothing has helped. I am up to 4 norco a day and still they pain and spasms are very bad at times. This past week the pain has barely gone away at all. I was wondering if most or all of you are on disability and if so how do you get your insurance to pay for spinal decompression or other expensive treatments. I am low income as well since I cant work and my insurance does not cover chiropractic or massage and the PT was not very helpful. I have a tens machine at home and thats primarily what they use at the pt sessions and so does the chiropractor as well as adjustments. I really like the massage the best but its not covered and adds up over time. I try ice. I try heat. I sleep alot at nite. I take muscle relaxers and pain killers and have had those epideral injections many times. I think I have had nerve root blocks and fuset joint injections but nothing works. I dont know what to do. When I feel as bad as I do now life is very depressing and its hard to cope. I think people cant understand the pain since they cant see it. I almost wish I was bleeding and than people might help me more or realize how bad it feels.[/QUOTE]

    I would have thought adjustments would be contraindicated with what really is an unstable back. As for TNS, probably useless, were popular many years ago but best evidence is that it feels good thats all. Another thought, years ago corsettes were used in unstable spinal conditions with seemingly good results. They became unpopular with the advent of "Core Muscle Strength" in that the muscles would weaken and thus more pain if you continued to wear one. Evidence shows that the folks with the strongest core muscles have the same amount of back episodes and outcomes as the the weak ones. If I had a an unstable spine I would get into a back brace and see what happens. Im sure there are many in cupboards in your local hospital or PT depts that you could borrow for a trial.
    James

     
    Old 03-21-2011, 07:09 PM   #73
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    Re: I have spondylolisthesis - and need advice

    [QUOTE=ilovemybear;4711539]I dont know what level of spondylolisthesis I have but I will try to find out. I am supposed to get another mri soon and I also requested to talk to a surgeon as well. I have been on disability for 6 years now and really nothing has helped. I am up to 4 norco a day and still they pain and spasms are very bad at times. This past week the pain has barely gone away at all. I was wondering if most or all of you are on disability and if so how do you get your insurance to pay for spinal decompression or other expensive treatments. I am low income as well since I cant work and my insurance does not cover chiropractic or massage and the PT was not very helpful. I have a tens machine at home and thats primarily what they use at the pt sessions and so does the chiropractor as well as adjustments. I really like the massage the best but its not covered and adds up over time. I try ice. I try heat. I sleep alot at nite. I take muscle relaxers and pain killers and have had those epideral injections many times. I think I have had nerve root blocks and fuset joint injections but nothing works. I dont know what to do. When I feel as bad as I do now life is very depressing and its hard to cope. I think people cant understand the pain since they cant see it. I almost wish I was bleeding and than people might help me more or realize how bad it feels.[/QUOTE]

    Hi, I feel for everyone on this site who is in tremendous pain...I do know what u are going thru but so glad for me that at least for now, the pain has subsided from what it was a few months ago. I really don't know what to tell u to do...I am retired from my position as a social worker and receive retirement benefits and had no trouble with the insurance paying over half of my treatment...I guess I am lucky in that respect but if it hadn't paid, I probably would have had a third epidural. I am sorry those did not work for you...ask your doctor what your options are and it is possible(as mine once suggested to me) that a laminectomy may need to be done to make room for the nerve...
    I really never know what I will read when I come on this site, it is so scary and depressing to hear such horrow stories...I never knew how important my spine was until now and I have done a lot of sports, dancing, etc but never once considered what I may have been doing to my spine. Good luck!

     
    Old 03-27-2011, 06:11 AM   #74
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    Re: I have spondylolisthesis - and need advice

    just an update here...

    i'm 2.5 weeks post op now. at about 1.5 weeks i started having some bad sciatica. at first i thought i might have pushed myself too far on one of my walks. but the sciatica was different than what i was used to. it felt like my entire hamstring was being pulled and the most pain was behind my knee. so i called into my surgeon's office and spoke with her assistant. he told me that it's not uncommon, that the nerve was angry from being moved in surgery and to give it a couple days. so i rolled with it and sure enough it started to improve. doing much better. my legs are starting to feel like jello from lack of use. i'm walking as much as i can - but still, my legs arent used to such inactivity. but i have to force myself and remind myself to slow down. to heal. i'll get there.

    overall, i think i'm doing great. slowly but surely.

    oh, when i had him on the phone, i could hear him shuffling papers and he said 'oh, yes, i remember, i assisted in your surgery!'
    i said, 'you did?, and?....'
    there was a pause and then he said 'yeah, it was really bad'
    i laughed and asked what he meant and started to explain how much my vertebrae was out of place. yikes. but he said it went well and he anticipated good things for me. so that was nice.

    i went for a new xray a couple days ago, but havent seen it yet. i go for my first follow-up with my surgeon tomorrow! i cant wait to see her! i may have to give her a big hug.

     
    Old 03-27-2011, 08:34 AM   #75
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    Re: I have spondylolisthesis - and need advice

    I have also had different nerve sensations since my surgery but in general things are much better. I am still on a pension and find it hard to get by financially. I would like to go back to work again some time but am fearful of hurting myself again. I still have some pain and the nerves play up a bit after I exercise too much. I also make sure I stretch my hamstrings and calves but I am not sure that I do enough. It gets frustrating at times when I wish I had never hurt myself but I can't change the past or who I was then and now. I just hope my future will be better. 9 years of chronic pain takes it's toll. I am a bit sad tonight and can't sleep. It's 1.30 am here and I am still wide awake. I wish I had someone to talk with but am alone as usual.
    Well I hope everyone has some relief from their pain. Bye then.
    Allan
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