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    Old 09-11-2004, 06:22 AM   #1
    ROOLMO
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    Spondylolisthesis L5-S1

    Looking for someone who has Spondo L5-S1. I have had this problem most of my life. I am a 51 year old male. Chiropractic care has kept my pain under control until recently. I have researched and spoke to many Dr's about my problem. Since I am in Pharmaceutical Sales, I call on Dr's daily. So I have had many thoughts presented to me. I have been to Ortho's and Neuro surgeons seeking a new procedure or anything that can help. Majority tell me that region does not need to be fused, it needs to stay mobile. I spoke to two people who had surgery and had a fusion performed, now later, they are having problems again. Anyone out there that has had surgery or could share any comments on this would be appreciated.

    Randy
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    Old 09-11-2004, 08:51 AM   #2
    TomL
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    Re: Spondylolisthesis L5-S1

    58 year old male. L5-S1 spondy grade 1 most of my life.
    Very active all my life.
    Tolerated with PT for many years. Normally two or three times a year I was layed up for one week at a time with spasms.
    Three years ago pain in legs was constant and getting worse. Opted for L5-S1 fusion. There was some question about fusing L4-L5 at the time, but we couldn't decide for sure if it was a problem.
    28 months ago fused L5-S1. Dr said the nerve was as inflamed as any he had ever seen. Was still having problems and we had to fuse L4-L5 18 months ago. I asked why the problems developed in L4-L5 and Drs response was the spondy took its toll on the spine before the surgery.
    I am glad I waited as long as I did for the surgery, because the surgery procedures progressed and it was a much better exp and outcome that even a few years ago. I believe the drawback to waiting was the toll on the rest of my spine.
    I have worked extremely hard to regain my active lifestyle and I have been successful. I go to the gym every day as well as walk 4 or 5 miles a day.
    I do have a few problems that the surgery caused. There is lots of stress on my pelvic area that was not there before and I have a certain amount of pelvic pain. I also came out of the surgeries with some numbness in my right foot (never a prob before surgery).
    I am now having some mid back pain. I believe that the years of the spondy and now the inflexibility in my lower back has lots of pressure on my mid back.
    I would do the surgery again if I had the choice, I jus with the surgical procedures would have been in place 20 years ago.

     
    Old 09-11-2004, 11:54 AM   #3
    ROOLMO
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    Re: Spondylolisthesis L5-S1

    TomL,

    Thank you for your response. I would like to know how long after the surgery did you take to recoup? How did the surgery go, days leading up to it, and afterwards. Also, How long were you in the hospital, and length of time out of work.

    Thanks,

    Randy
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    Old 09-11-2004, 04:04 PM   #4
    AlSmith
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    Re: Spondylolisthesis L5-S1

    Randy, I am in pharma sales as well. I can definitely relate to how tough it can be to work with a back problem. I had a far lateral disc herination at L5,S1. Microdiscectomy four weeks ago. You may already be aware of this but I believe the degree of spondo you have will decide if you need surgery. Sounds like you are not there yet. It really does show how much pain you are in when you get to the point you are willing to have surgery. I was really looking forward to it. The first doc I went to misdiagnosed me and as a result, I battled it for 6 months needlessly. I finally asked all the docs in my home town who they would go to. Not who they refer to. New doc was a neuro who has a poor bedside manner but is a the best surgeon in town.

    Since it appears you have been dealing with this for some time, I am curious what adjustment you have made for work. Do you drive much? Do you carry samples? I really hope you get some good aswers. I can't even imagine dealing with things as long as you have. You must be tough as nails. Hang in there and keep us informed.
    Alan

     
    Old 09-14-2004, 06:54 PM   #5
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    Re: Spondylolisthesis L5-S1

    I was lucky enough to retire at 55, so work was not an issue.
    I was in the hospital for three days for each surgery. I believe they would have released me after two days, but each time I had an elevated temperature.
    The first surgery was pretty rough. He did a lot of cutting to clear out room for the nerve. He only put a rod on the right side because there was no room on the left side. I have a pretty high tolerance for pain and was on meds for two weeks after surgery. Some of the worse probs were with my bowels. Had to rush to the urologist a few days after hosp release where he taught me how to catherize (sp?) myself. It sounds a lot worse than it really is.
    Another major problem was the constipation. I had to ask my wife to leave the house to get me some medicine. I am very glad she was not around for my first bowel movement, it was incredible pain.
    I prepared better for the second surg. I visited the urologist and had medicine that I started before surgery to help me urinate. I also started stool softeners before surgery.
    The second surgery involved going in from the front and cutting out L4-L5 disk. I was then cut from the back and the bone growing material was placed along with the facet screws. I was very lucky, I was able to stop all pain meds four days after that surgery.
    I must tell you I was in excellent physical shape before surg and really pushed to have the nurses walk me as much as possible in the hospital.
    I can outwork most 58-year olds, but I have to accept that I will not be able to put a new roof on my house or pour my concrete patio.
    I have pushed too far at times since surgery, but you never know where the limit is unless you cross it.
    Good Luck, you have a tough decision.
    I will be more that happy to answer any questions you have. It is important that you know as much as you possible to help you with your decision.

    Last edited by TomL; 09-14-2004 at 06:55 PM.

     
    Old 09-15-2004, 09:27 PM   #6
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    Re: Spondylolisthesis L5-S1

    Hello
    I'm 9 months post op from an L4 L5 SI Lumbar fusion due to spondy and sciatica. It was the best desision I ever made. I have my life back. I can hike and rockclimb again. I can practice light yoga. I can even lift things and carry a backpack. I can't over do it but as long as it doesn't hurt or strain anything, the Dr. is O.K. with it. I still have soreness if I sit on the couch wrong but otherwise I'm just peachy. Recovery was long(1-3 months) but I feel a little better as each month goes by. No more sciatica or cronic pain!!!!! If I had to do it all over again I would have done it sooner.

    If you decide to do it, get some good referrals and do exactly what the Dr. tells you to do during your recovery.

    Good luck

     
    Old 01-09-2006, 02:39 PM   #7
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    Re: Spondylolisthesis L5-S1

    [QUOTE=LMVLMV]Hello
    I'm 9 months post op from an L4 L5 SI Lumbar fusion due to spondy and sciatica. It was the best desision I ever made. I have my life back. I can hike and rockclimb again. I can practice light yoga. I can even lift things and carry a backpack. I can't over do it but as long as it doesn't hurt or strain anything, the Dr. is O.K. with it. I still have soreness if I sit on the couch wrong but otherwise I'm just peachy. Recovery was long(1-3 months) but I feel a little better as each month goes by. No more sciatica or cronic pain!!!!! If I had to do it all over again I would have done it sooner.

    If you decide to do it, get some good referrals and do exactly what the Dr. tells you to do during your recovery.

    Good luck[/QUOTE]



    Thank you for your reply. I have been living with this pain for a while. I am concerned because several people I have spoke to had fusion done, and now they are in more pain 1-2 yr's later. Hard decision to make. I live on pain pills now. My wife has tried to talk me into surgery. I am 52 now, I would hate to be out 1-3 months. I have been told count on 3-6 months.
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    Old 01-09-2006, 03:09 PM   #8
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    Re: Spondylolisthesis L5-S1

    Roolmo,
    My 16 year old daughter is 7 mo post op a two level fusion for grade II spondy and stenosis. She is feeling back to her old self again. I know it's still early, but she said for the few yucky weeks recovery she had, it was well worth it for her. She no longer has any back or leg pain. She feels great! Good luck . cas

     
    Old 01-09-2006, 04:03 PM   #9
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    Re: Spondylolisthesis L5-S1

    Hi there,
    I am 24 and was diagnosed 4 years ago. It's been a real struggle and throughout the years the pain has gotten worse and affected other parts of my body. After years of trying non-surgical treatement such as physiotherapy, accupuncture, ESI, rehab, core strenthening and general excercise to increase muscles, braces etc, there was just no improvement. I guess I shouldn't say no improvement, I did notice a difference when I started to excersice and stretch everyday, it helped the muscles and got the blood flowing. However, I guess it's kinda a catch 22. I did feel better and worse when I was excercising. My back hurt more etc but I just felt better mentally and physically in a way even though it was also worse. I still do a regular program everyday. However I do have my surgery scheduled for February. I have decided that my quality of life is not duable. I can say with confidence that I tried every option and now it's time to have the fusion and hopefully get my life back. It's not for everybody and I will find out if it's for me. I do suggest do some non-surgical treatment before taking the plunge. It can work for some. Good luck and keep us posted. Take care.
    Kristy.

     
    Old 01-10-2006, 09:49 AM   #10
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    Re: Spondylolisthesis L5-S1

    Hello there. Roolmo and TomL, I can relate to your situation so well. I too have back problems. I don't have what you have but I have Spondylosis and DDD in my L1-5. I also have it in the thoracic area as well. Not to mention DDD with Spondylosis in my C-spine along with nerve degeneration as well. Along with axonal neuropathy and hemangeoma on my L-3. As with yourself I have sciatic problems too. At times it can be very dibilitating. There are times when I can barely roll over in my own bed or get to the floor to reach my phone to call 911! ....when I can't move. I don't know if you've ever experience times like this with your sciatica. Have you? I've been told by my Pain Clinic doc and Neuro that my back is that of a 60yr old. That and they don't typically see what they do in someone of my age until they are in their 60's. I started having these problems in my mid 20's. I'll be 37 next month.
    I also have Degenerative joint disease in both shoulders and my Sacroiliac Joint spaces are narrowing in both hips. Along with hips effusions bilaterally. Left ulnar neuropathy, migraines, Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction, Ostepenia in my lumbar/hips,Fibromyalgia and Myofacial Pain Syndome. I feel like a walking medical disaster!!!
    None of the pain meds I have help the pain. I have bone on bone pain, due to the desicated L-5 disk. I'm currently waiting for the VA to get the funding for my artificial disk for my surgery. I have my concerns about that surgery. Due to my Osteopenia and DDD. I'm in a catch 22 because I can't hardly stretch or do any weight baring exercises because of my back. Most of the time it's an effort just to bend over the sink to brush my teeth or put my shoes on. Of course being rear ended in Nov. of 04 only made things worse. Any suggestions for some sort of exercise? I have GOT to do something! I used to be so active in the Army. Now it's an effort just to do the housework. I vacuumed one day and it sent my neck into a flare and caused the right arm to go numb for 3 days. I don't see Rheumo until April. The VA is sooooooooooo backed up. HELP PLEASE with any suggestions!

     
    Old 01-10-2006, 11:09 AM   #11
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    Re: Spondylolisthesis L5-S1

    You may want to read a book called Healing Back Pain by John E Sarno, did wonders for my back pain.

     
    Old 01-10-2006, 03:48 PM   #12
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    Re: Spondylolisthesis L5-S1

    Thanks funkyfingers. I will get on one of the book websites and check it out. At this point, I'm willing to try anything. I'm getting ready to go in for Radiao Abligation for my Sacroiliac Joints at the Pain Clinic. I'm just waiting for the Nurse to call me back for a date. They have 50 scheduled already and are a little backed up at the moment. The sciatica is causing my rump to hurt! You'd think after 10yrs I'd be used to it by now.

     
    Old 01-11-2006, 09:54 AM   #13
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    Re: Spondylolisthesis L5-S1

    Queen, I don't think one ever gets used to the pain. I had bad pain, in my low back, butt, legs, and feet. I had bad burning pain, and left leg weakness. I can say that most of it is gone. It's been a rough road, but well worth the experience with SArno's work, because it help me really evaluate myself. It is true that most people who give Sarno a chance are desperate and will try anything, that is a good thing. When someone told me about his book, it was different then any other book and site I had reaD. But when I read his book, I KNEW I had my answer. I truly hope you give it a try, and if you have any questions or just want me to share my experience, please feel free to ask.

     
    Old 01-11-2006, 10:28 AM   #14
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    Re: Spondylolisthesis L5-S1

    Tell me more. You have my curiosity up now.

     
    Old 01-11-2006, 01:13 PM   #15
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    Re: Spondylolisthesis L5-S1

    Oh, o.k, if your not familiar with him I suggest doing a search, I know some great links that summarize his theory, but I am not allowed to post them. Sarno believes that most chronic pain is due to one's personality that generates tension. WE accept that stress and worry can cause stomach problems, heaches, etc. Sarno believes life's pressures can cause tension in our lives. He after forty years of research, being a docotr of rehab medicine at the Rusk Institute in New York has found that people who are driven to succeed, worriers, goodists, people pleasures, perfectionists, low-self esteem, etc. generate a lot of tension. These tensions over time cause different states in our bodies. He believes that these tensions cause a reduction in blood flow causing changes in the states of our muscles, nerves, tendons, ligaments,etc. His studies have shown that common diagnosis, such as bulging disc, spondylolysis, spondyloisthesis, scoliosis, herniated disc, disc degeneration, transistional vertebrae, etc., most likely do not cause pain. He will tell you in his book, though that you NEED to be checked out with a physician to rule out serious disease, such as cancer, tumor, etc. I hope you don't think that I'm saying the pain is not real, it's in your head, because I know the pain is real. Sarno believes that repressed anger is a big contributor to the pain.

    He also says that 80% of his patients have had some sort of other tension related symptom like skin irritation, exzcema for example, acid reflux, heachades, migraines, ulcer, pre-ulcer, gastro-intestenal, allergies,asthma, etc. I also have acid reflux, exzcema, allergies, pre ulcer so eveything just made sense to me. I was diagnosed with three bulging discs, spondylolysis, disc degeneration, and other things. I also want to tell you how big fear plays in the part of pain. I always used to have back muscle pain and tightness. But when I was 15, my doc said it was a pulled muscle, and I always used to ignore it, and it went away. When I was 25, the doctor ordered a CT sCan, and that is where I got my diagnosis, and that's when I started to see my spine differently. To be honest, I wasn't in that much pain, but they put fear into me. After that, I stopped playing basketball, baseball, softball, really, anything physical activity. I changed positions in my company. I was fearful of doing any activity, becaus I didn't want surgery. Well, within one year that's when I got the burning pain. I went to an ortho, neuro, chiro, I tried p.t, bracing, supplements, etc. I spent thousands of dollare and who would thought that a ten dollar book would have done the trick. My advice, get the book from the library and give it an honest chance.

     
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