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  • I have spondylolisthesis - and need advice

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    Old 01-27-2011, 03:20 PM   #16
    teteri66
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    Re: I have spondylolisthesis - and need advice

    Good luck. Patients with a spondylolisthesis at least statistically show the best success rates.

    Just be sure to be patient once you have the surgery and promise yourself you will do everything in recovery that your surgeon has suggested...and that you will follow the surgeon's post-surgical instructions exactly!!

    Some people are not prepared with the knowledge that recovery can take a long time. They feel better and are in a hurry to do everything they feel they've missed out on. The result is they do too much too soon and end up causing damage that sets back their recovery, and in some cases even lessens their chances for a successful surgery.

     
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    Old 01-27-2011, 04:20 PM   #17
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    Re: I have spondylolisthesis - and need advice

    Tinglefoot, you must be almost relieved to have made your decision. You really have tried about everything to no avail/ You've seen several doctors, weighed their opinions, and have now found a doctor in whom you can place your trust. That's awesome.

    I wanted to tell you that at the top of the board there are a couple of "stickeys" that have wonderful information about things you can do to make life easier around the house while you recuperate. There are 2 devices that I particularly love....one raises the toilet seat and the other is a tool used to pick things up off the floor, called a reacher or grabber. It is immensely helpful especially if you are by yourself and need something.


    Just take your time recuperating and follow your doctors instructions to a "T".

    Best of luck to you, and please keep us posted.

    Carol

     
    Old 01-28-2011, 05:50 AM   #18
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    Re: I have spondylolisthesis - and need advice

    thank you both.

    honestly, it was like the clouds cleared when i came to my decision. it came after another break down. i was driving home from work a few days ago....got a shooting pain down my leg for no reason...i broke down in tears, which has happened a few time the last year....but that was it. i looked back at the last two years, mentally patted myself on the back for doing everything in my power to try and fix it myself....but decided i need to put it in someone else hands.

    hell, i just smiled as i typed that. it feels good.

    i'm going to think about it more over the weekend. talk to family. but i plan on scheduling it after the weekend.

     
    Old 01-28-2011, 06:43 AM   #19
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    Re: I have spondylolisthesis - and need advice

    [FONT="Comic Sans MS"]I wasn't a member of the board when you first started posting about your "journey," but from what I have read, it certainly seems you have tried every possible conservative treatment. As one who resisted surgery until I had no choice but to go ahead with it, I can tell you that it is possible to wait too long. When there is a certain inevitability to it, you might as well move ahead now, before your muscles atrophy and you become so de-conditioned that the recovery is just that much more difficult.

    The only caveat I would make is to be sure you have a surgeon that you trust and are comfortable with, and who has the credentials and experience to do the best job possible!! It sounds like you feel that is the case...so I think you can be comfortable with your decision. You are aware that this is not an "easy fix" and that the recovery period is long...so you are going into it with your eyes wide open. You'll do great!![/FONT]

     
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    Old 02-03-2011, 07:48 AM   #20
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    Re: I have spondylolisthesis - and need advice

    [B]March 11, 2011[/B]

    that's my surgery date! the day i take a big step towards kicking this thing's butt. i'm excited and scared all at the same time.

    ironically, the day i called and made the appt, things changed. the pain changed, it's been very painful at the pinch (deep in right buttock) to the point where i have to think about every move...and if i have to bend over to pick something up, i have to go really slowly and put my right foot and leg out behind me and hold on to something. and my feet burn/freeze more than usual. it's like it heard the phone call and wants to mess with me a little more....

    bring it on.

    Last edited by TingleFoot; 02-03-2011 at 07:48 AM. Reason: typos

     
    Old 02-03-2011, 01:33 PM   #21
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    Re: I have spondylolisthesis - and need advice

    In a way, that's better than having the pain suddenly go away. Then you really don't know if you're making the right decision or whether you should wait.

     
    Old 02-04-2011, 04:29 AM   #22
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    Re: I have spondylolisthesis - and need advice

    [QUOTE=tetonteri66;4676264]In a way, that's better than having the pain suddenly go away. Then you really don't know if you're making the right decision or whether you should wait. [/QUOTE]

    well, unfortunately, that happens often too. like today for example. it's like a roller coaster. on mornings where i feel good, i question my decision.

    but when i say 'feel good' i still have some pain or tingling with an occasional [B]ZING[/B] when i move wrong which is a good reminder that i'm doing the right thing so i can get on with my life.

    i also keep reminding myself, that that sciatic is being pinched...and i'm afraid of permanent damage.

    (i think i'm looking for reassurance now - heheh) *sigh*

     
    Old 02-04-2011, 05:15 AM   #23
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    Re: I have spondylolisthesis - and need advice

    I don't know if you have actual instability with your spondylolisthesis, but my guess is that you do, and that's one good reason why your pain changes. I had spondy at L4-5 and my pain even changed legs...but not daily. It was like I had horrendous pain in my right buttock and leg and foot for months. Then one day the right side was fine, but I had the same symptoms, only slightly less intense in my left leg....and it would move around.

    You are a very good candidate for surgery. You only need one level fused. Your radiology report above L5 looks good. You do not have stenosis from L1 through L5. There's no such thing to the patient as an easy fusion...but your looks to be pretty straight-forward as fusions go.

    I bet you'll do just fine and will get relief from all your leg symptoms. My nerves were compressed for over five years. I had a three level fusion in June, and after the 4th day my nerve pain was gone...and so far, has not returned. I still have a bit of numbness in my toes, but other than that, all is back to normal....

    Once you get through the initial couple weeks, I think you'll be glad you had surgery.

     
    Old 02-04-2011, 08:20 AM   #24
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    Re: I have spondylolisthesis - and need advice

    you've described me down to a T. since this has started, it's all been about my right side. recently (maybe 4 months ago) i started noticing symptoms shifting to the left but it was just the hot/cold tingles in the foot. and the right side symptons almost seem to turn off temporarily.

    funny, as i type this...my 'feel good' day is slipping away from me. i'm starting to get dull pain donw the right.

    march 11...march 11.....c'mon march 11.......

     
    Old 02-15-2011, 11:54 AM   #25
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    Re: I have spondylolisthesis - and need advice

    yup, so now i'm having second thoughts.

    as soon as i made the appt, two weeks ago, things swung around. actually, to the point where i felt better than i've felt in an entire year - for 5 days straight. today, is an exception tho - rt leg hurt while sitting. when i walk, i'm good. the hot/cold feet flashes have subsided. no tingles.

    but does this all mean that the core excersizes have taken me another step forward? should i wait? cancel the surgery? i'm at a loss. part of me wants to do this now - knowing the younger i am, the better my recovery will be. what if after another 6 months, excersizing stops the rt buttock burning and hamstring pain? what IF? even still, this will never be 'fixed'. it'll always be there.

    i'm not expecting any answers here, i'm just...typing out loud but if anyone has any advice, i'm listening.

    again, my fusion surgery is scheduled for 3/11, i have and appt for final question, etc with the surgeon on 3/1 - so i was gonna give myself til then to make my final decision.

    *sigh*

     
    Old 02-15-2011, 12:17 PM   #26
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    Re: I have spondylolisthesis - and need advice

    While core exercises help, the only this g that can fix spondylolisthesis is a fusion to stabilize the area. I hate to see people wait, then have resurgence of symptoms, and perhaps find their insurance will not cover it (change in ins co, plan provisions, etc).

    Most everyone has a pre-surgical honeymoon period where they suddenly feel better. Then as you said hints of the symptoms return.

    If now is a good time in your life to do it think about possible worsening of symptoms. If you have the right surgeon at the right time go forward.

    There are many spine problems for which fusion can be a questionable option. But spondylolisthesis has one fix.....fusion. and as you said, the younger you are the easier it often is to recover.
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    Old 02-15-2011, 08:20 PM   #27
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    Re: I have spondylolisthesis - and need advice

    Tingle,
    I think I can relate. I saw a NS/OSS from Johns Hopkins (the best!) last year, and he's super conservative. I haven't had a recent CT scan and I put if off since the last time I got a spinal leak (MAJOR headache), and I figured why take the chance if I'm not ready to make the big jump. But as you, life has been affected in so many ways (playing with my son, exercise, sports, etc.). My problem is I'm not crawling on the floor in pain. I go to work, I sleep at night, I drive my car, and do most of the "normal" things we all want to do. But there's ALWAYS pain (right side, some down the leg). Meds give me an hour of respite, maybe a bit more, but that's it. I'm 54, not overweight, don't smoke, etc.. But how does one reconcile making such a HUGE decision and taking the risks? I'm stalled.

     
    Old 02-16-2011, 05:32 AM   #28
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    Re: I have spondylolisthesis - and need advice

    [QUOTE=SpineAZ;4685205]Most everyone has a pre-surgical honeymoon period where they suddenly feel better. Then as you said hints of the symptoms return.
    [/QUOTE]

    are you saying there is psychosomatic stuff going on here - and it's not uncommon?

    i'd believe it.

    [QUOTE=notreadyyet;4685546]Tingle,
    I think I can relate. I saw a NS/OSS from Johns Hopkins (the best!) last year, and he's super conservative. I haven't had a recent CT scan and I put if off since the last time I got a spinal leak (MAJOR headache), and I figured why take the chance if I'm not ready to make the big jump. But as you, life has been affected in so many ways (playing with my son, exercise, sports, etc.). My problem is I'm not crawling on the floor in pain. I go to work, I sleep at night, I drive my car, and do most of the "normal" things we all want to do. But there's ALWAYS pain (right side, some down the leg). Meds give me an hour of respite, maybe a bit more, but that's it. I'm 54, not overweight, don't smoke, etc.. But how does one reconcile making such a HUGE decision and taking the risks? I'm stalled.[/QUOTE]

    i think we adjust in our minds what is now 'normal' for people like you & me.

    when i sit back and think about it, yeah, i could probably go through the rest of my life like this. but you hit a crossroads - and need to decide - do i WANT to go though the rest of life like this? if there is a chance someone could fix me - maybe i should take the risk.

    what the h-ll, i could drop dead tomorrow! the flip side is - i might NOT drop dead tomorrow - so maybe i should take a chance of getting some quality-of-life back. a twisted way to look at it, maybe. but there's a chance i have 40 years left in me....why spend it wondering?

    Last edited by TingleFoot; 02-16-2011 at 05:34 AM. Reason: typos

     
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    Old 02-16-2011, 06:32 AM   #29
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    Re: I have spondylolisthesis - and need advice

    I never thought about calling it psychosomatic. Maybe our minds make us think "oh it's not that bad, maybe I don't need surgery". Honestly I just thought it was a coincidence that maybe pain and symptoms lessened for a brief period but you may have seen in the.right way as the subconscious is telling us we are fine and don't need surgery. Right before my neck ACDF in 2006 I remember traveling for 2 days For work and feeling good. I wondered if I needed surgery. The day before surgery my symptoms.were back and bad. I was kind of glad they were, So going ahead with the surgery made sense.

    For the first time I realize it was probably all in my mind that I was perfectly dine those two travel days. I bet my mind was working overtime fighting and suppressing the pain and it finally couldn't anymore.
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    Last edited by SpineAZ; 02-16-2011 at 06:34 AM.

     
    Old 02-16-2011, 06:47 AM   #30
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    Re: I have spondylolisthesis - and need advice

    i honestly think there is something all this. the mind is powerful.

    thanks for the reply.

     
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