young mom with Spondylolisthesis
It's been an interesting 15 year with this condition which I finally have a diagnosis.
15 years ago, I was hostessing in college when I started have the lower back pain. Walk-in clinic diagnosed as "bones that were supposed to fuse in childhood and didn't." They sent me to therapy which (being a college student) did not keep up with.
Over the next 15 years, it's "flared up" here and there for maybe a few days at a time. Two pregnancies with just "normal" back pains and 14 years as a Kindergarten teacher...now I've seen this rage its ugly head. Christmas Eve was the most recent flare up and still hasn't resolved. After a trip to my primary care and then finally to an ortho. doctor, I finally found a correct diagnosis. Xrays showed grade 2 spond. So I've done 4 weeks of physical therapy, anti-anflammatories and muscle relaxers. Last week, I received my first epidural steroid shot. Some relief but I still can't resume regular activities.
So now I'm 33 with two young boys, full-time Kindergarten teacher where I refuse to sit and take it easy, and just a completely busy life. I do not like to be "slowed down"--hence the nagging back pain. I'm not willing to compromise any of these and just want to go back to my normal activity level.
Here's my recent MRI:
"Bilateral spondylolysis with grade 1 anterior listhesis at L5-L1 with
associated disc bulge and mild bilateral foraminal stenosis"
Question 1: why is there "grade 2" on the xrays and grade 1 on the MRI? Xrays were taken in flexion and extension and MRI was static. Is that the reason? They were also take 4 weeks apart with physical therapy in between. Did it "get better?"
Question 2: How "bad" is the damage? Of course the ortho dr. already gave my info on spinal fusion but I know they are trigger happy. I want to walk in informed but realistic. I'm a baby about pain-more just that I want to feel 100% fine and go about life so the "fix" surgery seems like a good idea.
Question 3: I know I won't keep up with daily exercises or taking it easy. Will this problem keep getting worse?
I know many basically try to find a way to live with their back problems. That's not for me. I absolutely don't want to be "cautious" and live a life thinking "should I do this? will it hurt my back?"
I know this is lengthy but I'm hoping to find some people with similar issues who can shed a non-doctor opinion all of this.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post!