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Recently diagnosed Spondylolosthesis patient needs your advice

Started by groovygranny on 09/25/2011 8:52pm

Sent in my message earlier, but there have not been any responses. See my earlier message. Thanks.lolisthesis

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5 Responses


I too have recentley been diagnosed with spondylolosthesis ,stenosous,bilateral sciatica. I am in so much pain! have been to 2 back surgeons both say fusion is necessary. I am so scared .


Hi Bobbi: I think we are on the wrong page because I spelled the word wrong--it should have been spondylolisthesis.

I am sorry you are in such pain, and I'm afraid I can't offer you any advice because I am new to this also.

Send your message again with the correct spelling and you will get on the page where there are lots of replies.

Good luck, Bobbi. I wish you well.


Im 23 years old and i have spondylolisthesis, and scolios( however you spell them) i got diagnois back in 2007, all the ER told me was i will live with this and they dont know if i was born with it and just starting the pain now or it could of been from having my son, i couldnt sit still when they gave me my epidural. I'm at the point i dont know where to turn to when my doctor dont want nothing done. Getting more advice now!


So sorry to hear about your pain...but hang in there!!! It CAN get better!!!

I started having lower back pain 20 years ago at age 21. The ortho Dxed a spondy caused by a bilateral pars defect. He gave me some back exercises which I did religiously, and after a couple of months I was able to resume all my normal activities (with occasional achy, transient pain if I gardened/cycled/skiied more than normal).

I kept everything under control by keeping the muscles stabilizing the spondy strong through lots of exercise, until about 2 yrs. ago when I flared it up again by doing too much-too soon after 6 mos. of inactivity due to cancer treatment. Two years, 6 mos. of chiropractic, 2 rounds of PT, and many steroid injections/nerve blocs/RFAs later, I am FINALLY turning the corner after finding a top-notch new physical therapist. Apparently there is a wide variation in the abilities of physical therapists and chiropractors. The first two that I saw when this first flared up two years ago never bothered to check my form when I was doing their prescribed exercises, and the new one has determined that I've been doing them incorrectly for 2 years!! She has me starting from scratch with a much-more-gradual new breathing regimen plus exercises to strengthen my core and stretch my hamstrings. As an aside, I have read/heard everywhere that those of us with spondys almost always have tight hamstrings (which pulls the pelvis out of alignment and increases the pain), and that we should be stretching our hamstrings at least twice a day. I have been doing that for the most part, but didn't find out until last week that I was doing them incorrectly :(.

I also found a first rate massage therapist who has has given me tremendous relief and also educated me about ergonomic issues.

SOrry for the ramble, but my main advice is -- if your doc. recommends PT, ASK AROUND to get recommendations (friends, neighbors, nurses, etc.) THe place that my ortho sent me to the first time was affiliated with her practice...the one I am going to now I found through my oncologist!

Good luck...hope you get some answers & relief soon!!


3 years ago, I was diagnosed with Isthmic Spondylolisthesis Grade 1 at the L5/S1 vertebral level. I experienced daily mechanical pain for which I am sure that you can also attest to. I was told by a chiropractor that it was more than likely that my spondylolisthesis would not deteriorate any further and that conservative treatment ( I.e. physiotherapy, chiropractory, and topical formulas) would suffice.

However, 8 months after being diagnosed, my pain levels had substantially increased and I was having intermittent flair up's which involved multiple disc bulges (this is the domino affect from a destabilized spine - spondylolisthesis was the stressor). Despite continued efforts to mitigate my evolving daily pain, conservative treatment was not helping and I was then starting to experience neurologic issues which involved intense sharp stabbing and burning neuropathic pain down my right leg (sciatica).

After persistent pain and obvious neural problems which were associated with the isthmic spondylolisthesis domino affect, I had undertaken extensive research for a prospective neurosurgeon before my first consultation in February, 2011. Upon my consultation with my neurosurgeon, he arranged an MRI for me and the results confirmed significant further deterioration involving Neuroforaminal stenosis (nerve impingement from narrowed foramina nerve canal) at L5/S1 level; disc bulge with annular tear and facet joint degeneration at L3/L4; and disc degeneration, broad based disc herniation, and facet joint degeneration at L4/L5 level. Upon seeing the evidence, my neurosurgeon arranged for me to have a Minimally Invasive Transforaminal Lumber Interbody Fusion (TLIF) with hardware at L5/S1 level.

Furthermore, I had my surgery on the 11th July this year and I am now at 11 weeks post surgery. I must say that, I am feeling absolutely wonderful and my pain levels are 90% better than they were before surgery! Without surgery intervention, the reality is that I would have continued having long term crippling pain not to mention more serious neurologic deficits (I.e. loss of muscle function; incontinence; decreased leg sensations; leg weakness; abnormal reflexes; paralysis; and further deterioration of my lumber spine area) Therefore, not being able to work and maintain any quality of life.

If coupled with a suitably experienced/qualified spinal surgeon, the TLIF procedure has a low incidence of complications and in fact, many clinical studies and surveys indicate that the majority of TLIF patient's report substantial pain reduction as well a successful fusion rate (i.e. 90%>).

As with any surgery, you need to weigh up the risks verses the benefits (in my case, the benefits clearly outweighed the risks). When considering spinal surgery, you also need to make sure that you select a suitably qualified and experienced orthopedic or neurosurgeon who has demonstrated expertise in successfully performing spinal surgery procedures as such careful selection will heavily influence the surgery outcome. Yes, there can be potential issues that may arise from surgery implications, though, having an experienced and well recognized surgeon can mitigate such risks.

In the meantime, please do not hesitate to ask me any questions that you may have?