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Spondylolisthesis after fusion and instrumentation for scoliosis

From: elaine.harris - on 04/17/2010 2:12am

I live in the dfw area. I am interested in the experience of having a second surgery for fusion and instrumentation that is adjacent to the first surgery. I've been diagnosed with spondylolisthesis with significant slippage between L4 and L5 with sciatica in my left leg. I have existing fusion and instrumentation from scoliosis that ends very close to L-3. I've consulted an ortho spine surgeon who recommends a 7-8 hour surgery involving some kind of anterior and posterior fusion and instrumentation that would have to be connected (somehow) to my existing hardware.

Heard of this?
Had this?
Problems?
Advice?
Good spine surgeon?
What about "micro" techniques or is that even a consideration here?
Thank you!

Just some background.
I am now 50 yo. I had adolescent idiopathic scoliosis with an S curve at age 12. I wore a milwaukee brace for 3 years at that time. The curves started to progress in my 20s so I had the fusion and instrumentation at 28. I've not had any problems with this previous surgery, although I've wondered whether it is related to my current problem. Not that it matters at this point. I had 3 kids and was very active until I began to have symptoms of sciatica in my left leg at about 35-40. The pain and numbness in my left leg have decreased my activities to a point that I've decided to have surgery to correct the problem. For several years, I tried physical therapy and some anti-inflammatory drugs but they seem completely inadequate from my perspective. I'm not even interested in epidurals or other "pain management" alternatives since I want to stabilize the problem to keep it from getting worse. I've become progressively less active, going from running, to walking, to elliptical training, to the point that now the only thing I can do without pain is swimming. I am concerned now that I'm beginning to lose some of the muscle function in my leg. Walking the dog down the street is too much. The pain is more or less there all the time, but it isn't bad as long as I don't do anything to aggravate it. I don't take narcotics for the pain, which goes away with rest.

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on 04/19/2010 10:41am

Ive never had scoliosis but have read a lot on scoliosis fusing and depending on the kind of spondylolisthesis u have kinda depends on how u obtained it. I have spondylolisthesis grade 2. I know a bit about spine slippages and it is possible ur previous spine fusion may have helped weaken ur bottom level allowing a slippage to occur. If your suffering from extreme neurological deficits in your legs, that's reason for concern!!!! I had fusion surgery at l5/s1 feb 22nd of this year cuz of this very reason. Anyway, take care, wish I could give u sum answers in regards to if they would hook ur hardware to ur old hardware. Keep me posted *hugs*

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on 08/16/2010 12:02pm

Hi. I cannot comment on your previous surgeries or the scoliosis. But I too had the spondy and slippage at L4-L5 with corresponding problems in right leg. After exhausting all alternatives, I had no choice but to have the fusion as surgery is the only permanent way to stabilize the spine. Mine was both anterior and posterior. 8 hours seems too long.
May I suggest you interview neurosurgeons in your area. I had a team and I imagine you will too. It is latest technique for our problem. My surgery only took approx 3-4 hours and they went in front and back. No muscle was cut in front so only pain there was incisional pain that went away in a day or 2.

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