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grade 2 spondylolisthesis- contemplating fusion

Started by Keith33 on 02/14/2011 9:18pm

I'm a 50 year old male- was very active-sports etc for most of life. About 5 months ago began experiencing severe, often incapacitating back pain. I'm told- and can see on the Xrays, I have a significant grade 2 slippage at L5S1.

Trying PT, drugs, injections etc. Only thing that really works to get rid of pain is the Prednisone----had a two week dose, then a week taper pack, and one injection, over the past 8 weeks. Now doc says won't give me anymore prednisone. injection relief lasted 12 days.

Now the pain management doc offers rhizotomy. I have not heard/read many success stories about that. Anyone out there with similar spondy had decent relief from Rhizotomy?

Anyone had significant relief for this via accupuncture?

Looking like I may have to try the fusion. Saw Dave B and Texasgreat posts- on success....... thank you!!!!!

Pain is brutal as many know...... looking like the fusion may be inevitable. Any comments/stories/experiences- good or bad, would be appreciated.

Thank you much Keith

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5 Responses


Hey Keith, I've had two PLIF surgeries at L5/S1 and L4/S1 due to spondy and DDD. I am 9 weeks post my last surgery and doing well. I tried everything like you to avoid another surgery (injections, PT, pain meds..etc.). The pain got bad enough I had no choice but luckily i have a great Neurosurgeon and so far my leg pain is much better and the burning/stabbing back pain is now just surgical pain. I'd be happy to share my experience if you have any questions. Good Luck!


Blazer14 thanks for the comments. Glad you are doing well/better! Yes would like to hear more, if you can. Where were your surgery(ies)done? by whom? what grade slippage was the spondy classed ? Did you do the rhizotomy before the surgeries? outcome from that?

Thanks again.


Hi Keith ..to answer your questions...no I didn't have a rhizotomy and I actually had a Pars Defect at L4 which would have lead to slippage cause the facture was bi-lateral so I needed fusion.
My neurosurgeon is from PA hospital and I wouldn't go to anyone else I have such confidence in him! Fusion surgery isn't easy and the recovery is months but if it takes away most of the pain and allows you to be active again then it is certainly worth going thru. Hope this helps and keep me posted on what you decide.


Keith, my 52 year old husband also has a degenerative grade 2 spondylolithesis. He was a runner and very active until 3 months ago when the pain started. he has done massage, chiropractor and accupuncture to try and relieve the pain. It seems to us that the options are pain management for the rest of his life (cortisone creams, celebrex, pain meds) that will destroy other systems in his otherwise healthy body or surgery. This seems like a no brainer. Though surgery is a little scary, if it is successful, he'll be back to a fairly normal life. We live in the New York area and have found what I believe is a great, accessible surgeon that explained it very cleary. We're heading for a second opinion next week but I can't imagine that the we will find any different information.


Hi keith,
Im at the same stage you are-sorry never heard of Rhizotomy.
Haasiegel I have 2 opinions that surgery is really the only option-Im in the NY area as well what surgeon have you had consultations?
I have tried all other options but I have heard terrible stories about the surgery as well? Apprechiate any feed back!
Many Thanks,