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L5/S1 Spondylolithesis and bi-lateral pars defect

Started by Jillaroo on 09/30/2018 3:53am

It has taken me 7 months to finally see a specialist as we live in a rural area (Central Queensland in Australia) and I have no private health. My own fault as I went skydiving again for my 50th and had a very rough landing. I knew I had broken my tailbone and was surprised it was taking so long to heal, but as I had snapped my ACL (doing other activities) and dislocated my shoulder (playing tag 2 months prior), I was pretty sore in general and wasn’t sure which pains to attribute to what injury. My hubby hadn’t wanted me to jump again (with my existing injuries) so I wasn’t letting on how bad it was getting until my whole leg swelled up and went numb. Lumbar injections in both sides help and Lyrica is a lifesaver. Have had nerve conduction studies and bone density testing (all thanks to our wonderful public health system here) and just waiting now to hear when I will travel 5 hours to the neurosurgeon. He told me I am not to do any Physio until after the operation, and I’m not even supposed to do any exercises, but feel like I need to do SOMETHING or I will be in even worse condition once it’s fixed. Any suggestions on strengthening exercises until the op? Next post is a lighthearted look at this twisted condition!

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5 Responses


Spondylolithesis sounds quite divine
Unless it’s your own little slip of the spine
Then it becomes a literal pain in your ass.
Stillness and rest are what it’s demanding
And as time goes by I am slowly expanding
And treatments are not many and not fast.

Sometimes my leg just goes quite numb
Then I no longer feel my bum
And I know I must lie down before I fall.
Gives me a lot of time for thinking
And I do believe I’m shrinking
‘Cause they measured me and now I’m not so tall.

I can sometimes use the car
But I can’t travel very far
I never know when I might need the loo.
With the pain first in my hips
I must prepare for trips and slips
And you never know when pants will be soaked through!

I feel excitement as I am waiting
‘Cause I am anticipating
The operation that will let me walk pain free
And if it don’t work out the best
At least I’ve gotten lots of rest
And I’ll know that I’m the best that I can be.


They had me build up my core muscles at PT but no exercises that hurt even a touch. Stage 4 spondylolisthesis L5-S1 and herniation with nerve impingement at L4, stenosis. They fused L4-5-S1. Good luck. Follow your surgeons advice would be the best thing.


Thanks JimmyBoy - did everything go well with the op? How long did it take you for recovery and how is that going?


Hoping to see some good responses here. I've seen a few who have had fusion done. I see the neurosurgeon tomorrow/31st. And it's about time! Ive had bi-lat l5s1 spondylosis and spondylolisthesis since 2015/16. Just kinda went with it though the pain and the complications/immobility etc. But I was in a car accident Nov 18. And holy heck. Let's just say I've been to pain management. And then the ER 4 times already since then. And would have gone more times had I not felt the ER to be a waste the last time.

I'm VERY concerned to have permanent paralysis become my future. As I've spent most of the past month completely dependent on some level of assistance to get around.

I'm really hoping the surgeon gets me into surgery rather than to keep trying to up my pain medications etc. I don't want to do all that! I totally understand that I'll probably end up in some pain management for my life. But ugh. Rather not up my tolerance in the mean time to finding out what my actual base expectancy will be with this condition. :/

I'm becoming a sissy


I saw a Neurosurgeon privately and he put me straight into surgery within 3 weeks. They removed bone fragments, put a wedge and bone grafting in place of the missing disc, and 2 x titanium rods to the vertebrae to pull them back into alignment. The most difficult part - I was told later - was extricating the sciatic nerve from the compression and hoping that the visual damage did not equate to permanent nerve damage. Apparently the nerve was much more compromised than the mri or ct scans indicated (which is interesting to know as I thought they were pretty spot on). I was up and walking the next day, out of hospital on the 3rd day. It has been 8 weeks now and I have been back at work for 2 weeks with no sign I ever had anything wrong to begin with. My back is amazing and has full function again. Operation total was $52,000 out of pocket. $11k surgeon, $2k anaesthetist, $25k titanium rods, rest for the private hospital. Good luck all! I am BACK! WooHoo! Surgeon was Dr Neil Cochrane and he was fantastic from beginning to end Thinking of those of you waiting