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I posted this message about six days ago and have not had one response. I really need advice, please.

Started by groovygranny on 09/30/2011 7:22pm

I am 82 years old and have just been diagnosed with Spondylolisthesis. My Dr. told me that I am Grade 2 but nothing needs to be done until I reach Grade 3 or 4. This sounds ridiculous to me--surely anything that can be done to try to prevent reaching Grades 3 and 4 should be done. I realize I'm pretty ancient, but I am still very active.

This condition was discovered because I complained about pains in the bones around my buttocks. My first complaint was 12 weeks ago and I was told that I was sitting too much! My next visit to the Dr. was six weeks ago and I told her that the pain was getting worse, so she sent me for X-rays. Six weeks later at my next appointment, and she told me the results of the X-rays, and when I asked what could be done about it, she told me "nothing". Then she told me about the Grades.

Do I just wait and do "nothing"? Should I be seeing a Physiotherapist or a Chiropracter? I need some advice here and would certainly appreciate any that is offered. Many thanks.

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11 Responses

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Hi GroovyGranny:

Sorry you are suffering. Back pain is lousy. How certain are the docs that spondylolisthesis is the source of your pain? Doing nothing seems kind of silly to me especially if you want to stay active. Can you get a prescription for physical therapy? That has helped me quite a bit.

Do you have one sided buttock pain? Can you describe it please? The reason I wondered about the pain is: Could it be a problem with your sacro-iliac joint or SIJD which means sacro-iliac joint dysfunction? This condition does not show up on X-rays, CT scans or MRIs. It's a clinical diagnosis.

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Hi GroovyGranny:

Sorry you are suffering. Back pain is lousy. How certain are the docs that spondylolisthesis is the source of your pain? Doing nothing seems kind of silly to me especially if you want to stay active. Can you get a prescription for physical therapy? That has helped me quite a bit.

Do you have one sided buttock pain? Can you describe it please? The reason I wondered about the pain is: Could it be a problem with your sacro-iliac joint or SIJD which means sacro-iliac joint dysfunction? This condition does not show up on X-rays, CT scans or MRIs. It's a clinical diagnosis.

Like/Dislike
0

Hi GroovyGranny:

Sorry you are suffering. Back pain is lousy. How certain are the docs that spondylolisthesis is the source of your pain? Doing nothing seems kind of silly to me especially if you want to stay active. Can you get a prescription for physical therapy? That has helped me quite a bit.

Do you have one sided buttock pain? Can you describe it please? The reason I wondered about the pain is: Could it be a problem with your sacro-iliac joint or SIJD which means sacro-iliac joint dysfunction? This condition does not show up on X-rays, CT scans or MRIs. It's a clinical diagnosis.

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hi groovy granny,
i think you have been doing well to get to 82 and just now have this problem!! i am 73 and was diagnosed with grade 1 spondylolisthesis a year ago. my clue that there was something wrong was when i got pain in my right calf, to the point where i was limping. i knew i had ddd, but figured everyone has this as we age. my doc also said there was nothing i could do to make the spondy go away, or to 'cure' it, but my goal would be to keep it from getting worse. i now do exercises specific to keeping my core strong, i stand straight, keep my abs tight, do not bend down from the waist, but only by bending from the hip or the knees, tho at this age those joints are not very happy to bend much!!! i also have polymyalgia rheumatica, which makes my whole body stiff and achey until my daily dose of prednisone kicks in. i take boniva to keep my bones as strong as possible, as the four years of prednisone has weakened them.

there are some things i can't do any more, which is humbling, but necessary. that is, i don't bend down to weed any more, i don't pick up my grandchildren or move rocks outside, i don't dig holes to plant things, i use a pinch collar on my dog so she doesn't jerk me when we are walking, i got a grabber to help pick things up both inside and outside and also trained my dog to pick things up for me. no, i can't sit at my computer for more than 45 minutes without getting some pain, but that may be due to the polymyalgia, it is hard to separate them sometimes. so....get some PT, learn how to move properly, strengthen your core, stand up straight, pull in your abs. i don't know how i will be when i am your age...as i am 10 years behind you. but i certainly am not young anymore!
hope this helps.

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Hi! I am a 72yr old Granny.
I am sure that the xrays showed more things wrong than the spondylolithesis. Many people with it have no pain so even though you have it the pain could be coming from elsewhere. I too have spondylolithesis but mine has progressed to grade 3 and the Drs are not doing anything just keeping an eye on it. I have been told I may have to have surgery later on. I have degenerative disc disease which is from the osteoathritis and arthropy of the facets joints and it is more likely that this is where my pain comes from. I keep the pain under control with msContin. I have PT and exercises to strengthen my core. I would be guided by your Physical Therapist.

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Sounds like you may want to look into seeing another doctor for second opiion..... Sounds like they do need to be looking at the whole spine.. Good luck and God Bless!

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I have had pain down my buttocks and legs for years. I recently got an MRI. It was severe spinal stenosis, which just means my spinal cord is being squeezed. I am trying steroid shots. You could see a pain management specialist. It helps a lot to have the shots. You will probably need an MRI to be helped. I also used Tramadol for years. It helps much better than opiods for me. Good Luck!

Linda

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Yes, Tramadol is a good pain reliever and I too took it for a long time until it was no longer strong enough so then went on to oxynorm then oxycontin then msContin then Targin and now back on msContin so you can see there is plenty of choice and amongst them you will find something that suits you.
After re reading the Post asking whether to go to PT or Chiropractor I must mention that the last time I went to the latter I received a fracture to my spine. Nothing major, more a crack but enough for the Dr. to tell me not to go again. I haven't got osteoporosis yet but have had a total of 7 spine fractures most of them wedge so just be very careful.
You will find your way and you will learn how important it is to get your muscles strengthened.
Thinking of you, Dill

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I would go see a neuro surgeon. I had this surgery when I was 16 (am now 43) but was level 4, almost 5! Everybody's pain level is different I would keep looking until you get some relief. My surgery had to be done as I was headed toward paralysis, but I know you dont want to get that far. If the pain gets worse, keep pushing until someone listens! Good luck! Kelly

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I would first see another orthopedic surgeon to get a second opinion. In the meantime, you might want to look into acupuncture. I know it sounds rather controversial but you will be surprised how much you might end up liking it. If you don't like it after about 6 sessions, you can always walk away from it and try something else. But if you like it, you will be surprised how much it helps you with your pain. I also recommend physical therapy. I suggest you exhaust all these non-surgical options first before even considering a surgery. Surgery can always be your fall-back plan for a later time.

I wish you the best of luck,
Brigitte

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Obviously you need medical care which your current physician refuses to provide. Fire him/her and go to a doctor that specializes in geriatric care.

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