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Spondylolisthesis losing hope

Started by nsignorelli90 on 11/07/2016 1:27pm

Hello my name is Nick and im a 26 year old male with Grade 1 Isthmic Spondylolisthesis L5-S1 . I will start off with saying that i have had back pain on and off since i was 15, but it has always been a situation where i would go to the family chiropractor and feel much better shortly after. Ive been playing hockey and have been very active my whole entire life

So last year around May i went on a mountain biking trip in Colorado and when i got home i started getting bad back pain and since then it has not gone away. I went to the same family chiropractor ive always gone to who is very old school and just kept adjusting me and the pain never went away. I asked him if we could take X-Rays and he said it would show nothing. I decided to see another Chiropractor who immediately did xrays and said that i have grade 1 Isthmic Spondylolisthesis in my L5-S1 vertebrae. I decided to see an orthopedic who did xrays and a MRI. He decided to put me on a few pain meds and had me do physical therapy which i did for about 5 months. It had no effect and i returned back to his office. He then told me that i should see a pain management specialist who decided to do a facet joint injection which did nothing.

This is where things get alittle ridiculous... I came back in his office and he said that it looked like my SI joints were out of place and think that could be cause a lot of the pain so he decided to do a SI joint injection that absolutely did nothing and honestly now when i hike i have a lot of soreness in my Si joints. Also he had me do Physical therapy for my SI joints that did absolutely nothing for me.

So this May i decided to live out my dream regardless of the pain that i live in, and i Moved to the Colorado Rockies and eventuallly after i obtained health insurance i decided to see a spine specialist who wanted to do more X rays and basically what he told me was that it was only a grade 1 slip and he doesn't understand why im in so much pain. This was very discouraging . Also said he is not a orthopedic so there was really not anything he could do for me. First thing he said to me was , "We dont do pain pills here". which made me very angry because yes i wouldn't mind getting some relief when the pain is really bad but that wasn't my intentions... I just want to be better

So i decided to to see a really good spine orthopedic in the mountains to get more opinions and he looked at what all of the other doctors have done and said it was ridiculous that i got SI joint injections does, and he couldn't believe another doctor told me that he didnt understand how i was in so much pain.He explained that is doesn't matter what grade it is because everyone pain tolerance is different. So he told me yes a fusion surgery can be done but wouldn't recommend it because my disc and everything else looks good. So once again i was sent to another pain management specialist for injections.

With this doctor he wanted to inject the steroid directly into the fracture instead of doing a facet injection. So i had the first injection done and honestly i only woke up a few times with the pain being little better then it usually is. So I went back to see him and he recommended that i try another one . This last injection was done almost a week ago now and my back pain is much worse now then before the injection. Im also having a lot of soreness in my right buttocks , like i was on a 12 miles hike or something, but i have done nothing since the injection.

Sorry for being very long but i wanted to get everything in here as i really am losing hope and live in chronic pain everyday and they will not give me anything for the pain that i live in. I cannot afford a surgery of this sort, nor do i have the time for recovery. Im looking for other options to explore as i no longer know what to do. Also i am very curious why no doctor will perscribe anykind of pain medication to me. I totally understand that many people have issues with adiction and being reliant on the medications, but there so many days that i am completly miserable and not a nice person because of my pain.

Like i said i am a very active individual and cannot stand sitting at home. Ive been playing hockey for 20 years and now with this injury i have not been able to play and this injury and pain is mentally draining me.

List of things ive done:
Massage therapy
well over a year of Physical therapy for the Spondo and SI Joint
Facet joint injection L5-S1
SI Joint Injection
Many Anti Inflammatory Medications
Prescribed Back Brace
Bilateral Pars defect injection L5-S1 X 2
Ive see 2 chiropractors/ 2 orthopedic specialist/ 2 Pain management specialist/ 2 or 3 Physical therapist/ Massage therapist
I also still do some at home exercise

Can anyone please shed some light or have anything similar to whats going on with me. Im losing hope and feel like im going to live in chronic pain for the rest of my life. I literally don't have a single moment in my everyday life where where i don't think about the pain
Im not the kind of person that wants results without putting in the effort. I have been working my butt off for over a year now to feel better and nothing has made any difference

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2 Responses


Thank you for your post. I am in the same boat and much like you have tried everything and have hit a road block. I had a doctor, the other day who almost refused to give me pain meds because I shouldn't be feeling anything with all the meds I am currently on. I have a disc herniation on the right side and a pars defect on the left. I have no doubt there is some nerve damage as I can feel strange on the right side of my body. I was hoping that my hernia on the right inguinal might fix the leg problem but post surgery- no difference. Hernia pain is nothing compared to Spondy pain. Spondy pain feels almost as bad as post operative pain.
I can only hope and pray that a medical breakthrough can alleviate our struggles and give us back our pain free lives. I do believe that in our life time we will see this.


I"m not sure of the difference in your condition and mine. I to have spondy and ended up with a fusion. I would recommend NOT EVER having a fusion. If you are a surgical candidate make sure to try to get the Artificial Disc.

They really fail to tell us most everything about fusion. Like the after results of not having the ability of forward flexion etc. I was very active to and I am now permantly disabled and am not even able to do the simple makenzie excersizes that always kept my spine going and pilates and more. ITs a nightmare for real.

Keep your core as strong as possible and of course your whole body. I did that to, but still...it is what it is. Hope the best for you