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Would you do fusion? (Spondylolisthesis grade 3, pars defect, Advanced DDD, fractured l5, scoliosis)

Started by Bwoods304 on 05/19/2019 12:14am

I have been an active woman my entire life. This time last year, I was gearing up for my next season as a cheer coach. I’m 30 years old. Avid yoga doer and walker due to my five children/3 Great Danes. I’ve always been active.

I walk with a cane now. Can barely walk. Cant drive myself anymore. If I bend over, it compresses my spinal cord so I fall and pee on myself.

I have spondylolisthesis that just moved to grade 3, pars defect, advanced degenerative disc disease so no disc left at l5/s1, a small fracture in the curvature of L5, and scoliosis at a 30% curve they say is due to all this.

I’m terrified of surgery. They don’t want me doing physical therapy.
I’m allowed to walk carefully or swim for exercise.

I had a nerve block for the severe nerve pain in my right side. I have it in my left as well but the right is worse. What’s horrible? My pain is worse now instead of better. On both sides :(

I had a surgical consult in a couple weeks. I’ve stayed determined. I still walk a mile daily (so slowly and with my cane) because I know if I must do surgery, I need to be in the best shape I can be. I’m overweight due to the lack of mobility, I didn’t realize it was happening until I put 35 lbs on. I’m eating very sensibly now and trying to do what I can.

Anyway. I’m terrified of the recovery afterwards mostly.
I have a wonderful support system to assist me and take the kids for a week at a time if they must. My husband is saving vacation time for it & file fmla if need be. My in laws are amazing and plan to keep the kids. However long necessary and bring them to see me while I’m able to interact for their sakes and my own emotional health. My mother will be here every day as well if need be. I also have two neighbors who have offered to take my dogs on temporarily.

Anyone have the same diagnosis as me?
Is a fusion really the only solution? :(

I’m in so much pain and have no quality of life. It’s breaking me. Quite literally. I’m so depressed that I don’t even recognize myself most days.

Any words of advice or positivity would be greatly appreciated.

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1 Response


I'm sorry for your current situation and have been right where you are. I encourage you to reach out to at least two more doctors. Get they're personal and professional opinions, ask about theyre successful patients AND theyre unsuccessfully patients. At the end, and only you can decide if falling and pissing yourself is worth the percentage of failure or a non-fusion. How far can a person go before pain, piss, depression, and inability to work are effected? It is different for each person, male and female, lifestyle but ultimately what I was living was not life. I did everything above and decided an Anterior/ Posterior fusion at L5-S1 was the best way forward for me. The insurance company disagreed would only approve a laminectomy/ discectomy which successfully addressed the sciatica pain that I was dealing with but did nothing for my cheif complaint of low back pain. Had the A/P L5-S1 Fusion with instrumentation on May 20th and I am feeling better than I did before the surgery. This stuff is not fun and has taken an athletic, hard working, veteran, and father down to nothing. In my case, it was any easy choice . So far I feel much better and I will enjoy it as long as I can.