Patient Comments: Spondylolisthesis - Symptoms

What symptoms do you experience with your spondylolisthesis?

Comment from: THELMA, Female (Patient) Published: January 06

I have had spinal fusion in 1997 which didn't help my spondylolisthesis. In 2009 I had more surgery where they put 4 screws in my back on each side of the spine and nothing has helped. I am in constant pain all the time. I am on Percocet and Oxycontin and even at that my pain level is from 8 on.

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Comment from: redfox, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: October 08

At 67, I was recently diagnosed with L4-L5 spondylolisthesis. I am a runner for 40 years and ran a 1/2 marathon as recently as January 2013. In May 2013 I developed unbearable pain down the back of my left leg and thought it was a flare-up of what I've called sciatica since I was hit by a car 25 years ago. After finally going to the doctor for a true evaluation, I received this diagnosis. For me it is sitting that creates the most pain. I'm unable to sit for more than 45 minutes to an hour, so I find myself lying down most of the time. Ironically, walking is one of the few things that brings me relief. I continue to walk 4-5 miles several times a week. I've had shots and physical therapy which have helped but I seem to be at a plateau. I've been told that when the pain gets too severe, it will be fusion surgery. I continue to exercise as much as possible including weight work but use very light weights and am very careful to not arch my back in any way. The doctor believes this is trauma from my accident long ago that has gotten worse as I've aged. As a life-long athlete, I am struggling with the idea of losing mobility. While others are using a wheelchair, I can't even do that, since sitting is excruciating.

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Comment from: P.S., 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: February 07

I am a 36 year old patient with chronic lumbar spondylosis having severe low back pain, foot pain and difficulty getting up. I cannot stand for more than 5 minutes. I can walk up to 50 steps with difficulty. All sorts of treatments are over. I am already using a cane for support. I will be using crutches to help me in walking around.

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Comment from: Beverly, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 24

This site is very informative and supportive. It seems there are many people out there who suffer from spondylolisthesis, and I am surprised to see so many young people writing about their symptoms and treatments. My heart goes out to all. I was diagnosed two weeks ago after having increasing pain in my lower back, with numbness and spasms shooting down my right leg. My mistake was that, through the pain, I continued to walk my dogs 3 ½ miles a day, work 12-hour night shifts, and go full blast with my yoga practice. I felt good after doing the yoga, not realizing that the back bends, twists, and some extreme postures were actually exacerbating my condition and increasing my pain. I am receiving care from my naturopathic doctor with the treatment of acupuncture and a tilt-table inversion. Today I start physical therapy. Sleeping is the worst, because I ultimately have to get out of bed, and often my right leg spasms are extreme. I am living on Advil, Tylenol, and Aleve, trying to alternate each dose to ease the pain. I also take homeopathic meds to help with the pain. I am out on FMLA for now, and am really not sure if I can return to my present job as an ICU nurse. I have always been very physically active and often pushed myself too hard. I broke my right leg five years ago playing tennis and returned too quickly to work, wearing a brace for 12 hours while on my feet. My reason for saying this is to offer some advice. We need to slow down and partake in a lifestyle of self-care, which can be preventative and restorative. This is not being selfish nor should we feel guilty about doing this. Self-care is the healing and harmony of our body, mind, and spirit.

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Comment from: DebNZ, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 20

I was diagnosed with spondylolisthesis in 2001 (I was 36 years old). In 2008, I started to notice it was difficult getting up and down stairs and standing for any length of time. I saw a specialist, only to be told I also have stenosis (thinning of the spinal canal). I asked what treatments were available and she said “None, just carry on until you can't.” Fantastic, I thought. So here I am now, at 48, on morphine, not working, and about to make an appointment with my GP to get an occupational therapy consultation for a wheelchair assessment. On the upside, I was told at 16 that I would be on crutches until my mid-20s, and then in a wheelchair, and to look to the future with many surgeries in mind. I have managed to keep the wheelchair at bay for an extra 20 years. But now I can't go for a walk with my family, I'm pretty much housebound, and to do any gardening is not worth the pain it would induce, even being on morphine. All I can say to those of you who are heading in my direction – keep up the good fight until your body makes you submit. I wish everybody well.

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