Patient Comments: Spondylolisthesis - Symptoms

What symptoms do you experience with your spondylolisthesis?

Comment from: TKT, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 29

I am somewhere between a grade 1 to 2 of spondylolisthesis apparently, and I've not gotten much help from any doctor I have seen for this. In 2003 I broke at least 2 vertebrae at the pars interarticularis and they slid because of that. Two may have been broken in an auto accident 10 years prior to that, as I was in pain for a year and 4 show breaks and movement. In 2003 I slipped on stairs while carrying a heavy box of books and landed on my rear. I had to keep on with the move to a new residence, which took several days. I developed extremely tight back muscles in my lumbar area due to my body trying to stabilize the fractures. I was in tremendous pain but was still mobile and had no health insurance or money to see a doctor, so I got a back brace and used ice and heat, but I didn't know there was a fracture! I was also sleeping on a horrible mattress! So I just suffered. I couldn't stand still for more than a few minutes or my back would seize up, and housework, especially vacuuming was very painful. I had periodic issues with continence. I couldn't stand up straight because the slip caused resulting lordosis. I didn't sleep well because of the chronic pain. Sometimes my back would just go out and I couldn't even stand up after lying down. I have always been athletic so this has been really discouraging.

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Comment from: Daynerw, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 31

I had 2 spinal fusions for spondylolisthesis, in 1982 and 1984. Bone marrow was taken from both hips to fuse L3, L4, L5, and S1. Now after 30 years, I have developed intense pain throughout my lower back, hips, thighs, and left foot. MRI shows arthritis throughout the fused area, and my hips. Degeneration has occurred in the upper lumbar region due to the immobility from the fusions. At night, the pain and dead weight from sleeping on my hips wakes me, is so intense I cry out. I am stiff and can't roll over. The cold weather kills too. I've gone through physical therapy, etc. Dead end! I am now applying for disability.

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Comment from: tuna, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 04

I was just diagnosed with spondylolisthesis. I'm reduced from 8 to 5 hours at work. I tell you, by the time my shift is over I can't walk and I stand on concrete floors. Doctor prescribed gabapentin for relief and it helps a bit but now he wants me to use a back brace and do physiotherapy. I also get the numbness in my right thigh; it's not fun.

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Comment from: ashwini, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 18

I am suffering from spondylolisthesis at the levels L2-L3, L3-L4, and L4-L5, diagnosed since last 11 years. I had a history of motor vehicle accidents and one fall from a running train. I keep getting back pain with soft tissue swelling and pain and numbness to my right leg every now and then. I have also gained about 40 pounds in the last 10 years. I am told I also have an overactive bladder. I wonder if my lumbar problems have anything to do with my bladder problems. So far I was maintaining myself with exercises, but the pain is much more now every time I exercise or even swim.

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Comment from: Linda, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: February 20

I was diagnosed in 1985. I was 14 and a freshman in high school, I had a grade 4 spondylolisthesis. I had immediate fusion on lowest four vertebrae. Recovery was long and intense. I fought my way out of that and lived a fairly active life with moderate pain on occasion. They don"t tell you at 14 that down the road things may get worse. I became pregnant twice in two years 19 years later which caused so much strain on the parts above the fusion that I couldn"t walk and developed nerve pain while pregnant. After giving birth I had an MRI and they found a few levels so the spine above current fusion were all protruding. I had bone spurs growing and stenosis all wrapped in one. All the damage and inflammation caused no fluid getting down spinal canal to my legs causing the nerve damage. My baby was 3 months old when I went into surgery. I woke up 10 hours later to find out my surgeon had to reconstruct my entire spine from T11 - sacrum. I woke up in so much pain, I wanted to die. I have 14 screws two rods in my back. My second surgery was in March or 08. I remain in chronic pain. I never have a day without pain. I have permanent nerve damage in my left leg. I have no feeling in my left buttocks and where incision is. I am limited in walking, sitting, standing for long periods of time. I could return to work. I was in physical therapy 18 months. I saw pain management for 4 years. I am living with this for 32 years now.

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