Patient Comments: Spondylolisthesis - Effective Treatments

What was the treatment for your spondylolisthesis?

Comment from: Ron, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: January 30

I have been told I have spondylolisthesis of L5 and S1 at the age of 50. My doctor has given me about 4 different kind of medicines to take and so far nothing has worked. Like other people I have read about I also can't sleep at night, I toss and turn and at least once I'm up out of bed.

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

I am 49 ½ and was diagnosed with spondylolethisis, anterior grade 4, along with spinal stenosis, and bone spurs. I'm deteriorating; it has caused scoliosis and I have now been diagnosed with neuropathy in my left leg. I was hit by a car at age 4, which broke my pelvis in two places and my left femur. I was in traction, a body cast, and had to learn to walk all over again. My left leg is ¾ inches longer then my right. I was never to run again and walked with a limp, yet ended up being a very strong top athlete. I've had three kids, whom I played with and trained in sports. I just stopped playing softball five years ago. I also biked, hiked, adventured raced, and did so many outdoor things. But eight months ago, all this came to an abrupt end. I fell down some stairs, which really did some damage. When my X-rays were read, the doctors discovered my condition. September 13th, 2012, began a very fast deterioration. The hip cramps at night keep me from sleeping, the pain in my left hip travels around to my quad to my knee, down my shin, to the top of my foot, where it sometimes leaves me in tears. It's so unbearable. I can hardly walk anymore; I'm losing motor control. It's taking a toll on my speech, my focus, and my attitude. Stretching does not help, nor does icing or adjustments. Only a high dose of pain meds help, but they make me violently ill and depressed, and I sleep for two days sometimes. I'm told I will more than likely be paralyzed by 60, and I'm 49. My nerve damage is getting so severe that I may not make it another 4-5 years. I have three grandbabies, and I can't even hold them, let alone play with them. I've read about the surgeries and I am getting to the point of desiring it. At one time, I was against surgery and tried to keep people away from it with the very positive and effective body work I've done. I want my life back so bad and I'm feeling resentful and suffering major depression. I read someone else's post about how other people in their life diminish the pain they suffer. Well, you are not the only one. It frustrates me that anyone can call what we suffer minimal, undermine us, or call us hypochondriacs. I'd love to see any one of them spend time in our bodies for just a day, or maybe from the time we have to get out of bed each day up to trying to get into the shower. And then they get upset with us for how cranky we are. I'm glad that I could vent how I'm feeling. Some days I cry out of frustration. From being an athlete to “nothing.” Losing 30 pounds, suffering atrophy, and muscle loss everywhere. I've lost my butt muscles and none of my clothes fit. I've even been accused of being on meth! I want my life back.

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Comment from: colm, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: April 12

I am 47 and was diagnosed with Spondylolisthesis and Spinal Stenosis 10 years ago. Although the doctors tell me that it is mild spondylolisthesis, only grade one, I am mostly in some sort of pain daily. My biggest problem is the dreaded Sciatica, I have to be so careful and avoid at all costs lifting, pulling or pushing anything around, I am a farmer so a lot of heavy work is involved daily, but I have someone to help out with the heavy work. When the doctor uses the word mild I feel like slapping him across the face and asking him how mild does that feel. Pain is pain and living with it daily can be depressing, but I refuse to let it control me, which it used to do. I do not take any medication such as anti inflammatory, this are pure poison to anyone's stomach. I would rather suffer back pain than to partake in any type of anti inflammatory drug.

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Comment from: 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: April 05

I was 43 in Aug, '08 when I was diagnosed with L5/S1 spondylolisthesis. My L5 had slipped 8mm and was resting on my spinal cord. The pain had gotten so bad that I couldn't stand for more than 30 seconds without both of my legs going numb. After trying EVERYTHING else prior to the diagnosis and just trying to relieve the pain, I opted to have surgery. The damage was much more extensive than my surgeon thought and the recovery period was a lot longer and harder than I thought it would be. I had a laminectomy and a fusion, but the bone wouldn't fuse. I ended up taking a drug called Forteo to help this process and it worked. After 18 months of healing and recovery, I can honestly say I'd do it again. My Dr. gave me my life back! I'm now back to the gym, working, walking the dogs, etc. Back to a normal, pain-free life. It's a really tough road and believe me, I understand everyone's pain. I've been there and was fortunate to come out on the other side. Best of luck to everyone.

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Comment from: Bruff, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: March 02

I am 38 years old and was diagnosed with spondylolisthesis about 3 years ago. It was one of the worst days of my life. Being told I could no longer do so many of the things I loved to do like running, biking, and lifting weights and that it would probably only get worse as the years passed. I went home and cried all day. Even though my pain is minimal compared to some of the comments I have read, it is a daily struggle. I am often depressed as I watch my family and friends still doing many of the activities we used to all do together and all I can do now is watch. My wife and I used to go running on Saturday mornings down by the river. I can't even play with my 3 boys the way I used to. So far I have only had physical therapy. My doctor says to hold off on the surgery as long as I can. I exercise daily in the weenie weight room and do elliptical machine or stationary bike or swim to keep in shape and relieve stress. I also stretch my back daily and that seems to help. The biggest thing for me is just to avoid any activity that seems to aggravate my condition like running or lifting heavy objects. I agree with one of the comments posted that the best thing is to just keep going, hard as it is. When you stop going is when you really feel defeated. Hang in there.

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Spondylolisthesis - Causes Question: What was the cause of your spondylolisthesis?
Spondylolisthesis - Symptoms Question: What symptoms do you experience with your spondylolisthesis?

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