Patient Comments: Spondylolisthesis - Effective Treatments

What was the treatment for your spondylolisthesis?

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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Comment from: Male Published: February 25

Hi, my name is Stephen, and I was diagnosed with Spondylolisthesis eight years ago. I am now 38 years old. I had found out when I slipped off a ladder and tweaked my back. After X-rays revealed the damage, the doctors said I was born with it or it happened when I was young and the ladder incident only aggravated it. I was depressed for about five months and then I started a heavy research campaign. Doctors wanted to operate, chiropractors said they could help without operation, and I was confused on what to do! I have the sciatic pain down the right side of my buttock and down the back side of my leg. I ice daily and heat sometimes. I feel I cannot live with this pain forever. With my mom in the medical field, I was able to talk to a spine specialist, and he recommended to not get surgery unless I can't stand the pain or the pain is so severe that I can't move. For every 5 pounds I gain, I can feel it. If I keep my abdominal muscles strong, then the pain is tolerable. I do go to the chiropractor to adjust the spine, and it helps for a few days, so I go two to three times a week. If I sit or don't move or exercise, the pain comes on stronger. I was recommended to never be inactive for long periods of time because it weakens the muscles. It was said most operations on this won't fix the problems because the spine is one of the only parts in the body that won't heal itself, even if you get an operation. Operation is only a bandage and only should be done on the spine for a last resort. I am so sorry for every one diagnosed with this, for you are not alone. Mine is in the L5 vertebrae, and after eight years, I can manage the pain with all I learned and I trust what my unbiased doctor (my mom works for and isn't getting a dime from me) and chiropractor on this. So, resting and not being active only hurts the situation! Hang in there, and God bless!

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Comment from: TH, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: February 16

I had spondylolisthesis S1 - L5. I am 39 now and the pain started in my left hip and leg 18 months ago. The pain grew worse over a very short time. Then in April 2009, I was told to have surgery or be in a wheel chair within five years tops. I agreed to surgery, and seven weeks later when my surgery date came, I was in pain 24/7, and unable to sleep. The operation was very painful. Eight months on, my back pain is nearly all gone, but I still have to be careful. My doctor says it can take up to 18 months. I am still having pain in my left hip and leg. I am about to go for another MRI scan next month. This time they think it's my pelvis. I am glad I had the surgery; it wasn't going to make it any worse than it already was. Good luck everyone.

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Comment from: Hilary, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: February 10

I have spondylolisthesis L5-S1 and degenerative disk disease L4-L5. I am 30 years old and have had severe to intermittent pain since I was 16 years old. I have found that my pain is worse and more frequent the thinner I am. It seems the extra weight keeps me held together. When I have "flare-ups" I have the sensation of my upper body not being attached to my lower body, and my torso will sit more to one side. Since being diagnosed in 2006 my quality of life has suffered. I was advised by my neurologist to avoid certain activities for risk of paralysis. So now I no longer am able to go skiing, sledding, horseback riding, golfing or a lot of other things I used to do. I am married and have a 5 year old son, and I feel like I am losing out on life, I am not able to do the things with him that I loved to do as a child. I am at a point where I am sick of the "band-aid" solutions the doctors keep giving me. I am tired of being afraid to do things because of what the doctors have said, or because of how I am going to feel when I attempt to get out of bed in the morning and I can't move my head down enough to look at the ground when I walk from the stiffness in my body. I really hope I can do something to improve how I feel. I am very happy to have found this site and see that there are others out there with the same experiences. Good Luck to you all.

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Spondylolisthesis - Causes Question: What was the cause of your spondylolisthesis?
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