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Spondylolysthesis and Pregnancy

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,731
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:23 AM in New Member Introductions
Hi,

I'm new to this site but am so happy to find a place where I can actually speak to others with my condition. It's so hard to digest the information quickly in the Doctor's office and still remember to ask the right follow up questions!

I am 33 years old and am trying to decide whether or not getting pregnant is ok with my condition. I saw some earlier posts about pregnancy and Spondylolysthesis (I'm a Grade 1, L4-L5 currently, with some infrequent tingling in my toes). I have so many concerns. My doctor says I can get pregnant but he says there's no guarantee that it won't cause my slippage to worsen and potentially require surgery down the road. Also worried about the pain during and post pregnancy... Sometimes it's hard to manage the pain without being pregnant. Also worry about caring for my child physically... are there limitations that I can't even imagine right now?

Doc says that many women do this without even knowing they have the condition. Problem is, I do know, and I find it really frightening. He also said to do physical therapy to strengthen my core, and said not to gain too much weight with the pregnancy. So many things to say...would love to hear from anyone who is facing this same decision or has faced it and has any words of advice.

Thanks!
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Comments

  • :) hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. you do have a big decision when it comes to having a baby. you are being very wise and realistic to consider if your back problems will affect your pregnancy and your life with the baby!! i hope you find some answers here! we do have several women here asking the same question. i hope they drop by. good luck to you and keep us posted as you move through your decisions. Jenny :)
  • Hi Kristi, I have/had your same diagnosis. I had back problems before my pregnancies, but had not yet been diagnosed with the spondy. I have read that 6-7% of the population have this condition and walk around not even knowing it. With my pregnancies I got increasing back pain in my second trimester and went to physical therapy. With PT I was able to improve and work until 36 weeks. How long have you known your diagnosis, has your Spondy worsened through the years, do you know if it is unstable, do you have pars defects(fractures). Some Spondys are stable and won't move, others like mine are mobile and have even more potential to worsen. Definitely core strength is a big issue. Good luck, with your decision, and welcome to SH, Sue
  • Yes, actually I do have fractures. The doctor says it slipped slightly but not more than a Grade 1. I was diagnosed about 6 years ago and for the most part it has stayed the same... occassional tingling, pain when I overexert myself, tightening in the back of my legs when it's irritated, which usually subsides in a few days. I did go through a much more intense period of pain this summer and became concerned the slip had worsened. The doctor compared my x-rays from 6 years ago and today and said they look nearly identical. My doctor said he feels my slip is stable, but of course left it open by saying that our joints become more flexible with pregnancy hormones and that it could worsen the condition. Did you see a change in your condition after your pregnancy?

    I have never been really into working out. I'm not in bad shape or anything, but, I could stand to strengthen my core. I am starting PT this next week but since I'm 33 I really don't want to postpone the pregnancy decision in order to work out. Were you strengthening your core before you got pregnant?

    I so appreciate your insight. I can't tell you how frustrated I've been feeling since it just seems like doctors are non-committal with nearly all of their answers. It's so relieving to speak to someone who has actually lived through it. Thank you!!!!
  • Cali-Sue,

    Yes, actually I do have fractures. The doctor says it slipped slightly but not more than a Grade 1. I was diagnosed about 6 years ago and for the most part it has stayed the same... occassional tingling, pain when I overexert myself, tightening in the back of my legs when it's irritated, which usually subsides in a few days. I did go through a much more intense period of pain this summer and became concerned the slip had worsened. The doctor compared my x-rays from 6 years ago and today and said they look nearly identical. My doctor said he feels my slip is stable, but of course left it open by saying that our joints become more flexible with pregnancy hormones and that it could worsen the condition. Did you see a change in your condition after your pregnancy?

    I have never been really into working out. I'm not in bad shape or anything, but, I could stand to strengthen my core. I am starting PT this next week but since I'm 33 I really don't want to postpone the pregnancy decision in order to work out. Were you strengthening your core before you got pregnant?

    I so appreciate your insight. I can't tell you how frustrated I've been feeling since it just seems like doctors are non-committal with nearly all of their answers. It's so relieving to speak to someone who has actually lived through it. Thank you!!!!
  • Kristi, your very welcome for the response. I was not doing any form of exercise/strengthening before pregnancy, only when I had pain and was sent to PT. I think the doctors just really don't know what will happen, so they have to include all the worse case scenarios. I found my back pain improved again after pregnancy. I am a long term back pain patient, so my journey has been over many years with intermittent flare ups. I did chiropractic during pregnancy as well which did help at the time. Through the years I had gained a lot of weight(after my 2 kids, not before) and I believe this as well as working as a nurse is what finally displaced my Spondy so that it became visible on xray. I believe I fractured my pars at age 17 when I jumped off a counter and I felt a pop, cause that is when my whole back journey started. But, who knows? My kids are now 16 and 18, so I was 23 and 25 when they were born, and was average size prior to preganancy. I gained 30 pounds with my daughter, and 18 pounds with my son. I did have less problems with my son, perhaps due to less weight gain and also I was doing my exercises earlier to try to avoid getting worse again. (The pelvic tilt and me go way back :)) If you read through these boards you will find many of us have kids and manage even with our bad backs. There are many young ladies like you who do have small children. It helps of course to have a good family support system. Good luck to you, >:D< Sue
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