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Spondylothesis and College Basketball

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:28 AM in Lower Back Pain
Hi there.

Im a 20 year old female who plays Division 1 college basketball, which involves intense practicing everyday and a free weight lifting program. I'm am also a post player so I get knocked around a lot. When I was entering my junior year of high school, I was diagnosed with a Grade 1 spondy, which caused a lot of sciatica, hip pain, and a curved spine. I dealt with the pain all through high school and my freshman year of college. I tried physical therapy and seeing a chiropractor but nothing seemed to truly help. The summer before this year I also had to sit out for 3 weeks with summer workouts because of my back. I took and MRI and I also had a bulging disc on top of it. It is now my sophomore year and for about one month, I have been sitting out. In my last practice, the pain got so bad in my back and down my legs that I became too tight to even get up and down the floor. I cant bend over for loose balls either. Now even a month later of 0 to light activity since, simple motions still cause terrible pain such as throwing a pass to my teammates during their drills. I can't sleep at night and the pain is so bad, even without basketball.

One doctor told me I should stop playing and another said I could do it if i want. Its not that I don't want to but I dont want to cause more damage and i need to control this intense pain. Im getting a steroid shot in a few days and im hoping that works for a bit. But in terms of highly competetive division 1 basketball, I'm not sure if I can do it. Is anyone else play on a collegiate team or do intense daily workouts with the same or similar problems??

I just want to be able to play basketball with my kids some day and i need to think about my future. But is this the end of basketball for me?

any feedback is apprectiated


  • I should also add that surgery was recommended to me by some and not by others. but i'm hesitant for spinal surgery. however, every conservative method has been tested on me without any results.
  • I hope the steroid injections help you. I would get a referral for a NeuroSurgeon and see what he says. Get at least 2 or 3 opinions from Neuro or Orthopedic Surgeons before surgery. But wait and see if the injections help. Good luck and keep us posted. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • I would do everything possible before you even consider surgery. That should be a last resort. You never know about surgery what it will do to you. Dont throw away your chances of playing ball. Good luck in the future.
  • You need to find a very good physical therapist that specializes in spine rehab especially stabilization training. You need symptom management first and to figure out if both things are causing pain or just one of those. Then the appropriate treatment. A good stabilization program will be essential for returning to b-ball. Ask the therapist if they are familiar with Stuart McGills work. Find someone who is.
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