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Surgery alternative!

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:28 AM in Alternative Treatments
Hi all ~ newbie here. I'm pleased to find this forum to talk with others for support. It's been such a lonely time for me all this time with no where to turn since I don't know anyone directly who's going thru what I have been.

I'm curious what kinds of alternatives to another surgery there might be? Specifically, is there a way to NON-surgically realign a slipped vertibrae if you have spondylolisthesis? Also, curious if spinal decompression therapy is a reliable option? I had a L4-5 discectomy years ago for a ruptured / herniated disc. Things only got worse after the surgery. Unable to work since, was told by 2 neurosurgeons that I need more surgery (fusion) and I'm not happy about it in the least. The thought just turns my stomach! I'm always in pain ~ feels like someone mule-kicked my lower back. I have DDD at L4-5 and spondylolisthesis with pains shooting down my left leg and intermittent numbness / tingling in my foot with some atrophy and weakness in my left leg. Had another MRI today for an update since symptoms are getting worse. I suspect stenosis with pressure on a nerve. Don't have the results yet. I know the disc is flat as a pancake. I'm really worried but hope that I can put off surgery without subjecting myself to irreversible damage. When I get the full MRI report I'll post detailed findings.

Just wondering what other options I have besides surgery.
Anyone here had any success with anything? Thanks for reading my post. I wish everyone well.

Be well & live strong :)))


  • Hi there,

    I'm a big advocate of spinal decompression therapy. It has something like an 85% success rate. Also, it's painless, so you won't do yourself any harm even if it doesn't work for you. Just keep in mind that it won't work if you'd had a fusion surgery.
  • If you have spondylolisthesis and have some instability in your spine, there really aren't any procedures out there that will solve the problem other than surgery. Usually a fusion is the common surgical procedure. Anything less usually does not solve the instability issue.

    Even if there is a way to realign the vertebrae, the alignment will not hold. Eventually with movement the slip with reoccur...or it could happen at any point just by bending over or whatever.

    Depending on your symptoms, sometimes pain can be controlled through physical therapy and medications to reduce inflammation. Just because you have spondylolisthesis, you do not always require surgery. A certain portion of the population has this condition and since they are asymptomatic, they are not even aware of it. However, it sounds like your nerve compression is causing sciatic symptoms and radiculopathy in your left leg.

    If your search the old threads, you should be able to find information on the various procedures that promise spinal decompression. It has been my experience that most people found it to be a waste of time and money.

    In your case, the spondy may be causing the stenosis and nerve compression. If that is the case, fusion will probably be your only option. I had spondy at L4-5 and the stenosis was so bad that you couldn't more than a pin prick of space on the MRI. I was very opposed to having a fusion and kept thinking, surely, there was a newer procedure that would address my issues. I went to 8 different spinal specialists in several cities...trying to find that "new" way of doing things. No luck. For spondy, fusion is the gold standard of treatment. So I had surgery in Jan of 2008.

    If you have questions, I'm happy to answer them, if I can.

    Good luck.

    xx Gwennie :H
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