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AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
Hi, I am a newbie here. I had broken both bones in my ankle in Oct of 07. Took forever to heal. in Nov 08 I started with this intense sciatic pain. It took me 3 months to find a doc who would treat me. I had a nerve conduction test, (torture chamber) and 15 exrays, NO MRI. I dont have insurance and am sure that is why there was no MRI ordered. My doc told me I have "spondylolisthesis" which i have discovered is a general term. L5-S1 nerve issues, but said my discs were not degenerated. I am confused over the diagnosis, and was wondering if it does indeed mean disc herniation? I go to a clinic and within the 5 minute session, it is hard to get any real answers. I have had one predisone epidural with just one week of relief. Tomorrow I see a physical therapist. He has me on 750 vics, one every 4 hours. Sometimes the pain is so intense I am not able to put my foot on the floor. It has been months and I am not any better. Also, I have heard that these issues can be caused from uneven thigh muscles? Any insight to that?
Thanks for your thoughts!


  • A few questions to help me understand better: please be more specific about when you have the pain and when it is relieved. Often with spondylolisthesis pain is common when walking or standing and is relieved by sitting or lying down.

    Spondylolisthesis is a very specific condition: it is a Latin term for the slippage between two vertebrae. (spondylo - vertebra and Listhesis which means slippage). It can be caused by excessive motion in ligaments and/or spinal joints and it allows for one vertebra to slide over the top of the adjacent one, rather than lining up evenly as is the norm. Sometimes people are not aware they have this condition until an X-ray or MRI is done for another purpose and it is discovered. No pain is associated with it...or, it can cause the central column to narrow and can compress spinal nerves which causes "sciatic" pain. It can also cause instability...which is one of the main reasons for a fusion. There is no other way to deal with the instability at this point.

    The doctor will not be able to see the condition of the discs and soft tissue without a MRI. If you have nerve pain, the opioid medications will not really help.

    I would say that if you have spondylolisthesis, the uneven thigh muscles are probably caused by that, not the other way around. If there is a compressed nerve, it can affect the muscle strength and you can develop muscle atrophy. I don't know by "uneven", if you mean one thigh is smaller than the other leg?

    Welcome to the board. I hope I have provided something new for you to think about, and I look forward to hearing more from you.

    xx Gwennie
  • Thanks for responding! I have the pain all the time, laying down only relieves it sometimes. There are many nights I dont sleep because my leg is spasming. I can only really lay on my left side. Walking is very painful, as is standing. Sitting is also difficult.
    It took me a long time to heal from a broken ankle. Despite the excercising in bed I did develope atraphy in my left leg. My issues now are all on my right.

    Your right, the vics barely take the edge off. I will have to question my doc about the MRI and a fusion. Of course right now we have no insurance so that could be the reason. I go in for physical therapy tomorrow. Can I have permenant damage from not having surgery soon?
    I appreciate your insight!


  • hi there :H i too have been told i have this infact it was 8 years ago :O , it wasent to bad and kept in check with aniti imfam's diclofentic .but since christmass the pain has worsend so much :''( ,i have mri booked for tuesday and im hopeing it will show somthing so i can be treated properly for it,instead of just pain managment , im in the uk thank god so dont need insurence nhs is good for some things! ;) maybe we could follow eachother through this thing .i also read any info on it i can get ,so come on peeps tell us what you know ! :*
  • I'm-on-a-muscle-relaxant-and-lyrica-and-amitriptyline-for-sciatic-pain-I'm-also-on-pain-pills-but-only-nerve-pain-meds-could-help-sciatic-pain.-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
  • are any of my meds muscle relaxnts ?? im hopeless at all this! ~X(
  • Is it possible the doctor told you that you have spondylosis rather than spondylolisthesis? The terms are very similar but describe different problems.

    Spondylosis is a type of degenerative arthritis of the spinal vertebrae and related tissue. When it is fairly bad, it can cause nerve compression. The space between the vertebrae can narrow and this can result in "sciatic" type pain and/or muscle loss or atrophy.
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