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Can someone offer advice? Spondylolisthesis/pregnancy question...

dlbettsddlbetts Posts: 16
I was diagnosed in 1995 with spondylolisthesis at L5/S1. I can't remember what grade level at the time (i was in 7th grade). My mom has the same condition at a higher vertebrae. She refused to have surgery or injections for hers and therefore never considered it for me. I just lived with it.

Since then, I went back for checkups to see where I was at. I am a high grade 3 and told that anymore slippage could affect bladder control, etc. I have occasional tingling in my leg. As far as pain goes, I am still okay with mobility. However, the days that it hurts, it hurts. I have been prescribed vicodin and neurontin for pain, but I try not to take them.

My surgeon wants to do a posterolateral fusion. He doesn't want to move my spine back into alignment, but rather relieve the nerve pressure and lock my spine into place.

I want to get pregnant in the early fall of 2010. I am penciled in for a spinal fusion on December 17th. I will officially decide tomorrow when I meet with my surgeon.

Has anyone experienced this? Does my surgeon's recommendation sound normal? I have been researching and thinking for weeks now. I have decided to go through with surgery. My mother is now in her 50's and has 5 back problems since she never had hers taken care of. She is just now considering spinal injections. She is still not on my side, but I am TERRIFIED that pregnancy might make my problem worse. I could not imagine losing bladder control or paralysis during pregnancy!

I need any advice that you can offer. I am scared, worried, confused, etc.!

Please help!

Thank you!!


  • I don't know how pregnancy would affect you after surgery; however, I can tell you that I have been pregnant three times and had no complications. I was diagnosed in 1981 (10th grade) with grade 5 spondylolisthesis at the L5/S1. I was 15 at the time. I had a daughter via c-section in 1988, another daughter via c-section in 1995, and twin boys in 2002 by c-section. All 3 pregnancies were full-term and I did not have any problems carrying any of them. As a matter of fact, I think my back pain was lessened; but so was my physical activity. I wish you the best and would love to chat more with you. Michele
  • Hi,
    Happened upon your post about Spondy. and surgery for December 17th, and the question regarding pregnancy ... wondering if you followed thru and interested in speaking with you regarding your thoughts and fears about future pregnancy. I have grade 5 and was fused at L5 S1 in 1997 via Lamenictomy, full body traction (halo cast, rods thru knees and weights added on both ends of bed to "stretch spine", then anterior fusion and body cast). I have permenant nerve damage in legs, but can still walk. My birth canal is "cut off" - so to speak - and i was forced to terminate a pregnancy due to a number of health concerns involving my spondy. Would love to talk with someone else that is dealing with the condition, all of it's many challenging facets and the issue of pregnancy. I have many pages about related issues on a site called "aidpage" --- the address is the following: http://catluv.aidpage.com .... then go to "profile."
    I hope that your surgery was successful! Wondering if you underwent attempt to improve grade and fusion, or if they fused at the grade?
    I know from experience how scary and lonely the entire situation can be, especially considering how rare it is, therefore, it's difficult to find others willing to share and support one another.
    Best wishes to all here ... if anyone has/is dealing with Spondylolistheis, at any grade, please check out my web pages (explains my personal story, the condition, chronic pain, nerve deficit, etc), and shoot me a message!
    In addition, my email is the following: redpony2k2@comcast.net
    I would love to talk with anyone that has, or is planning a pregnancy, and how they have handled the various struggles and issues brought on by this rare spine condition.
    Blessings to all, Brenna

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