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Spondyloliosthesis and disc degeneration L5-S1

scottishheathersscottishheather Posts: 2
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:52 AM in New Member Introductions
Hello Everyone, I'm Karen from Scotland. I'm 50 (how did that happen :''( ??) a mum with grown up kids and I have suffered from chronic back pain since 2005.

I was diagnosed by MRI in 2006 as having Isthmic Spondylolisthesis ( I can't pronounce it either :? )where two of my vertebrae slipped forward onto the ones below.This was because of a fracture in a piece of bone that connects joints on the back of the spine. The fracture is caused by stress to the bone. My surgeon thought I probably had it since I was a child of around 7 /8 but it never showed any major symptoms until I was older. I did have bad back pain on and off as a teenager but it was never investigated as it didn't last for long periods at a time. How different that all became in 2005!!

I was in horrendous pain for months while my pain relief was gradually increased. In 2006 I was advised to have spinal fusion surgery to stabilise my spine and help to relieve the constant pain in my back and legs. I had that done and unfortunately it was only slightly helpful. I have titanium screws in my back and I had to have a bone graft taken from my pelvis as well. I am now in horrendous pain again. Unfortunately the surgery never really helped my pain it just made my spine safer. I have also put on 6 stones in weight since 2005 due to poor mobility which makes me very fed up at times.It also creates a catch-22 situation where my weight gain is now causing its own problems.

I am on 200mg of Oxycontin a day plus 10mg of oxynorm as required :OO . It just eases the pain. It doesn't remove it. I have just been at my first appointment at the pain clinic for my chronic pain problems. I have been started on Pregabilin which is a nerve type drug which can help apparently but I was told it is a bit of trial and error as it has lots of side effects :S . So far I have not noticed any reduction in my pain levels but I am gradually building this up so I have to give it more time.

Basically I just want my life back :< . I am so limited in what I can now do physically it is soul-destroying.

I am desperate to hear if anyone had the same problems with weight gain and if they managed to lose it. Also has anyone tried Pregabilin for chronic pain? I look forward to sharing on the forum where there is mutual understanding of the problems people with back problems/pain face.
Thanks for listening :) , Karen :H


  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427
    This site is giving me an education. :) I had to look up how many pounds equal a stone. :)
    Seems like it would be 84#, which is considerable. Curious...how fast did that happen?
    I recently have gained an instant 20#s.. meds causing it? I don't know.
    I tried Lyrica, I think that's the Pregabilin, and I was allergic...throat swollen..difficulty swallowing & breathing.. tounge swelled.
    Now I take Neurontin. I stopped it for about a month because I thought it was the cause of weight gain, but weight staying same..so back on the Neurontin.
    The Neurontin does seem to help, esp. at night.
    So sorry for all you are going through.
    You found a great site. Between the articles and reading the forums..I hope you find some answers.
    Hang in there! You're not alone.
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • Hi Savage, thank you for your lovely reply. >:D<

    Yup, I am really grateful to have found such a great site. I have already learned so much from reading others' posts.

    You are absolutely right, Pregabilin is also called Lyrica. I probably confused folks using the lesser known name. The potential for weight gain on this med is very worrying for me as I need to lose weight not put even more on. :S

    Yes, I have put on 84 pounds in weight gain over the last 5 years, since my back problems got much worse. I was always a very active person before this all happened (my body weight was 126 pounds in 2005) and so I think it has mainly been due to my very limited mobility.

    I rarely go outdoors nowadays and even indoors I can do very little physical activity. It is all really depressing at times as it makes everything 10 times worse and does nothing for my battered self esteem / body image. :''(

    Thanks again for saying hello! Karen :)
  • hi and welcome to the forum! :H we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. i have several friends from your part of the world in northern ireland and wales..it is so nice you dropped in although i am sorry it is for pain reasons!! you and i are very close in age so i understand some of the problems that come with getting older and having pain...please have a good look around and make yourself at home!! good luck to you! Jenny :)
  • I have had similar issues, my fusion did help my back pain...but it caused permanent nerve damage (that and waiting 6 years to do it) and I live with horrible Neuropathy, I'm getting a spinal cord stimulator next month. I actually lost a ton of weight before I had surgery...stress and pain I guess, I was down to 112lbs. I've been on Neurontin 800mg 3x day (and flexeril, Norco, Vistaril, Baclofen and Ibuprofen) Anyway, Neurontin (gabapentin) is like a sister drug (mirror image chemically). I've been on it for years and never noticed any weight gain from it. I have gained forty since my surgery, but I have also had loads of steroid injections, and unless I'm at work, I don't get much exercise (work is killing me, I am a nurse on a very busy/heavy floor-it takes me two days in bed to recover from working three nights). So, I've lost a few pounds...I don't think any of my weight gain was from the Neurontin because I've been on it since 2005 and it never was a problem until my back took over my life. Obviously nothing I've taken or had done yet has worked, thus the spinal cord stimulator next month.
    I've had to buy all new clothes and scrubs, at first it was to accomadate the LSO brace I wore for a year, now it's just because I've grown. I don't know how you feel about it, have you tried swimming and pool exercises? It helps a lot and you take all the weight off your spine for a while! Walking is good also, you just have to find a place to start and go slowly. Building up those core muscles does help with the pain. Good luck with the new pain clinic, I hope you can get that pain better controlled!
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