Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

Spinal Stenosis/ L4-L5/ SI Disfunction

edited 06/11/2012 - 8:56 AM in New Member Introductions
I am 64 & was a runner for more than 30 years. The most trouble I had was L4-L5 herniation which responded well to steroid shots. I retired in 2008, returned home. Then began the series of dr visits to find cause of new pain. E-xay in '08 showed no new problem. After neurologist nerve conduction, and MRI in 2/2011. I was given hand full of pain prescripts and told 2 come back in 3 mos. Not good enough. My D O sent me for PT.After 9 sessions, and moderate pain consumption I could walk. D O suggested I see Best Neurosurgeon here, who for me naturally said I need surgery. Diagnosis; spinal stenosis, L4-L5 herniation, SI dysfunction and spondylolisthesis. A mouth full. My son a doctor advises against surgery because of response from his patients. I am inclined for the surgical fix because I have indigestion, incontinence, bowel problems, constant inflammation, not to mention the crawlers up my legs and numbness in feet. I am heart broken. Reading these forums is as scary as the pain I suffer. I am also angry that I have seen so many docs, and I am still suffering. There is no non invasive back surgery per the surgeon, and I have read and watched videos of what he proposes. I have requested a consult w/ the Mayo Clinic down south b4 I advance. Last year for my 63 birthday I was hiking Malibu trail. Now I can hardly walk my 4 legged companion down the block. Oh, & my 90 yr old mom stroke disabled 10 yrs ago needs my attention. I feel so overwhelmed surgery looks very appealing. I know I suffered trauma to my back w/ special workout shoes that should have come w/ warning.


  • hi and welcome to the forum! we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. surgery is such a personal decision and one you have to live with whatever you decide.. right now, you are opting out and requesting more information! for some of us, not having surgery is a decision we choose and make a lifestyle out of.. i use many different modalities to work on my pain problems.. i am sure you will be doing the same under a doctor's care if you do decide against surgery! good luck to you! stop by anytime! and remember, you can always change your mind if you like!!! be sure and check out the "Back and Neck Surgery" forum for more input as well... Jenny
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,476
    Wow..you have a lot on your plate..trying to figure out your own issues and your mom. It's so not easy, but you've come to a good site.
    And you're not alone.
    Lulu is right about this site having a variety of forums to cover just about everything a person with spinal issues can experience.
    I still struggle with depression, but the sharing here helps immensely!
    Take it a day at a time!
    Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

  • Welcome to Spine-Health. You'll find a lot of information and videos throughout this site and the members of the forum are very helpful, knowledgeable and supportive.

    I also had a disc bulge, stenosis and spondylolisthesis (as well as facet joint issues) at L4/5, but no SI dysfunction. Like you, the ESI has worked well for the disc bulge, but FJIs did nothing for the stenosis. I got to the point where I couldn't stand for more than a few minutes without major pain - stenosis is so painful. Also, spondylolisthesis means that your spine is unstable.

    With that said, choosing whether or not to have surgery is a very personal choice and one only you can make. Thinking about outcomes, don't judge by what you read on these forums. The ones that have had successful surgery and back to normal don't come back here because they no longer need the support. Some stay to help others, but most are off living normal lives.

    I can tell you that although I'm not 100%, I'm a thousand times better after surgery than before. It was definitely a difficult recovery, thus it would be difficult with your mom because you'll need help yourself. But I've never heard of stenosis reversing itself, or spondylolisthesis, so you really have to think hard about this.

    Also, if you're having bladder and bowel problems, that could mean very, very serious business. I realize your son is a doctor and is advises you against it, but it's really your decision and many will tell you that it was worth it. It was for me and luckily, once the surgeon got in there, he told me my back was much more unstable than he thought, thus I have a 7" scar for a 1-lvl fusion.

    Anyway, I just wanted to put in my 2 cents worth. Go with your gut and don't let others or what you read here influence you. Listen closely to your doctor, especially if he says that if you don't have surgery, you could risk paralysis.

    Take care and please keep us posted. We'll be here for you.
  • I have gotten 2 a point where I am more functional.I go 2 gym & use elliptical & bikes. Optimum is 5 days. I purpose 2 burn 500 + calories because my waistline & weight have ballooned. I am going 2 Mayo Clinic @ Florida n December. I want the fix 4 my back. I have 4 siblings here so they will take mom. I am doing better.I take moderate amounts of meds & get pain & inflammation relief by taking 2 TBLSP yellow mustard when I feel the tingle in my legs. I also go 2 great masseuse 1x week. I have the folder the neurosurgeon here provided.Scary,but I need 2 b restored to where I was prior 2 Nov. 2010.I keep my 2 grandson age 2 & 3 Friday -Sat. I am able 2 enjoy them now,but I feel I have aged 10 yrs in a few months. I believe I hurt my back w/ some specific fitness shoes that have been discontinued. I can remember a certain pounding on my spine sometimes.I am better & theorize that If shoes 'broke' my back, not using them will 'fix' my back.Maybe.Since I had preexisting L4-L5, now incontinence,bowel & digestive trbles, I look forward 2 Mayo expert opinion.
  • Hi and welcome. There is a lot of good info on this forum and alot of people with similar issues.

    I am also a former runner who cannot run anymore. I am 62. My injury was being knocked unconscious by a snowboarder. I have among other things spinal stenosis. You can read the full list at the bottom.

    I have had 3 fusions and have been pleased with them all. I am one of the people who has a fusion and then it creates stress on the vertebrae above or below. My spine was pretty badly damaged in the accident and has deteriorated a lot. Some people have one fusion and never have any more problems.

    A second opinion is also a nice thing to have. I do believe if surgery can add to your quality of life it is worth it. it is a long recovery so you have to have a lot of patience.

    Good luck and keep us posted on what you decide.

    L4/L5 laminectomy, L4/L5 360 fusion with instrumentation, L1 to L5 fusion, L5/S1 fusion w/ disc replacement, left and right SI joints fused.
Sign In or Register to comment.