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spondylolisthesis and nerve pain

KaSpelKKaSpel Posts: 1
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:00 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I have right leg nerve pain, tingling in the calf, and a little numbness in the foot. Standing is difficult, but if I bend forward or move around a little, it goes away. Walking is somewhat painful, but it actually makes the pain feel good, if you know what I mean. My left leg is a little sore on the IT band. Had done PT for 4 weeks with little results, but the exercises are great and have continued them at home. Visited an orthopedic surgeon shortly after, and he took x-rays, and these are the results:
There is L4-5 degenerative disc disease and facet arthrosis with grade 2 anterolisthesis of L4 on L5 measuring 12mm. This does not significantly change on flexion and extension.
There is also L5-S1 degenerative disc disease and facet arthrosis. There is grade 1 retrolisthesis of L5 on S1 approximately 5 mm without change on flexion and extension.

I have spondylolisthesis, and the options I were given were steroid injections (no), nerve pain meds (no), continue with pt/exercising and strengthening, OR, he would perform an L4-L5 laminectomy and an L4-L5 interbody fusion with pedicle screws, rods, and a cage.
The surgery scares the crap out of me, as I have been doing much research on this procedure, and am concerned about the long term consequences of fusion surgery. I will do the surgery as a last resort. Does anyone have experience with my condition and recovering using non-operative procedures. In addition, if anyone has had this particular surgery, please relate your experience.
Thanks so much.


  • Hi and welcome. Dr said if you continue to do pt and excercises then he will do the surgery?

    Its not realy his choice to make about surgery when it comes down to it, He might not recomend it but its usualy your choice to make not his,

    You might want to get a 2 nd opinion is always a good idea, Fusion is no small surgery and long recovery and can have its own risk as any dr will tell ya,

    Injections is a good start if you might be able to avoid the surgery and not sure why he could not give anything for the nerve pain such as lyrica or neurontin to posibly try,

    But on the flip side if long term avoiding surgery can cause nerve damage then you might have to reconsider the surgery part,

    Find a good dr to get 2 nd opinion and go from there to see if surgery can be avoided or not. Good luck
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • Hi all,

    Well seen as I have just joined this group I guess I should start by telling my story of how I got here!! Any advice or anyone who wants to chat who are going through the same as me would be much appreciated!!

    I woke up one Sunday morning last September 2011 and an hour later I could hardly move. The following day I got numbness and paralysis in my left arm and leg and had severe pain in my lower back which was more excruciating upon sitting or lying flat on my back or stomach. Although the numbness subsided after a couple of weeks the pain was as bad as ever and I was referred for musculo-skeletal/ orthopaedic physiotherapy where I underwent an MRI scan. I had all sorts of physiotherapy including traction, acupuncture and hydrotherapy none of which helped before I was formally diagnosed. In December I was diagnosed with spondylolithesis L5/S1, degeneration of 2 discs and a herniated disc between L4/L5. I also have Pars defect and stenosis on both the left and right hand sides.

    I have now been off work/studying for over 5 months, I struggle to sit stand or walk far. The only way I can get comfortable is lying on either of my sides. I can't even sit through a meal, I have a bed downstairs, struggle to walk up the stairs and I am practically housebound. If I do go outside I am very slow at walking, can't walk far due to the chronic pain and have a constant limp. I'm taking ridiculous amounts of medication which only seem to numb down the pain and I am awaiting an appointment for the pain clinic.

    I would love to hear off people going through the same thing. I feel so isolated and alone, I am usually such an upbeat person but I feel this is beating me and I am so down and tearful.
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