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

Hi grade 2 spondy with pars defect Surgery??

Hi all, can someone give me some advice or tell me how their surgery went/success... I have been debating on
having this surgery for sometime now. My Dr and pain mgt specialist think I should have it done..but I am not ready.


  • What particular procedure you looking at, a TLIF, PLIF, ALIF, and one level or multi. I'm guessing L5-S1 or L4-L5. Probably get a little faster reply with that extra info. In the end, it's ultimately up to you since it's your body. Pain is deffinitely a generator for helping you decide, but then again, when it comes to unstability in the spine, which is what you and I have, you have to consider how much further damage is being done as to the waiting game.
  • I have a grade 1 spondy with a bilateral Pars Defect at L5/S1 and some other issues at the same level. I have tingling/numbness, pain, and weakness in my legs. I have opted to have the surgery for a number of reasons.
    1. The neurological symptoms are getting progressive worse including the weakness and numbness
    2. I'm tired of the instability causing the pain
    3. The disk between L5/S1 is so compressed that I am almost bone on bone at that level
    4. I'm starting to have issues at L3/L4
    5. 2 doctors, 2 PT's, and a chiropractor have said that I need it
    Ultimately as cactus said the decision is yours and you need to determine if your quality of life has been impacted. I know there is no guarantee that my pain I'll go away but I will have a more stable spine which, at least in my mind, should help.

    Single level L5/S1 360 fusion with 6 screws and a rod (10/29/12)
    Diagnosis: Grade 1-2 spondylolithesis, Pars Defect, L5/S1 disc tear anterior and posterior, DDD, spinal stenosis
  • jellyhalljjellyhall Posts: 4,373
    edited 09/23/2012 - 11:29 AM
    I had a grade 2 spondylolisthesis at L4/5 due to a stress fracture of the Pars defect.
    I put off surgery for over 2 years after I was diagnosed because of fear of the surgery. I felt there was no way I was going to have spinal surgery. I wouldn't even go and see the surgeon!

    Then things got worse, I could only stand for less than 5 minutes before I was in pain, I could only walk for less than 10 minutes before I was looking for somewhere to sit down. I agreed to go and 'just talk' to the surgeon. He told me that I couldn't continue to put off the surgery, and that if I did I would risk being in a wheelchair and eventually incontinent. That helped me decide!

    I had a PLIF (posterior lumbar interbody fusion) with decompression and that really helped; not only with the terrible bilateral sciatica, but also with the lower back pain. I wished I hadn't waited so long.

    Now 2 and 1/2 years later I am still much better than I was before surgery, but it seems that things are deteriorating again. Now it may be due to my cervical problems that were there before my lumbar fusion. I am facing a 2 level ACDF for cord compression and have been told that I may need to have more surgery later from the back (laminectomy) due to nerve root compression at all levels from C4 to C7.

    I seem to have inherited a degenerative spinal problem as the whole of my spine has degenerated discs and there are some problems with discs and bony spurs in my thoracic spine too.

    I was warned before my lumbar fusion that I would still have back pain afterwards because I had other problems in my spine. At the time I didn't think about what that meant. Now, as I am facing more spinal surgery, it is starting to dawn on me what that doctor meant.

    It is a big surgery, but if your pain is limiting your life, like it was mine, then I think a few months of recovery are worth it.
    Do let us know what you decide. You will get great support here, whatever you decide.

  • EmilyEEmily Posts: 112
    edited 09/23/2012 - 12:48 PM
    I also had the Pars defect at L5 with increasing slip and pain that was unmanageable. According to my NS, this is considered the best reason to have a fusion, because there is instability that can be fixed.

    My first surgery ( a PLIF) did not go well and I ended up with an infection and in far worse pain. The redo, an ALIF, done over two sessions with cleaning out of the infection was far better, and after a long, 18 month recovery I can now do some sport again.

    Here are the things my NS said he insists on for this to be a success in older people like me ( I'm 50):

    A 360 fusion (fusion from the front and back)
    Own bone, not cadaver or artificial bone
    A hard brace for 3 months afterwards
    A patient that believes they can recover and has a positive attitude!

    I also had no PT for a year because my bone was softened.

    Even after the first unsuccessful surgery, my leg pain went away. I still have back pain, but was able to rebuild all the muscles in the one leg which had become noticeably thinner than the other due to muscle weakness.

    Of course, I wish I had had my second surgeon first...that appears to be key too. The right person for the job.

    Good luck!
  • Thanks guys, I will find out more after the 7th and new MRI's... Jelly you and I must be mirror images, Last year I had the 4 level ACDF so if i can help let me know and you can help me with the lower :) I am not sure who I inherited this from,but I don't think there is really one right answer :( I also have the spur problem..its like what the heck! I will be having the surgery I just don't know where we are starting at..I guess that depends on the MRI results. I have a great NS and that is always a plus!! Thanks everyone and God Bless ohhh and by the way Jellyhall ...are you sure WE aren't related! LOL

  • My sister lives in Australia (I think that is where you are), but we were both born and grew up in Africa.

    I have hypermobile joints and have been told that is probably part of the reason I have so many problems with my spine. I used to be so proud of how double jointed I was when I was a child!!

    I'll let you know how I get on after my operation tomorrow.
    Do ask any questions you have Teresa, and I'll answer them as soon as I can.

Sign In or Register to comment.