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Spondylolisthesis Leg Nerve Pain Please Help

I am a 26 year old male. I was recently diagnosed with grade 1 spondylolisthesis w/ pars fracture. I only have severe leg pain, worse in right leg. I had pins and needles 2 times in the last 4 months, it does not seem to e progressing but its really messing up my quality of life. At first the doctors said they don't want to do surgery because of my age and all, but then after they took an x-ray with me flexing, they suggested surgery. I was wondering what are the chances of my leg pain resolving with conservative therapy? I am terrified to have a spinal fusion and fear the long term consequences. I also want to be 100% sure this is what is causing my problem. Does anyone have any advice? Could this possibly resolve if its unstable? I have been laying in bed for months because I didn't know what was wrong with me and thought I would wake up one day and be fine. What are the chances I will need surgery? Can strengthening core muscles really make me asymptomatic or its a long-shot? I also just realized when I push down on the top of my head it hurts my lower back. The reason I began to think it is a different condition causing my issues is because I just started to develop bi-lateral hand pain that goes up my arm sometimes. I am really scared, does anyone have any input?


  • I am in the same boat with you except I am 46. My doctors want me to hold off as long as I can also, but my pain, numbness and other issues are getting noticeably worse. I am grade 2, pars defects, disk compression at L4-L5. This website has been awesome as I have done my research. Although I am honestly scared about the surgery, I am comfortable with my doctors (neurologists), the procedure and in my head (I know what is going to happen.) If I am not ready in my head, no way am I ready to do anything.

    In addition to my symptoms being worse, I have gotten a deep tissue massage every four weeks for the last 2 years by the same person. Sue is aware of my situation and works on the muscles to help loosen them up. This past time and the month prior, I could barely let her touch my lower back on the right side (left side is sore too, but no where near like the right.)

    My advice would be do research, read blogs, watch YouTube videos of people who have had the surgery. Articles I have read (and Dr. agrees) that the odds of success are much higher when you have back surgery for a specific reason. Is everyone the same? No. But I for one, can't live with this pain for the rest of my life. It is affecting every aspect from sitting at my office desk typing this, playing the organ and piano (I am a church musician), teaching piano lessons and even sleeping.
  • if your spondy is on your cervical its normal to feel numbness and pain in your hands and arms
  • Hello-

    I am 25 years old and am getting an L5/S1 fusion next Wednesday due to a grade 4 slipped disc, degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, large paracentral herniation and pars defect (fracture). After all of the non-surgical treatments, the pain, numbness, tingling and low range of motion in my left leg was still not relieved or any better. Surgery is my only option and they were also hesitant due to my age but he said that I needed it in order to receive relief and not cause ANY more damage. I hope you get the answers you need to make a decision that is best for you.
    Olivia Douglass
    MIS TLIF L5/S1 on 5/1/13
  • My leg pain has increased substantially after fusion. I wish I could go back and not have had the fusion process. I suffered terrible terrible pain in my left leg for 6 months following the fusion and now I limp, I have a hard time walking for long and I had virtually no pain in my leg prior to the surgery. I regret having the fusion. My doctor explained that the replacement disc stretched my spine and nerve and it may take years to heal. Nerve damage is apparently the slowest repair in the body. I live on medication now to help tolerate the pain. My personal experience has been horrible.
  • I am SO sorry to hear that your leg pain has gotten that much worse after the fusion! :( I see the doctor tomorrow as I am 12 days post op and although I am feeling great, I also have more severe aching down both of my legs (before the pain was only down my left) and some pain in my right lower back that I never had before. I sure hope that this stops soon- I find that the muscle relaxers do help a bit. However, I do have significant nerve damage and I've heard the pain is from the nerve trying to rebuild itself! :( I hope that you see some good results soon, that is NO fun to be in worse pain than you were before the operation. Has physical therapy or any nerve medicine worked or done anything for you?
    Olivia Douglass
    MIS TLIF L5/S1 on 5/1/13
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