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


I am 17 weeks post-op 3 lumbar laminectomies, 1 re-vision micro Diskectomy

This week I started having alot of pain whenever I changed positions , the pain felt like a "catch" whenever
I tried to stand up from a sitting position or trying to get out of bed etc...

I had an MRI in NYC the day after Thanksgiving and am anxiously waiting for the results.

But in my gut and my PT feels tge same way that probably my diagnosis will be. UNSTABLE SPINE and I will possibly need a fusion.

Does anyone else have UNSTABLE SPINE and was it unstable before or after spine surgery and what treatment was performed?

ANXIOUS ROSE ( formally Stenosis Rose)


  • Hi Rose, what exactly is unstable spine?
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,832
    but basically, its due to a number of different conditions in the spine (Stenosis, DDD, multiple surgeries, etc) that contribute to that term.
    As far as I know, there isnt a specific condition called unstable spine. , Its more ore less the product of the sum of all other items.
    It can come into play when additional surgeries may be required. I had my 4 lumbar and 3 cervical surgeries, so when they were looking at some T-discs and L2/L3 to perform surgery, the surgeons felt that my spine was NOT stable enough to have those additional surgeries.

    That is what I have known about the term. It may in fact be a formal term, just that I am not aware of it.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Doc said cuz basicly spine slipping off at L5/S1. I will try spell it. LOL! Spondylolisthesis/retrolisthesis..

    From what I understand about it spine constantly moving so muscles work hard to hold me up.

    I have not had surgery. I think it would be a fusion
    .they give me pain pills.

    There may b other reasons for instability but this is mine. :)
  • Unstable spine is a medical condition term

    I had 3 laminectomies done without a fusion.

    I was told fusion could be needed later on.

    Ayyyyyy, I hope 17 weeks post-op is " not later on"

    I sooooo do not need this now.
    That would be three major orthopedic surgeries within one year! And a huge kidney stone on top of that

  • I have been told this and from what I gather, its more or less what Ron said... just a total sum of all the things wrong. Good luck Rose.
    33yo mom of two. My surgical history...preadolescence scoliosis, kyphosis, and a hot mess.... 5 spine surgeries and lots of items added I wasn't born with (titanium, peek, surgical steel). Guess cremation is out. TSA loves me.
  • Or something like that. But I could b wrong.
  • You've had so much done I know u got b tired of it all! I hope u are not unstable an need surgery for that too! . We shall hope it some small thing that will go away with time. :)
  • I know.... i cant imagine going through a surgery again

    Still no news about my MRI yet

    No news I fear in my case is NOT good news.....I am getting more concerned by the hour

    Tomorrow will be one week since my MRI
    I will call and email them again and hopefully get some answers

    Thanks and hugs

  • I have all of the symptoms
    Changing positions is the most painful

  • In my report it says I have retrolisthesis at one of the levels I think it was either C3-4 or 4-5. I have DDD at 3 levels with all sorts of other problems like 2 broad based protrusions, nerve impingement at C5 and 6 and possible C-7. Also arthritis and moderate spinal canal stenosis at C5-6 and borderline at two other levels. Oh and muliple bone spurs. Because of the retrolisthesis does that mean I may not be able to have surgery? I see the neurosurgeon on Monday. What is a retrolisthesis suppose to feel like?
  • They are 2 different things

    Spondylosis is a general term for age-related wear and tear affecting the spinal disks in your neck. As the disks dehydrate and shrink, bone spurs and other signs of osteoarthritis develop. Cervical spondylosis is very common and worsens with age.- Mayo Clinic

    Spondylolisthesis is the forward or backwards slippage of a segment of the spine
    Retrolisthesis is the backward slippage
    Anteriolisthesis is the foward slippage
    It is fairly common in L5-S1, and L4-L5

    Spondylolisthesis can be stable or unstable. In an unstable spondylolisthesis, the vertebra above shifts forward and backward during normal bending of the spine.

    It is rare in the cervical region, It sometimes can be repaired with traction, it did not help me.I have been diagnosised with anteriolisthesis at C3 over C4, my c3 has slipped foward and is pushing C4 at a vertical angle. . It has made swallowing difficult. I have done a bunch of research since being diagnosed. I don't know what the retrolisthesis would feel like.

  • RangerRRanger on da rangePosts: 805
    Had that, C4 thru C7, got it fused, now I got it again. Above the fusion it's getting bad, below the fusion it's worse.
    Back in the repair shop in 2014.
    Life is good!
  • You say you have trouble swallowing. Do you ever get that tightness in your throat like a constriction feeling. That started about a year ago with me. It's not constant but it comes and goes. It's a very annoying feeling of constriction. I know it comes from my neck. Any ideas on what problem in the cervical area gives that type of sensation? It usually when I'm bending or pulling that brings it on.
  • Have you had your thyroid checked out for a goiter?
    That can give that constrictive throat feeling
  • My thyroid is normal mad always has been so far. It's from my neck problems. I can tell. Last winter I had my throat scoped by the ENT and everything was fine in there.
  • I meant normal and not normal mad. Lol.
  • When I swallow sometimes it does feel constricted, an food feels like it doesn't move. I will drink about 16oz of water to finally push it through. It has been getting worse and even a pill got stuck I couldn't push it thru and tried to throw it up. Finally it disolved in my neck, and it felt like my throat was on fire. What ever chemicals in the pill were not throat friendly. I try to remember to chew and chew and chew before swallowing.

    I am not sure what might be causing your sensations, but pushing and pulling always cause me more pain around my neck, and anything when I have to put my hands straight out foward. I can reach up without much pain. If I find anything in my research I will let you know.

    Is it bending your neck foward or backward, or jusr bending at the waist - that usually makes me dizzy.
  • Costochrondritis

    Its inflammation of sternum and ribs

    The pain can travel up to the throat from the chest area causing a constrictive feeling
  • Ever since my cervical fusion, sometimes when i put my head down towards my chest
    I feel like i am choking or constricting my throat

    I think its the instrumentation ( screws etc...) giving me that choking feeling
  • Have you ever looked at your MRIs post op? I started requesting copies and because you can see the soft tissue, you can see the protrusion of soft tissue into my throat from my ACDF at c6-7. All the Drs said I would have difficulty the first couple months post op, but this is 4 years post. But the real difficulty has happen recently, where the food is actually getting stuck. I cough all the time while eating to get the food to move.
  • better to the repair shop, then the junk yard, lol
  • I have all that plus stenosis. But it gets confusing to me! AND chronic spondylolysis. Which might b included in one of the others. But was enough to make me crazy trying to figure it out!

    Actually u made it clearer for me than the doctors! :)
  • Helen3Helen3 Posts: 205
    edited 12/05/2013 - 6:59 PM
    I have trouble swallowing. And feel pressure on sides of neck. I used to think carotid arteries were stopped up, but been checked for that an they r clear.

    Also have a "prominent thornwalt cyst".
  • I think thornwalt like a pocket that food (an medication) can get hung up in. Sometimes it really Burns an I think pain pill hung up.

    I always have to drink a lot after swallowing anything.
  • spondylosis is an inclusive term. I love the fact that on my first MRI they said no spondylosis at all but 2 levels. Now 5 years later, with all the interventions, I have some form of spondylosis at every cervical level. Not the direction I was hoping to go

    that tornwaldt cyst is pretty rare finding, but can cause cervical pain.

    with your spine constantly moving have you thought of going on "Dancing with the Stars".- Just Joking. I cringe when I see how they move.
  • I can't tell I'm unstable. I did not know till they told me. All I knew was I was in terrible pain. With pain pills I can walk around an feel like my old self almost. But then my neck reminds me ....

    At least the back pain mostly under control.
  • RangerRRanger on da rangePosts: 805
    edited 12/07/2013 - 5:02 AM
    you've got that right!

    btw my friends, I was and still am having swallowing issues, thinking it was related to my cervical fusion and hardware.
    Had a scope done and found out I have Barretts Esophagus. Good thing I had it checked out, that is nothing to ignore I found out. So I add that onto my list of fun and games.
    take care,
  • Stenosis rose, my spondylilisthesis (anterior not retro) was unstable with flexion and extension. Effectively, it just meant that my symptoms never abated because mybody was always compensating for the movement. Didnt matter what chiro, physio, acupuncture, etc i had, symptoms just continued on...nerve pain down both legs. Fusion was the answer. You've been through so much, tho...sorry you're going through this now!
  • You just need another pill a day for Barrett's. Maybe the purple pill I myself take the generic for Prilosec - omerprazole just breaks down the acid. According to my therapists whom I have been going to since coming out of collar on Oct. 4th I believe it's between C3 and C4 that effects the swallowing. But not sure - next visit with my brutal master is Wed. He's a senior therapist since I was very particular who would be touching me after such a big surgery and my muscles and nerves are still angry after all this time of therapy. I think my last appt will be Dec. 16th but considering I had 4 level I can move pretty good ROM way more then what I ever thought. So Ranger anyway 1pill should do it and probably forever.
  • I am hoping and praying they come up with something to handle this pain. I still can't believe you are not getting infusions. Maybe your insurance won't approve it. Had mine yesterday but heard season is here so time for me to stay away in public places as much as possible. Too bad I have to go to ambulatory care to finish my rounds of epidurals. Makes me cringe, yes flu season is upon us. Be careful Rose.
Sign In or Register to comment.