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Spondylolisthesis: 19-years-old

Hi all, I am fairly new to this site. My name is Megan, and I am nineteen years old.
Just as a forewarning, this is going to be a long post, so apologizes in advance.
Just some background information:

In December 2013, I was seventeen, and I was at track practice doing multileveled box jumps, and I am not very light on my feet, and my legs were also exhausted after a grueling workout. I landed on one of the boxes a bit unbalanced, and felt a twinge in my back. It was the worst pain I have ever felt in my entire life, and I was unable to bend even the slightest bit forward. I did not stop, and did not bring my pain to the attention of my coaches, as I was at the height of my high school sports career, and was already working on overcoming a previous shoulder injury. I thought that it was likely a muscle strain or something, and brushed it off. I never received medical attention for this injury, which I deeply regret now. After a month or so, the severe pain subsided, but I was left with a constant ache in my lower back, but nothing debilitating or warranting a doctors visit. About a year later, December 2014, I decided that I wanted to get back into shape, and started hitting the gym regularly. After regular visits to the gym, I started feeling a worse pain in my lower back, accompanied my intermittent leg pain. I had a physical with my GP in mid-February, and she was the first physician that I informed about my back pain. She seemed fairly concerned, especially because it has been well over a year, and with me being fairly young. She referred me to an orthopedist.
X-Rays confirmed that I had spondylosis (likely caused by the box jumps) that resulted in spondylolisthesis (as a result of the rowing at the gym recently).
I currently have moderate pain, made worse by prolonged periods of standing and walking, laying on my stomach or back (especially when I invert my feet) and sometimes even when I sit for long periods of time, like school, in a stiff chair. Leg pain is also present occasionally, but not nearly as bad as the back pain. The X-rays revealed that it was a grade 1 (I'm not sure though, as my x-rays were apparently incorrectly taken) I have been in physical therapy for three weeks or so, with no improvement yet. I go back to see my orthopedist in two weeks.
One major concern of mine is that I am currently in school studying nursing, and I am well aware that nurses at very prone to back injuries on the job, and I am in much pain when I spend a lot of time on my feet. I am also a very active person, so I am concerned that I am only nineteen, and already suffering from a back injury.
I'm not sure entirely the purpose of posting this. I would love to hear from people with similar injuries, and how they are doing with what type of treatment. I'm sorry if all of this seems like a rant, I'm very frustrated, but I don't want your pity. It stinks that we are all facing a spine injury :(

Well, thank you all for reading my life story, and I hope you all have a great weekend.


It is easier to find men who will volunteer to die, than to find those who are willing to endure pain with patience.


  • tm-909ttm-909 Posts: 1
    edited 01/18/2016 - 8:56 PM
    I was confirmed to have spondylolysis my freshman year after a CT scan. I was regularly involved in martial arts, wrestling, and golf.

    It started the summer before school on the 4th of July 2011. I bent over to grab a firework on the ground and felt a sharp stabbing pain in my lower back. I quickly spun around because I thought someone had actually stabbed me lol. I had never experienced a broken bone or any kind of injury in my life, so I didn't know what to make of the pain. My mother just thought I pulled something and dismissed it as nothing.

    The pain continued to get worse throughout the fall. Walking, twisting, bending, jumping, standing, and sitting for long periods of time caused intense pain that started in my lower back and ended in my thigh. My mother again dismissed it as nothing and often told me to get over it because everyone's back hurts.

    I finally convinced her to get me some help with the pain and she took me to the chiropractor. They took an initial x-ray and told me my hip was rotated far forward and my vertebrae were really out of line. He started his treatments which hurt at first but gave me some relief after a few months. They gave me the ok to start highschool wrestling.

    After about a month of practice, the pain had become almost as bad as it used to be in the summer. I went back to the chiropractor and he suggested I go to the doctor for an MRI.

    The MRI confirmed that I had a syst around my L5 vertebrae that formed from the swelling in the area. They said it was likely I had a fracture so they had me do a CT scan which confirmed a fracture on both sides of my L5 vertebrae. My chiropractor apologized because he apparently helped to further the damage.

    They had me quit all sports immediately and put me in a brace for a few months. 2 months after I was out of the brace, they had me do therapy for 2 months.

    My PE teacher was a [EDIT] about it and thought I was faking. He and other students made my life hell the rest of that semester. Many people thought I was faking it even though the doctors confirmed it.

    Pain continued at a less intense level after the therapy. The doctors shrugged it off and said I was probably fine, without bothering to follow up.

    I worked at my family restaurant which required me to be on my feet for 4-5 hours at a time. The pain was unbearable and I thought I was going to collapse on several occasions. I would sneak in bathroom breaks just so I could sit down for 5min. Eventually I was able to get out of doing dishes due to the really low sink.

    Sleeping sucks too, can't lay on my back, stomach, and have to lay on my side in a specific position or the pain will keep me up.

    I got another MRI early 2014 after a golf physical. It confirmed very minor slippage and I was given the ok to do golf. I continued to do golf into my senior year in 2015. Pain continued and started to worsen into my first year of college.

    I'm now 19 and my back keeps getting worse. I really don't know what to do, my parents don't seem to care and I can't afford to go to a doctor.

  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 5,427
    edited 01/18/2016 - 11:14 PM
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