I was doing very well after my ALIF/PLIF 2-level spinal fusion surgery back in June 2013 for a Level III spondylolisthesis. Got through a 10 hour surgery not too bad and was able to get off the drugs in two weeks time because the pain at that time was the same as the pain I had before the surgery. Was finally able to shower without help after 6-weeks and able to sit for longer periods of time in a chair at about 8-weeks. Went back to work after 3-months. Finished therapy at 9 months and doing very well and able to stretch better than what the therapist thought I would be able to.
I'm now at 2-1/2 years after surgery. Recently, I noticed muscle spasms in my left calf (which was the weak leg to begin with) and just general weakness in my back, bad posture, upper back, neck and shoulder pain, the whole works. It's been creeping up on me and get worse as time went on. I decided to go see a chiropractor for some relief.
They did an x-ray on my spine and showed me where the L5 has slipped again - to a level I. I wanted to argue with the doctor that it couldn't be - but there it was right in front of my face on the x-ray and yes this why I've come to see them. The symptoms I'm having are the some of the same symptoms as before.
So far, I'm still better than I was before - sleep is still a relief and I can still sleep on my back which helps a lot to reduce the leg pain (For years I could not sleep on my back before surgery). The chiropractic service has helped with the upper back and neck pain - total relief. They do not do any hand manipulation at all on the lower back - and I make sure they don't. They have been able to help with the terrible Charlie horses (muscle spasms) I was having in the legs and hips.
Now I'm worried - do I need more surgery to fix the slip? Is it still slipping? (most likely since the pain is progressing.) Can I wait? For how long?
I left a message with my surgeons nurse - I did miss her call - she left a voice mail, need to make an appointment asap, which is what I want to do.
I'm relatively young (early 50's), in good heath (retired military & former aerobics instructor, still exercise & eat right - not overweight, don't smoke) but I'm a widow with grown children scattered everywhere. There is no one at home to help with another surgery - the first one was a blessing to have 2 of my 3 kids around to help. Don't think it will happen this time.
Well - I'm just getting all this off my chest - the worries and problems of a bad back. Will see what the neurosurgeon says after I get an appointment.
Isthmic Spondyliothesis Level II - III
ALIF/PLIF L4-L5-S1, 2 cages, 2 rods, 6 screws (6/10/2013)