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Spinal Instability

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:24 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery

I wondered if someone can explain to me about spinal instability.

I had unstable spondy and I am now 2 level fused with screws, cages and rods.

I recently had a decompression. 5 weeks post operation I am in pain again - similar levels to post surgical pain but my pain meds don't touch it.

I am wondering what may have happened an if perhaps my spine has become unstable again. How do they know?



  • Hi IALW, our vertebrae are meant to have a certain degree of motion. When they become unstable, there is more motion than is normal. Most commonly with spondylolisthesis there is sliding of the vertebrae forward on top of the one below. They often do flexion/extension xrays to see this. The spondy can be stable, meaning it stays in the same position with movement. Or unstable, it worsens with movement, perhaps going from a grade 1 to a grade 2, etc. Now my instability was seen in the actual pars fractures. As I bent, the fractures angled open, then appeared more together upright. I was told it was mild instability, but in surgery it turned out my spinous process and lamina of L4 was detached, just moving all over the place. Once the cage and hardware is inserted, it should all be held tightly in place, and no longer be unstable. Of course following our no BLT rules helps everything to stay put while it heals. Hope this helps. Sorry you are feeling so yucky. Hope you can get it all checked out soon. >:D< Sue
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