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Just Diagnosed in Shock,,Limited info,,live on an island in AK

RaventraxRRaventrax Posts: 32
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:24 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical

Thx for this support site. Today,I received results of xray, Reverse Spondylolisthesis,C-5,C-6 w/severe degeneration,spurring into spinal canal.Initially,I was seen for severe shoulder pain. Now, I am facing that I will need cervical surgery. I was referred to spine doc,w/no info. and since I live in rural island community in Alaska, need to wait two weeks before I can get to the city . Does anyone have any experience with this ?I have a high level of anxiety and fear, as too what this means. Surgery?? Does anyone know if their are laser options? Appreciate any feedback.


  • Love your name! I'm sorry you were left with little direction or info by your dr. There is a lot of information on this site about conditions and issues related to degeneration and spinal issues. By reading about your condition you will be more prepared when you see the spine doc to ask questions relating to your care. There may be non-surgical treatments that might help you, or it may be that surgery is your best chance for recovery. Are you having pain, numbness? What other symptoms? Cervical issues can cause problems with the rst of your body below the level affected anywhere in your body, including legs, walking, etc. As far as I have investigated, laser surgery is not available for necks. Your shoulder pain would definatly be an issue from cervical problems, and may be lessened by surgery. Try not to stress out too much before your appt. I hope you are seeing a neuro-surgeon for this. IMHO they are better able to deal with this than an ortho-surgeon. Good luck, and please post again after you see the specialist. You probably need an MRI also to help pinpoint the problem areas. I hope this helps you sometwaht.

  • Hi Raventrax. Welcome to the site. Alaska huh. I can imagiing its very beautiful but like you say, sometimes the isolation can be an issue when your worried about your health. Thank goodness for the internet, huh?

    I've been on this support site awhile. I've ran into very few with cervical spine spondylolisthesis and even fewer with what your calling "reverse" spondylolisthesis which i think might be retrolisthesis?

    I've done a bit of research and have seen several doctors about this problem. You are more then welcome to PM me and ask me any questions! The following are some links I've run across that might help.

    I think surgery depends on your symptoms and whether the spondylolistheis is stable and whether the stenosis is really bad for you. They do plain films to check to see if there is movement between the vertebra w/the spondylolisthesis and if so how much. They measure the amount of movement. The flex and ext are when you tilt your head way forward and then way back. They take an xray in each of these positions. Sounds like they've already done this. So when you do see the spine doctor, ask the measurement of the spondylolisthesis and whether its moving. If its moving, its likely not stable or wiggling in a way you don't want it to when you are moving your head back and forth, chin up and down. If they haven't done so already they'll need to take an MRI of the cervical spine and amybe even other tests to see about nerve problems in the arms etc. I've found doctors aren't always looking closely out for spondylolisthesis. At least you've gotten this far. Be sure to assert yourself about the measurement issue and the stability issue like I said. Sure, surgery is possible but often they like to try out conservative treatments like injections, physical therapy (be careful if spondylolisthesis is moving alot) and maybe medications --before they concider surgery. Some insurance carriers even require their insured to try conservative treatments for spine pain issues for at least 6 weeks before heading to surgery. Pretty much you'll have to wait to see this doctor before you know more. Still this is a good time to gather knowledge and support. Its especailly helpful to start creating a written list of questions to ask the doctor!

    The following is an article about spondylolisthesis:


    Here are a couple of sites w/definitions of retrolothesis, which maybe what you are saying you were diagosed with:



    And here are really cool video flex/ext images:


    PS. I'm not a doctor and I'm not trying to play one.
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