I am so glad that I found this website - it is great to hear other's stories on their experiences with back pain and how they have treated it.
I am looking to find people in their 20's and 30's that have spondylolysis and/or spondylolisthesis, and would especially like to find someone that has these symptoms and numbness in one or both legs (but not pain). I would also love to find people that had a fusion either before or after having children and the experience they went through. I don't have any children yet, but want to have children in the next few years, but don't know how it will affect my decision of treatment for my back.
I am a former gymnast - competed in high school and went to state twice on the balance beam. I had back pain in high school, saw a chiropractor and it sort of helped with the pain. I saw a chiropractor in college in 2004 for a few months - the pain never really went away.
This past December I woke up with horrible back pain, it hurt so bad to turn over in bed, walk, drive, etc. I saw my general doctor - he prescribed sulindac and told me to take Tylenol for the pain. Tylenol didn't do anything for the pain, nor did the sulindac. Returned to general doctor to get a stronger pain medication - tramadol - this seems to help with some of the pain. I went through Physical Therapy for 3-4 weeks and as the pain returned to a tolerable level, I developed numbness in my right leg and it hasn't gone away since. Had x-rays and an MRI early this year - showed what is found in my signature line.
Met with a neurosurgeon - recommended a 360-degree fusion/pedicle screws/rod fixation with later mass fusion/harvest illiac crest bone/BMP (internal bone growth stimulator). Surgery was scheduled for January-received phone call in September saying that my doctor was going on medical leave for about four months...for her back! I was put on her waiting list, along with 30 other patients. Received a call three weeks ago - the staff isn't expecting my doctor to return in January; they don't know when to expect her back...I was advised by the staff that I could receive a free 2nd opinion by a neurosurgeon that was going to step in for my doctor while she was on medical leave. I met with her - it was horrible! She walked in and said that she wouldn't actually be doing the surgery - she has a team of neurosurgeons coming in and I would have to meet with one of them. Why would I want a second opinion from a consultant?!
I have a REAL second opinion coming up in December - I am hoping that this doctor is more conservative than my orginal doctor, who is considered aggressive with treatment.
I've done plenty of reading on symptoms and treatments - and risks involved. I am not under the impression that a fusion will rid my back pain. I am able to manage my back pain. What worries me is the numbness in my right leg - I worry about permanent nerve damage.