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I have been diagnosed with spondylolisthesis. I got referred to a specialist and was advised by him to do continuous physio and have only one treatment of a back injection. Does anyone have any thoughts or experiences??


  • jellyhalljjellyhall Posts: 4,337
    edited 08/25/2013 - 11:20 AM
    I had spondylolisthesis of L4/5.

    I was sent to physiotherapy and worked very hard to increase my muscles and core stability.
    It did seem to be helping and I continued to work hard and also walked 2 miles every day.
    I had been told that fusion surgery was the treatment for my condition but that many people do manage to cope by doing exercises and taking pain meds. I felt that there was no way that I could possibly face spinal surgery and asked them to tell me everything that I could do to avoid it, and I would do it.
    For a while I felt that things were improving, but then the pain started getting worse again.

    I don't know how old you are, but I was in my 50s. My slip was a grade two and my upper spine was starting to tilt over the lower spine. The compression of my nerves was severe. I had terrible sciatica in both legs and lower back pain that would build if I tried to stand for more than about 5 minutes or walk for more than 10 minutes.
    Eventually, after more than two years, I agreed to just go and talk to a spinal surgeon. He told me that I couldn't continue to avoid surgery or I would end up in a wheelchair. That helped me to decide and I had surgery about 3 weeks later. It gave me wonderful relief of my sciatica and most of the lower back pain. I wished I hadn't suffered for so long and had gone for it earlier.

    Now every case is different and remember that there are people who avoid surgery by exercising. You could be one of those people. :-)
    I was told that my condition had gone too far for spinal injections to be of any help to me. That may not be the case for you. You have to listen to your doctors and decide what you want to do.
    I would certainly try to avoid surgery again if I could, and would do physiotherapy to see if that could possibly help me.
    However, once people were telling me that I needed to have the surgery because physio wasn't going to enable me to avoid it, I wouldn't continue to avoid surgery like I did before.

    I hope that hearing my story has helped you.

  • No I don't want surgery unless just have to. Doc says time will come ...I take Loratabs 5/5 an don't do much anything. Gave up job. Couldn't stay on feet. Went from salary to part time. Couldn't do it. They sent me to pain mgmt.(feels like hospice). Had two caudle injections. They didn't work.

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  • can vary greatly in severity, A spondylolysthesis is a slippage of one vertebra over the one above it or below it. In other words, it is out of alignment with the rest of the spinal column. There are 4 categories of spondylolysthesis, - grade 1 is a slippage of 1-25% of the circumference of the vertebre, grade 2- is 26-50% slippage, grade 3 is 51% - 75% slippage, and of course grade 4, which is the most severe - is 76% to 100%. The treatments can vary greatly, for most minor slips, the standard of care is core strengthening excercises, physical therapy, possibly injections and then if necessary or there are other conditions that exist in the spine that warrant it, surgery.
    Sometimes a slip can be treated by conservative means, and others not so much, so it really depends on the degree of slippage, and what your surgeon finds on the MRI and CT scans to determine what treatment options he feels is best.
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