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L5-S1 spondylolisthesis 20 years after L4-L5, L5-S1 laminectomy

geoalbiggeoalbi Posts: 1
edited 01/13/2015 - 2:58 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
41Yo male from Romania.
20 years ago, at 21Y of age (yes, that's right) I''ve had the classic surgery for herniated disk: laminectomy. I've had recurrent back pain all this time, usually in 2-3 weeks 'crises' linked to either physical activity or inflammatory response from a cold or infection. Sometimes, it would get really bad with claudication, but luckily, it usually went away in a week or so. So far.
Now, this one seems to be here to stay. Since august 2014 I have disabling back pain with claudication and the leg numbness slightly increased. (Post surgery I've been left with a slight numbness in my right leg on the upper side, all the way to my big toe.)

Last year, during one of the crises I've seen an old doctor about my condition. He opinionated that I'm not a candidate or surgery, that my spine is stable and I should manage the pain.
This year, using the same MRI imaging, a different one insisted on surgery, the minimally invasive kind.

I've redone the MRI imaging on a better 3T machine. The imaging specialist diagnosed degenerative changes in my spine, bone spurs, and stage 1 L5-S1 spondylolisthesis and started talking about fusion and titanium rods and screws, to which my wife started crying. Well, that's life.

My question is: has anyone had spondylolisthesis as post operative complication? Is this common? Does the ligamentum flavum and lamina resection destabilize the spine to the point where the vertebrae will start to slip?
What kind of surgery options are available since I've already done the laminectomy and both my disks are degenerated and there is no reherniation.
I'm afraid that each surgery does nothing but leave me slightly more incapacitated while not resolving the complaint: pain and normal function. It also further limits my options, for instance there are no interbody spacers for me, since I have no spinal process left at that level post laminectomy.

Thanks and good health above all,


  • LizLiz Posts: 9,745


    Veritas-Health Forum Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
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