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Spondylolisthesis & Sciatica, what to expect at first neuro appt?

Hi all,
I've just been diagnosed with grade 2 (almost grade 3) isthmic spondylolisthesis at L5-S1 with MRI-confirmed bilateral compressed sciatic nerve roots.  The imaging reports also pointed out severe disc degeneration, degenerative vertebral endplate changes, and facet arthropathy. My primary care has referred me to a neurosurgeon, but I have not seen him yet, nor have I gotten the appointment date and time yet.

I had low back pain for about 6-9 months, but it wasn't until I started having the leg pain and foot numbness 2 months ago that I mentioned it to my doctor. I didn't even bring up the back pain because I didn't know they were related. In the last two weeks, though, both have deteriorated daily and are excruciating. I am walking strangely and can barely bend down or up to do anything. I have a desk job, but the pain is still pretty distracting at work. My primary care gave me a prescription NSAID at max dose, but it either doesn't seem to be helping, or it's helping, but the pain is getting worse so I'm not noticing. I'm 30 years old. I'm obese and had lost 65 lbs prior to the sciatica starting, so I was walking a lot, but now I can't.

I was wondering if anyone who's been around the block a few times could tell me what to expect at my first neuro appointment. My research shows me they often try to start with conservative treatment but that surgery is an option in some cases. I am honestly confused and not sure how I went from walking 12,000 steps a day to barely able to walk into work in the course of a month. Also, does anyone know what the chances are of one carrying and working through a successful pregnancy with either a previously symptomatic spondylolisthesis or after a lumbar spinal fusion? I know I'm getting way ahead of myself, but I'd been working toward trying to grow our family in the next year....

Thank you so much for the opportunity to talk here. It really helps. I appreciate any insight you can provide. :) I understand this is all personal opinions and not medical advice.



  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 7,385
    hello bag-of-bones !
    welcome to spine-health
    please click on link for helpful information!
    Honorary Spine-Health Moderator
    Please read my medical history at: Medical History

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