Medical Questions > Conditions and Diseases > Back Pain Forum

Spinal Spondylolisthesis surgery ?

hey, I'm new to the whole forum thing. I've read alot, but have never posted one. I'm suffering from L5-S1 Spinal Spondylolisthesis. I have had back pain starting around when I was 13. I am now 30. I was in a car accident when I was 12 and from what I remember the Doctors couldnt find anything wrong. The pain that I had back then was more sciatica(spelling) as it ran down my legs. It seamed to get aggrivated when I would run. I tried playing sports again but just couldnt do it. I remember having to stand during class, which was really embarassing, because it hurt too much to sit. Then It got better. Never had many problems that I recall till I was around 20 or so. The back pain wasnt all that bad though. I could take the occasional, what I call vocal pain (cause I usually make some kind of noise), because it was short and infrequent. Two years ago I noticed that my legs were aching really bad. I just thought that it was because I work on my feet all the time. I changed my shoes, put mats behind the bar, etc. When the place I worked at closed down for 2 weeks for remodeling, I knew something was wrong because my legs were almost worse at the end of those 2 weeks of not working. I went to my GP and he told me it was probably something wrong with my back, since I had gone to him a couple times with occational back pain. He set me up with an MRI and gave me a weeks worth of Prednesone(again spelling). After the steroids I noticed my leg pain was almost gone, but my back pain was horrible. I could not even stand long enough to make a sandwich. The MRI showed that I had the spodylo. For the past year its been a mix between my legs, including my hips, and my back. Ive had two Epidural injections, and a month of physical therapy. Nothing has helped. My only option now is Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion. Im scared to death to have this done. My surgeon told me that I probably would not ever be able to bartend again if I have the procedure done because of all the bending and twisting that I have to do. I also feel if I dont have it done that I will no longer be able to stand the pain. I am almost in tears come the end of the shift. I feel so hopeless either way because we all know we need money to survive and sadly bartending is the only thing I know to do, to make the necessary amount Im accustomed to. Im single, never married, and live alone. If I decide to have the surgery, I will have to put all my stuff in storage and move in with my Mom. Something Im not too excited about doing because she is remarried and I dont have the best relationship with my Stepfather. Then I will be faced with the task of getting back to being a productive part of society. I've been saving every bit of money I can because I know something will have to be done, and I'll probably be out of work for some time either way. I'm planning on taking a month off work. At the end of that month if I'm still hurting to the point I cant take it then I'll probably have the surgery. If not then I will have to hope I can find another less physically demanding job. Any advice will be very appreciated, and I apologize if I rambled. Im just desperate at this stage. I know this is not living. Its effecting every aspect of my life. Thank you for taking the time to read my post.

Sincerely,

Adam
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First Helper seng123
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replied May 15th, 2010
Extremely eHealthy
hi adam....
sorry for the reason you have come here.
your surgeon is telling you you would be better off finding a new line of work. maybe he is just trying to cover his butt if you are unable to do your job after the surgery. many fusion patients have gone on to live normal lives. it might be good to get a second opinion.....pete
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replied May 15th, 2010
Hi Adam. So sorry to heat about your problems. I had surgery almost 6 weeks ago and I have to say I feel great! my 2 lower disks were collapsed and my doctor said my only option to get rid of my pain would be surgery. I had been in pain for the last three years and the last months before my surgery I could hardly walk or stand. They put implants with bonegraft from my hip and screwed it together. After the operation I felt horrible because the had to take me of the morfine because i was vomiting all the time but I was feeling beter every day.
Now I feel fantastic! I can walk, stand, sit and sleep without pain. I only feel it when I am getting up from sitting position but that is minimal. I am planning to start working next week (waiting tables and work behind the bar!!) Not sure how that will work out but I will definately try. I hope you will make the right choice and wish you all the best.....

Best regards seng
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replied April 14th, 2013
Hello Seng,

Could you please share how you feel today after your surgery ? How have you been making out with work and your personal life ? Is the pain gone ? What are the side effects ? Thanks
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replied May 20th, 2010
thanks for the replies, It makes me feel better knowing that there are ppl that care enough to take time to respond. Seng, will you let me know how work goes next week? I still have a few months before I make my decision, and would like to know how it goes for you since you are in the same line of work. Thanks again

Adam
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replied May 21st, 2010
hi aadam,
The problem which you are suffering in that case,The person should take a break from sports and other activities until the pain subsides. An over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), such as ibuprofen (Motrin®) or naproxen (Aleve® or Naprosyn®), might be recommended to help reduce pain and inflammation (irritation and swelling). Stronger medications might be prescribed if the NSAIDs do not provide relief. Epidural steroid injections — in which medication is placed directly in the space surrounding the spine — might also help reduce inflammation and ease pain. A brace or back support might be used to help stabilize the lower back and reduce pain. A program of exercise and/or physical therapy will help increase pain-free movement, and improve flexibility and muscle strength. Periodic X-rays are done to determine if the bone slippage is continuing. But remember this is a conservative treatment if you don't get any relax then please consult with your doctor or chiropractor.
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replied May 22nd, 2010
Hi Adam,

I had my first working day a couple of days (I am starting 2 days a week now) ago and I have to say it went ok. I made sure to bent through the knees instead of the back (what I always did.) After a day work I was very tired and sore but this felt like muscle pain only, which is not strange since the muscles on the back need to get back in shape. The doctor told me to take it easy when working and I have to keep in mind to take a break now and then. I am sure all will be beter in time but will keep u posted!

Seng
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replied July 2nd, 2010
Dear Adam, I had a double spinal fusion two years ago in June. It was a total success structurally. I had to have it because of a car accident I was in. However horrible pain came on shortly after it. Pain management specialist just wanted to drug me to death. I found a Pain Specialist who had me to a trial run with a Spinal Cord Stimulator, Voila! It is like a Tens unit but is surgically sewn in for the trial and if successful you then move forward for the implant. I had great success,during the trial alone I had about a 50 to 80 % reduction in back , hip and leg pain. I had to do a psychological evaluation for both the trial and the implant to follow so that insurance will pay and as well states the pain is actually physical and not all in your head. Well I am just One week and a day out from surgery for the final SCS implant, a bit sore from the incision sites, but nothing compared to the pain I was feeling before. You have to be very careful for a couple of weeks after to not bend, twist, or lift so the implant and battery, wires etc.. can heal and become more secure. I am already experiencing about 70 % pain reduction in my low back, hips and legs. And I do not need to walk with my cane any more, my balance feels better as well. I can stand longer, and will have to work at that each day to gain strength etc.. I have the permanent battery pack , should last for 2 to 6 years or longer they say, then is replaced with a simple day surgery procedure, no overnight stay. The hip incision doesn't hardly hurt at all where the battery is. As the swelling decreases around the upper back incision areas I am feeling less pain daily. Here is a site to show you what the whole process looks like in a medical illustration of the permanent implant procedure. I am feeling great, I know this is going to improve my quality of life. I did have to go on SS just a month ago as they could not place me to return to work, but I think in time as I get stronger and can manage my pain well with this gadget I may be able to find some kind of work again, if even part time. I wish you great success in reaching your dreams and goals in living a more comfortable and happy life. Good Luck! Julie

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