So I went to the orthopedist today. He said that I do have unilateral spondylolysis. He forgot that I told him that I have pain! I told ohim once again that I do have pain and now every it's everyday and it radiated to my left, right or both legs. Then he said that since the defect is only on one side, he will not treat it, even though I have continuous pain. I insisted on the pain and he ordered to get a CT scan.

Do you agree with him? I mean not treat it? So he's just waiting for the other side to break to start treating it?
I am really disappointed with him.

What should I tell him the next time I see him?(January 14)
Any advice? Please.



Oh, and Merry Christmas!
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First Helper LookingBack
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replied December 23rd, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
Get another doctor and get another opinion. Better yet, get a third and fourth opinion before you decide that this doctor is correct.

He isn't listening to you, you don't sound like you trust him or believe what he is telling you.

I don't have any personal experience with what your spine condition is, but the issue is really that you don't believe what he is telling you. You aren't satisfied with his opinion and you are questioning everything he is telling you.

If he can't remember what you are telling him, I personally wouldn't trust him. I wouldn't get the CT scan either that her ordered. that is an extremely high dose of x-rays that you have done if you really need it.

Sounds like, to me, this doctor doesn't know what he is talking about.

Go see another spine specialist, either another orthopedic surgeon that specializes in spines only or a neurosurgeon that specializes in spines. After doing that, go see another one as well.

Take all of your records with you, results of all tests that you have had done and get those other opinions as soon as you possibly can.

Fran
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replied December 23rd, 2008
thanks for the reply. I have told my mother that I do want anthoer doctor but she just said that the others will say the same thing. I've read and read on my condition and the usual non-surgical treatement option is exercise and bracing. I was really sure that he was going to put me in a brace so my lumbar spine would be limited from movement and would give the fracture time to heal.

He ordered me the CT scan to how irratated my nerves were because of my leg pain. I guess that I'll have to wait yet another 6 months to se if he puts me on a brace.I will update and tell you the results of my CT scan.(I will have it on Dec. 29)-results are usually 2 days after.

Thanks for caring and what you have told me will stay in my mind.

-Claudia
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replied December 23rd, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
A CT scan will not show the nerves or if they are compressed. It will show how much room there is for the nerves to pass through the areas of the foramen of the vertebrae.

MRI scans are done to see if there is nerve compression.

I would think that your doctor would have ordered an MRI to determine if there is nerve compression.

Your research is correct about conservative treatment and it is possible that another doctor would say the same thing as your present one is saying.

On the other hand, you could get very different opinions as well, and it's important to have more than one opinion, especially when you are not comfortable with the doctor or the doctor's advise.

My concern for you is that your present doctor is ignoring you, what you are telling him you are feeling and where your pain is.

A good doctor will be listening to his/her patient and what the patient is saying, where the pain is located and what the patient is feeling.

x-rays, CT scans, MRI scans are only tools to use in the diagnosis of a patient, and they should be used only as a guide to help the doctor match the symptoms that the patient is experiencing and finding the cause.

From what you are saying, your doctor is using the x-ray pictures only to diagnose you and is not listening to you.
The x-ray pictures diagnose a specific spinal problem, but it is not explaining why you are in the pain you are in.

You should try and explain to your mother that you understand that she thinks any other doctor would say the same thing, but your doctor is not listening to you and is not suggesting the appropriate treatment for your known spinal condition. Your doctor is not using the usual protocol to treat you and the best thing you could do is get a second opinion before fully following the advise of your doctor.

You should tell her that you are not comfortable with your present doctor, he doesn't listen to you, doesn't seem to care what your symptoms are and doesn't remember things that you told him, including the pain you are in.

Those are all signs of a doctor that is not doing his job, is not treating you properly, doesn't respect his/her patients and you need to seek out a second opinion and do it right away.

Good luck and keep us posted on how things go.

Fran
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replied December 23rd, 2008
okay, i will update. thank you so much for answering back!

Merry Christmas!
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replied December 28th, 2008
I too have a spondy.
I am 26 years and have had this all my life. I have been to countless Doctors and two years I am at my peak of my pain. I recently gave up all my old pills only to see that my pain is really much worse then I thought, and also that doctors don't trust your pain scale. You could go to another dr but I have been to about 80 dr appointments these last two years. and have like ten different x-rays, 3 sets of ct scans, two mri's, a bone scan, pt, ejections and been addicted to methadone while on the fenetal patch. I will soon see a specialist in u.c.s.f. and I hope to get my long awaited new life back. The ct scan I think is to see how far your bone has slipped(grade) I wish there was more I could say try all other alternatives before going under the knife
pt
injections
acupuncture (did help a lot but can't afford it.)
exercise
stretching
massage
herb
I hope this helps keep your head up, it can't rain all the time.
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replied December 29th, 2008
Spondy can be caused by many things but it's usually trauma to the back. In my case, a skiing accident caused it but you can suffer from it as a baby from simply learning to walk and falling on your bum.

See as many doctors as it takes to get diagnosed - it's BS when they talk about one side or the other. Your spine is not locked together anymore, and it sounds like you do have vertebral slippage if you're suffering sciatica. Spondy usually comes with spondylolisis - the inflammation that causes alot of the pain. Aspirin or some other anti-inflammitory can help.

If surgery isn't an option (it's one i'll never choose unless i'm headed for a wheelchair) then you MUST and I can't stress enough MUST get your lower back muscles built up. And don't wait to do it - there is no miracle cure for what you have - you have to live with it.

Does your pain feel like burning in the hip that radiates down either leg? hard to pinpoint the pain? My sciatica was localized in the right hip and it felt like someone was holding my leg in a fire. The only relief I could get was holding myself as tight as I could in a fetal position.

Get yourself to a chiropractor, one that comes highly recommended by friends or whomever. You will need a physical adjustment, yes the back cracking and it will probably get worse before it gets better. A bad one can ruin you for life - he/she can send you for x-rays and give a proper diagnosis - they are the back specialists and can be your salvation. I told the one who fixed me up i'm going to kidnap him and take him with me Smile You need to get good side on xrays for proper slippage measurements.

Drugs never helped me much over the years, T3's did nothing, robax is totally useless, morphine and demoral put me over the edge. I was told about a drug called Mersyndol - an over the counter med that worked wonders for me.

Try something - when you're having pain, squat down and get into a very tight fetal position, then stretch your back out - does it help?
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replied December 30th, 2008
thanks for replying. My pain just starts in the lumbar back as always and then goes to the hips and goes to my leg, then intensifies in the knee, and then continue down. As for my lumbar pain, sometimes it's in the right, left, or just general.
My doctor says I don't have slippage, I just have the crack. but's it's only on one side so he said that it's "untreatable." I did have a CT scan yesterday and results will be in tomorrow so I will tell you what it says.

I usually take Motrin for the pain but it doesn't really take it away. And I don't want to depend on Motrin because it's too powerful and I don't my liver to be damaged along the years.

It REALLY REALLY hurts to bend backwards. And I know that's typical. I did start doing some abdominals..hope it works.
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replied December 30th, 2008
I personally say your doctor is full of it - there's movement - has to be, and you're feeling it. Go talk to a chiropractor - these people specialize in the back, even if you don't want the adjustment at this point.

That's unusual that the pars is only cracked on one side, i know a few people that have spondy, and it's a full break on both sides. Your situation is probably worse in that you're getting torsional movement instead of full slippage and the added strain on the unbroken side of the pars. I can imagine that would cause some wonderful flavors of pain - not to be a smart arse here.

My spondy was only diagnosed when it was at it's worst - the break and slippage was clearly visible with 10mm of movement. If I had an xray today, it may not show cause my back has been 90%+ for many years now. Were your xrays done on the worst of your days? cause that's the only way they will really know the extent of the damage and movement.

Have they checked for a slipped or ruptured disk to go with your pain? have they done the xrays on both sides from different angles? Have you sat down and talked about your condition with a chiropractor - discuss your options with the people who know it most. You may be dealing with a pinched nerve as well - do you get any numbness in your limbs at any time?

There is aways hope with these conditions Disneygirl, i've had my share of pain and drugs over the years but today i don't need to take anything. Was told by the chiro that fixed me up that i could be in a wheelchair by the time I get to my 40's - i'm 37 now. i live my life normally and i don't baby my back - always pushing the limits and always working it hard. I don't have much pain anymore and at most, my lumbar region will get tired and a little sore from inflammation from time to time. But again, my lower back muscles are strong and you HAVE to rely on your muscles to keep your spine aligned. It can't do it by itself anymore.

Please do post back. the more information you give, the more you can get Smile Good luck and keep smiling.
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replied December 31st, 2008
forumnut, you have showed great concern and I really appreciate it. Okay so I got the results today.
It says: There is minimal spondylolisthesis to L5 and bilateral L5 spondylolysis.
And the other things it says doesn't mater. It says that everything else is okay.

So I don't get it. So the other side broke within a week? I did have a huge pain on the right side one day, maybe that's when it happened. Anyways, my appointment is on the 14, but my mom is trying to get it sooner.
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replied December 31st, 2008
It concerns me to no end disney - I went through hell and back for years with this... And when you bring mom into the equation....

First of all, how old are you Disneygirl - I get the impression you're in your teens? And how long has this been going on - how long have you been in pain? Are we talking months or years? Was there a traumatic event prior or did it just appear one day?

I was 15 when the accident happened and didn't get a diagnosis for 10 years - was told it was all in my head and yeah, my mother believed them (they are doctors - you are not). She didn't understand the pain that came with this condition.

Short of surgery, there really isn't a heck of a lot any doctor can do to treat you for spondylolisthesis, and that's an unfortunate truth. Surgery isn't an option I would look at unless this condition would drastically affect my lifestyle. Spondy is like a broken rib, tape it and hope it heals and the body compensates.

If this is a new condition for you, then yes, a proper diagnosis is what you need. You don't want to exacerbate the condition if there's a chance of it healing and maybe a chiropractor can make it worse for you. Never know. You know your body better than anyone, and you probably know what makes it better and worse at this point.

I've tried corsets and other braces to no avail. It's something you have to learn live with. BUT the proper diagnosis of grade is the key.

20 years down the road and I feel great - but I haven't had an xray for 12 years now and I don't know the status - maybe it healed, or maybe my body has compensated for the injury - I don't know. I can still feel the L4 vertebrae protrude when I bend over - some days it's worse than others.
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replied April 14th, 2013
Hello Forumnut,

I have to say that your posts really inspired me - could you elaborate a little more on what you had and exactly what did you do to feel so much better ?

I have grade 1 spondylolisthesis with a 4.5mm slippage and a bulging disc. I feel terrible - had to stop playing sports, have a hard time doing chores, and many other things.

Thanks for sharing,
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replied January 2nd, 2009
Hey guys I am a gr 2 already fused spondy
My life is terrible and I have contemplated suicide several times due to the pain I have to live with everyday of my life, my pain is not only physical but mental and emotional as everything I loved in life was snatched from me when I was diagnosed with this condition and since the surgery my life has been hell. I used to snowboard, skateboard and breakdance and they were a big part of my life and things that I really enjoyed doing in life. I guess I'm just lookin for people who can relate with my pain because no one can and it just upsets me everyday of my life, I am on disability because of it. I just want my life back.

Darren
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replied June 29th, 2012
Dude, I feel you. I was diagnosed end of my sophomore year, couldnt wrestle anymore or play any of the sports i love. Going into senior year now, still not healed. It is miserable to watch everyone else, I just want to be how I used to be
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replied April 21st, 2010
Dear SponilolesthesisSufferer8
Hang n there I had a lot of stuff in my life that was taken away too. I can say I have a great wife and two fantastic kids. I have made new hobbies and I hope you can see past the problems. I have some posts on here and this is the first time I can hope to help someone. I got into gold paning as long as i keep it light I can enjoy the outdoors and find gold. good luck.
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replied July 24th, 2010
I have bilateral L5 spondylolysis and Grade 1 spondylolisthesis
Out of curiosity. I have bilateral L5 spondylolysis and Grade 1 spondylolisthesis of the L5 and S1...

I feel my worst symptoms (after months of the pain subsiding as long as I am careful) is back spasms and muscle tightness (causing muscle scaring), Sometimes I feel it's causing me difficulty breathing and numbness in my neck/face. Which often makes me nauseous and faint.... Because this is something I was diagnosed with this past December 2009, I'm curious if anyone else with these conditions gets similar symptoms? I am seeing a spinal surgeon, but he is wanting to rule out M.S before making a decision of surgery (because of the off and on numbness of the face and arm I have previously had before finding out I had an issue with the spine).

So if anyone can fill me in on other related symptoms that would be great...

By the way, everyone who is telling you to see a chiropractor I would see a physiotherapist instead... Last thing you want is someone tampering with your spine when it's broken.... From all the people I have seen to date they all say muscle strengthening.. I was also surprised that they don't brace someone with this condition, but it makes sense considering they want the muscles to get stronger (which they can't if you were braced).

Anyone know of a form that is for people with this condition? I feel I need to compare stories with many people before my next surgeon appointment....
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replied August 12th, 2010
I have grade 1 spondylolisthesis and a disc bulge on my L5/S1 level. I was born with it as I also have spina bifida occulta in the same area. Darren please dont giveup with everything there are always ways, im here if you need to talk about it. Disnyegirl, dont go for a chiropractor they realign you and with a fracture (which is what I have also) it makes it worse. Go to a physio and they will reduce the inflammation. I suffered for years with back pain and I had to be taken to a&e with my back I passed out with the pain, it was only then that people started listening to me. Im only 23.

MRI and CT scans do contain xrays but they are the quickest way to diagnose things. They saw my degenerative disc disease immediatley as well as the fracture. Disneygirl my advice to you is to listen to your body, if it hurts to move, get into a comfortable position, dont under any circumstances lift, shift or pull anything. Keep pushing until they suggest treatment for you nothing is worse than back pain.

They have told me I need an operation and I will have it despite my age as my life has stopped, I have had to give up my job and I am now disabled at 23. I will do anything to make my life better and its so hard as me and my partner were trying for a baby and now everything has been thrown into jeopardy.

Listen to your body, no-one else can do it for you. Things will get better, or at least u can live with it and adapt your life. It will be a sunny day soon i promise xxx
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replied March 29th, 2013
I had lower back pain almost all the time, now I'm free of pain almost all the time.

I was diagnosed as having spondylolysis at L5/S1. This was some years ago.

The physiotherapy designed to strengthen my core muscles helped. However, in time my condition worsened.

The changes I made to my gait and posture, have made me almost pain free. The greatest benefit came from leading with my hips when I walk. Along with this,I relax my shoulders, with shoulder blades in their pockets. This gives me a long neck. I keep my head up, not pointing at the ground. When I've got this right, I'm relaxed, with no undue tension in my chest and abdomen, nor my back.

It has also helped to relieve the tingling I was getting in the ball of my left foot.

I was advised by someone who does Pilates, to tuck my tail bone in. As a consequence of this, I ended up making the changes described above.
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replied January 2nd, 2014
[quote="LookingBack"]The advice I gave in the above post, no longer works for me, so I wouldn't recommend it.
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replied February 2nd, 2014
Hi everyone I have been diagnosed with a bilateral spondylolysis and herniated disc l5/s1 I am 13 weeks into recovery and still in lots of pain what is the normal recovery time for this injury? I have been attending physio and have seen a specialist which did not say much I explained I cannot sit, stand, walk for long, pain that radiates to buttocks and legs, and he still said i can do light duties at work which is crazy because I cannot sit without been in extreme pain also my GP will not extent my medical cert because he doesn't understand spondylolysis he does not believe I have a fracture he believe it's muscell related and I've had way to long off work already and will not extent my med cert, from my understanding spondylolysis means fracture, can anyone clear some of these questions up for me?
Thanks in advance
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replied February 23rd, 2014
PLEASE REPLY SOMEONE I NEED TO KNOW IF YOU CAN HAVE A BILAT SPONDYLOLYSIS WITHOUT HAVING A FRACTURE IN MY OPINION THE BONES ARE UNSTABLE AND MOVING AROUND. ATM MY REPORT SAYS BILAT SPONDYLOLYSIS WITHOUT ANY MAJOR LISTHESIS IT IS ALSO SHOWING EDEMA ALONG THE PARS INTERTICULARIS, NOW YOU CAN SLIP IF YOU HAVNT CRACKED...... GOOD DAMN MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS CANNOT GRASP THIS. THEY ARE STILL SAYING IT IS NOT FRACTURED ARRRRRRRG PLEASE HELP
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replied September 25th, 2016
Spondylolysis is a stess fracture. It usually takes a bone scan to find it however. Xrays miss it most of the time. If you have it you need to brace it and seek physical therapy.
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