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Surgery or not for Spondylolisthesis GRADE III
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Surgery or not for Spondylolisthesis GRADE III

Dear Dr.   I have been told by my orthopedic surgeon that I need a spinal fusion. The surgery will not re align the discs, only fuse them in place where they are, he will also do a decompression of the nerves. I do have pain from day to day, but I am worried I may have pain post surgery just as much. This is what my Radiology report from an MRI and CT scan states. 28 y/o with l5-s1 spondylolisthesis. Significant anterior listhesis of l5 over s1 is noted in the setting of bilateral pars defects with associated severe bilateral neural foraminal narrowing and compromised of the l5 nerve roots. There is near complete loss of disk height at l5-s1 with surrounding endplate degenerative change and edema. Minimal grade 1 retrolisthesis of l4 over l5. small disc bulge is present at l4-5 without neuroforaminal or spinal canal stenosis. THere is grade 3 anterolisthesis of l5 on s1. Unroofing of the posterior superior aspect of the disk at this level with severe disk height loss and disc desiccation. 1. In your opinion at a 60% slip do you think this will continue to slip and I should get surgery now. 2. Will waiting make it harder to do surgery?  3. is there a chance it will stay like this forever ( i can live with that). This was from an injury in the Army.
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8 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Please get the surgery.  If you wait, you risk bowel and urinary difficulties.  I am fused and doing fabulously!  I have occasional nerve issues where we go back in and do injections, but I live a normal life otherwise.  :)  My sister is a nurse as well and cares for patients who have plates and rods for a back.  It is not an easy surgery, but if that disc slips, you are in a HEAP of trouble.  One thing I wish I would have done, is see BOTH a NEUROsurgeon, and my ORTHOpedic surgeon.  :)  Just an idea.  I am not a doctor, but I will tell you from what I read (and a bad horse fall that made me temporarily lose feeling in my legs)- your time is minimal on how long your back "holds on."  I made it only 5 months from the horse fall, and had to be in surgery immediately.  I am better for it today!  You take care!
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Avatar_n_tn
Oh, and your life is NOT altered totally from surgery!!!  I still do everything I did before!!!  :)  In fact, I am even more in shape now than before because I feel so much better.  There are always risks, but the rewards to a new back are way better!
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Avatar_n_tn
Did you get the back surgery?  I recently developed more back problems of my own that are facet and nerve damage related.  Now that I have been with the same surgeon for 3 1/2 years, I will say that a good back surgeon will try to first not do surgery.  Then, when he/she has a clear test result of what is wrong, surgery will be performed.  My doctor waited as long as he could to do surgery the first time on my back.  We are scheduled for another surgery, and I have done dozens of injections.  We use the top doc's list in our area and go to the best.  This process of having a surgeon-- what they are trained to do-- go "I don't want to operate unless we have to"-- is what we want when there is a back injury.  You take care and I do hope you are on the pathway to recovery!!!!  :)
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Avatar_f_tn
I had  back fusion in March 2011 (my 4th back surgery in 2 years) and I am having some servere issues. I have constant pain in my lower back and left leg and foot hurt and sting most of the time. I have had trouble with my balance since surgery. I have fallen 10 or 12 times in the last 2 - 3 weeks. I had to call the Dr. in Atlanta , and they moved my appt up 3 weeks. I don't know if somethingh has gone wrong with the fusion, but i'm not sure iI would do it again. My life has been radically changed. I cannot do things I used to do an that really bothers me. I am 51 years of age and haveto have help getting up from a seat most of the time. My wife and daughters are a blessing to help me and we are all making adjustments. I have been on disability for about 3 months, but I ling for the day I can go back to work. I hope things will work out for the good for you and we will pray for you. Let us know on this sight how things go.
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Avatar_f_tn
Did you decide about the surgery? If you have had it or are going to have it, I hope everything works out good for you. Keep us informed please and let us know results.
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1713690_tn?1308581265
Not sure why the Doctor never posted an answer, I paid the $5 and its been 2 months. Anyway, I got a second opinion from a local neurosurgeon and he said the same thing after seeing the MRI. I NEED THIS SURGERY BAD! So.. I got the surgery at the Baltimore VA hospital by a great surgeon, DR KOE. Its been 3 weeks and I feel great. I have leg nerve pain still but they say that should go away. My back feels good. They fused S1, L4 and L5 together it was so bad. After they Dr came out of surgery he said it was the worst he had seen and it HAD to be done. So ill keep recovering and see how things go. My fingers are still numb from being on the table so long they think, it pinched the nerve in my arm laying on it for 10 hours.  
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Avatar_f_tn
Hope things continue to go well for you.Went back to the Dr. on Wednesday and he said my fusion looked good, but he is afraid I have permanent nerve damage. I have constant pain in my lower back and left leg and foot. I have to see pain mgnt dr (hopefully next month). God bless and take care.

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Avatar_m_tn
A related discussion, Fusion L4/L5 was started.
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Avatar_m_tn
A related discussion, spondylolisthesis was started.
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1326416_tn?1370930601
A related discussion, Who's answering these questions? was started.
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