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Retrolisthesis
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Retrolisthesis

I was diagnosed with 3mm Retrolisthesis on L4,L5 and L5,S1. I also have severe disc narrowing of those levels,DDD and bulges that are up to 4mm. I have moderate to severe pain 24/7, along with spasm and stiffness. I have numbness of left thigh,sometimes my whole left leg hurts along with the heel of my left foot. Three doctors have recommended Spinal Fusion with discectormy as my symptoms have increased and I have been suffering for almost three years. My question in re: Retrolisthesis is that researching I have learned that I should  contemplate surgery if a Vertebral slip is a grade 2 and above, and I only have 3mm of Retrolisthesis. In the same token I have read that ANY Retrolisthesis, if symptoms severe,should be considered for surgery since it causes a more severe spinal instability, is this correct? If it were Spondolisthesis the grade would have to be a 2+ for surgery to be considered. Is a 3mm Retrolisthesis a grade 1?
Another questions: Along with my low-back problems I have severe mid-back pain(it's almost a burning sensation,along with spasm and at times like an electrical shock in certain movements)and I also have upper-back left side pressure,numbness,pain. I have been diagnosed with Radiculapathy in that area. The pressure I feel around the upper-left back area starts as soon as I wake up and it can be appear at any time, or when I lift something (lite),turn my neck, walking, etc. in other words at any time. Sometimes the pressure, numbness is so severe it spreads to the front, chest area(only left side).Pain on left side of arm tingling of last two fingers.
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Avatar_n_tn
Spondolisthesis is the same as retrolisthesis - the retro just describes the direction of the vertebral body displacement (retro=backwards)

The grading is based on the percentage of the vertebral body diameter displaced - therefore I cannot calculate what grage you are without seeing your scan and with just the 3mm measurement - porbably you are a grade 1 or 2 (less than 50% displaced)
It does tend to cause more instability than the more common anterolisthesis

I cannot tell you which way to go for surgery without knowing your case and scans better, unfortunately - there must more reason to pursue surgery than there are risks, and surgery does not gaurantee success or freedom from pain. You need to disucss this with your doctors.

I'm not sure what information you need for the second part - you do not ask a question

Good luck
9 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
hello, i really feel for you, and the backpain which can be debilitating. I too had major disc issues, pressure, sciatica, spondilitis and the like. I spent 2 years doing thereapy after therapy, until I finally had a spine surgeon put me out of misery by operating. 5 years later, I have problems once again at the same level. Ofcoarse everyone is different. But my point is surgery should be the absolute last resort. Extreme bedrest often helps discs see their way back to place, at least enough so physical therapy can be of value afterwards.

Goodluck
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25201_tn?1255584436
This will be opposite to the previous comment but here goes ...... I had a grade I Spondolisthesis L5-S1 and was ver opposed to surgery. I did the program ..... Physical Therapy and then Epidural Injections ... finally to the Neurosurgeon. When I saw the films that were done "standing", "flexion" and "extension" I knew surgery was the only solution. I had an Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion with Pyramid plating. Surgery @ 8am and was in my brace and walked 1/2 mile 12 hours later. NO PAIN for the first time in a year. What a deal ..... I would do it again in a heartbeat !! All the best ...
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Avatar_n_tn
Look I agree everyone is different. But what I am saying is that surgery is not a guarantee that the problem will be corrected permanently. I was operated on by the best spine surgeon in Florida(supposedly),who promised me the sun moon and stars. Told me that I will never have this problem again. 5 years later I am a wreck again. I pray that all people who suffer like this, can be fixed with surgery.


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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you for your comments and suggestions. They are very much appreciated. My problem is that I'm having several doctors disagreeing on what is causing not only my low-back problems but also the mid-back, and upperback. At one point my primary Ortho was saying that all my symptoms were being caused by my low-back.I'm not a doctor but I do know my body and that diagnoses just didn't make any sense, know what I mean? Sometimes doctors will put you in this generalized catagory when they know very well that back problems are one of those injuries that affects everybody differently. Supposedly with these "mild bulges" I shouldn't be having this much pain, stiffnes, etc. but at this point 5 vicodins a day is barely relieving the pain I feel. Also I was told by several doctors that pain should not be the main reason for the surgery, only numbness, weakness of limbs and loss of bladder control should be the main reason for the surgery. Again thanks for the input.
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Avatar_n_tn
hi djam,

I understand completely. Beleive me, what ultimately drove me to surgery was the chronic pain, I learned to live with burning,numbness, and so on. But ultimately my body looked like a twisted pretzel, and that happened unconsciencely.Different muscles tried to compenate for the ones I wasn't using, and so on. I was just 25 years old 5ft 6 inches and 115 pound. Good health and no injuries at all. One day I just started having back pain and it got worse and worse. Some doctors said it was hereditary some said it was a long car drive which agrivated the discs. I had seen about 5 orthos in total. If you are in so much pain that you cannot stand it anymore, surgery is a very feasable option. But just as long as you understand the risks, and so forth. Surgery is not a guarentee that your problem will never come back. As I sit here writing this, I am wearing a back brace. This is my third day back at the office, after a 5 week absence. 2 weeks of that were spent in the hospital in sheer agaony. But enough swelling has gone down, and I do physio twice a week and I take meds, and i do my exercises, and somehow I have to live my life. Which of all the doctors that you have seen do you trust? In your heart, you must at least beleive one of them?

Good luck to you.
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Avatar_n_tn
For some reason, I am unable to see my last posting. If you have the same problem, I will reply again. Please let me know.
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Avatar_m_tn
March 9 Worked out

March 20 Alternating pain in groin area seem to be positional when driving
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi,

During this time I hope you mind your intake of certain foods and drinks as much as possible. Cut out toxins such as ciggies,alcohol,and anything with the culprit Aspartame (found in most diet drinks & low cal foods). An MRI of brain & cervical spine (shows spinal cord), is a must for people with tingling, weakness and so on.. If you passed your clinical neuro exam, although you may feel weak, no actual weakness is detected.That is a good sign. Keep investigating, and while you are doing this take at least 100mcg, of vitamin B12, and a multi B complex with thiamin,B1,B6.

Make sure you were really checked for Lyme,Methanol Toxicity,Celiac Disease(gluten),autoimmune,allergy,and other toxicities. Does not really sound like MS. But I urge you to stay on top of it,and don't just go away with a pain script and a hopeful heart. These pages are riddled with doctors saying I don't think it's this,and I don't think it's that, but no true diagnosis yet. I am in a similar situation, and I am demanding further testing, such as bloodwork,EEG and so on. Pain,is your body's way of alerting you that something is wrong. It doesn't have to be sinister and dreadful. My poor older brother is just 36,he had gone to his doctor a few times last December and complained of tiredness,malaise,tightness in chest and so on. Doctor did not think tests were necesary because of young age, and so on. Told him to stop stressing about work. Early this year my poor brother had a heartattack.He was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, which is actual weakness of heart muscle, not clots and so on. A simple ECG could have picked up this problem. I am not telling you this to scare you. But it's very easy for doctor's to be sinical when the pain in question is not there own.

I wish you the best of Luck.

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