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Anyone with spondylothesis ver go through the fusion
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Anyone with spondylothesis ver go through the fusion

I have Spondylothesis from birth and the orthopedic doc wants to cut and put the metal in as supports, I also have a disc that has herniated because of this problem at L4 wondered with all the bad stuff you hear about back fusion if anyone has any advice?  I am a alittl eworried about back fusion.  I am a non smoker and always have been at 34 years of age and I kinda want totalk to someone who has done this surgery.  Any help would be appreciated.
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Avatar_n_tn
I am scheduled for a lumbar decompression surgery with internal fusion on March 8th. I was dignosed with spondylosis L5 and spondylothesis, slipage of L4. I get numbness and pain in my right leg alot. I do not want permanent nerve damage so I got 3 opinions. But I am still scared. I am 53 yrs old. Anyone out there have any advice ASAP !!!
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Avatar_n_tn
omg..that is weird, i found out i have it to and am schelduled for surgery. i wish i knew the answer to ur question
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Avatar_n_tn
I am a 43 year old male who had very bad sciatica 3 years ago for 2 months, then mild for another 4 months.  I went to the chiro, got xrays, diagnosed with sciatica, spondyliothesis.  Got MRI, confirmed the same, and showed disc bulges at L4 and L5 too.  

I had chiro adjustments for a while.  I went once to a back-decompression center, but couldn't afford the $2500 for a month of decompression therapy.  So I incorporated the decompression in my workouts.  I would hang at the gym from a "preacher chair" and from the pull-up bar repeatedly before and after my 2 hour mild workouts (2-3 times before and after for a minute for each hang).  It was the only thing that ever gave me any relief at all from the pain going down my butt, leg, and to my big toe.  It stretches the spasming muscles, ligaments, releases pressure on the discs, and pulls the slipping spine back up and straight).  Doing it repeatedly also pulls fluid back into the discs to help rejuvenate them (discs have no veins to supply fluid so they need movement to push fluids into them to keep them pliable).  I also leaned over my kitchen counter, bent my knees and let my legs hang several more times a day whenever the pain grew bad (or I leaned against the counter and turned my hands backwards on the edge and did a push up and locked out my elbows above the counter (anything to unweight/decompress the spine multiple times a day).  I also lost weight and strengthened my abs on the ab-roller type bench at the gym, and did back strengthening exercises as well.  I think the decompression was the most beneficial thing and helped heal my back.  Even though I have read that 80/90% of these sciatica pain issues go away on their own after a few months, I still believe that multiple decompression helps heal and keep spine healthy, so I still do it once before and after my workouts today...3 years later.  If you can afford the $2500 back decompression center costs, I would suggest to try that first before major surgery.  I am still doing good now and keeping my fingers crossed.  Good luck to you all and let me know how this works for you.  
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Avatar_n_tn
I was diagnosised with spondylothesis when i was 14. I had a spinal fusion when i was 15. it cracked and i had it redone when i was 19. then when i was 25 i had a revision because some bone was pressing on a nerve makeing my right leg weak. for twenty years i was fine. my fifth vertebra was slipped forward and my mother was told with out the surgery i wouldnt be able to walk by time i was 20. I went on to have two children. worked my way thru college and worked as a nurse for 11 years before something else happened to my back. the fusion has held but the si joint ruptured so i have severe pain there. i have tried the decompression for the si joint but it just made it hurt worse. when i had the fusions done it was done using my own bone from the left hip. no metal or cages or anything. i have heard that sometimes those things like screws will work their way out. be sure to get second and third opions before doing anything if you havent already. but i can say that my fusions were a success and now i would have one done on my si joint if i can find someone to do it. penny
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Avatar_n_tn
I am 55yrs and have just been diagnosed with spondylothesis.  I am overweight about 25kgs. Does weight have to be factored in? I am a midwife and would like to work till I'm 60+. Does this condition remain constant (iepain) or does it sometimes become acute and then get better? Are there any remedies that do not require surgery? thanks Sue
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Avatar_n_tn
First, let me say that I have never regretted having s1 and l5 fused on 12-18-1964. I had congential spondylothesis and had it operated on when I was 20 years old. I should have had it done when I was 14 years old but we did not have the money so I suffered with it for 6 years. It was a terrible disease for a joung man to live with who was in the prime of his life. At that time you were placed in a body cast, after the operation, and spent the next 3 months in bed...that was very trying on a young mind. My understanding is that they don't do that anymore and the surgery is less intrusive today.  When I was released from the hospital in 1964 I ignored ALL  the Doctors instructions and returned to work on a cattle ranch for 3 years, built railroad lines for another 2 years and continued in hard labor for 2 more years and then took the Doctors advise and went to college and became an accountant. Those years of hard labor took a toil on my back and I had to retire at age 58 and live on disability due to chronic back pain. My advise is to go ahead and have the operation but don't expect to do the things you used to do or atleast expect to do them in moderation.  GOOD LUCK AND GOD BLESS YOU.
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Avatar_m_tn
I had the fusion of the L5-S1 last March and have been miserable ever since. My pain is worse since surgery. Then I finally got a discogram and now they want to fuse the L4-5. I am very leary of having another back surgery. I fear this will cause problems with the next one. Then what they don`t stop untill the run out of discs. My advice get several opinions. a mylogram, Discogram and and ask the surgeon if he read the MRI or is he going off the written report. they are only as good as the people who read them. I wish I had never let them touch me. MAKE SURGERY A LAST OPTION>
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi,
I think you are right in saying that you should be taking several opinions from different orthopaedician before giving consent for surgery.
I generally advise to do all investigations before any attempt to do surgery on patients.
If you do any surgery in any discipline you should be thorough and well versed with what the doctor is going to do and what could be the complications.
How experienced is the surgeon is also important as in one study it was found that more experienced the surgeon is less is the complications.
Keep me informed if you have any queries.
Bye.
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Avatar_m_tn
I had 3 differi=ent surgeons tell me I needed surgery so I had it I believe if they had done a discogram to begin with they could have taken care of my L5-S1 and fixed my pain problem with the L4-5 at the same time of course there is no guarantee this will resolve my problem but at least it would have prevented aanother surgery instead of the guess work I believe they are doing. I thank you for your input and I have to try everything to alleviate the pain I am in. I now know If it takes 100 surgeries as long as there is hope for relief I have to go through them. I refuse to give up for some kind of miricale.
Thanks For Listening,
Dan
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi,
How are you feeling?
If you have hoped that there would be some miracle happening after some surgery I am with you. You should have this positive attitude that I have to get out of this pain as early as possible and I would do anything to get out of this ailment.
Keep me informed if you have any queries.
Bye.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi jane,
Have you heard of a new procedure called biacuplasti. I am told its new and is actualy radio frequency ablation of the disc.They are doing a study of it at the Cleveland Clinic. by a Dr. Kapural.  I was told there was probably a 50-50 chance that another fusion would give me some relief. I am not sure yet if I am a candidate of this procedure since I am post fusion. But studies are saying this is promising for people with disc pain. Thank you for your encouragement. I refuse to give up on myself and will continue to try to help others with every thing I find out.

Thanks for listening,
Dan
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457535_tn?1242808132
I am 15 and i had spondylothesis. i have had 2 spinal fuisons because my first one didnt work. i had my first operation when i was 13 and my second when i was 14. it was alot for me to go through but its nothing to be scared of! you will get through it because if i can u can!
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Avatar_n_tn
My daughtetr underwent the spinal fussion 1 year ago today. I was very frightened about getting her the surgery, she was 12 and like lets do this so I can be without pain. Her spinal cord was also being pinched because the space for it was to small. The doctor I took her to initially wanted to scrape out the area to make it bigger and do the spinal fussion. We were very fortunate and are fortunate that we live relatively close to Mayo clinic in Rochester Minnesota, and that some of the hospitals in my area are affiliated with Mayo. So when I went to make her appointment for a second oppinion, the clinic set it up right away with a traveling Mayo Doctor.

He answered my queastions, had alot of experiance but changed the surgery to taking off the back of the bone and replacing it with a piece of hip bone, the surgery went from one hospitsl of being 5-6 hours to being 7-8 hours, which turned into almost 9 hours day of. Amber now has 4 screws and 2 bars in her lower back, the bone has grown over nicely and the fussion has turned out very well.

  She does from time to time have back pain, however it is treatable with over the counter meds and rest. She has become extremely active again. Being an adult I realize your healing time will be more than a childs. However, considering that Spondyliosthesis can cause life threatening problems with ones kidney's and liver the thought of not doing the surgery should be taken extremely serious.

  I was very scarred and wanted to actually find an alternative to doing the surgery, but the day of the second oppinion, amber had a fall off her cousins upper bunk bed, and in true fashion someone reported that to social services (her father) so the decission for the surgery was not even up to me. The social worker did however take my side as to where I wanted the surgery done.(her father did not want me taking her out of state.)

  My suggestion is to find out what all the complications would be to not having the surgery, I remember being told that if ambers spine moved again that it could cause complications if she ever wanted to have children. But what was frietening to me about having the surgery was that she would lose about 20% mobility in her lower back because of the fusion, I thought that was horrible (I believe it is about 33% for adults) however since she was in constant pain she wasn't doing anything (riding bike jumping on the trampoline playing with friends etc.) that her having lost moblity per say is not an issue because she gained mobility from not being in constant pain.

  I suggest find the best Hospital near you, any surgery has possible complications, but different hospitals and doctors have different results.
If possible go to Mayo Clinic. Life is to short to live it in hello.
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Avatar_f_tn
I was browsing came across this forum saw your question and decided to join. Let me start by saying that you should worry. I may sound cynical but after everything I've been through...it's to be expected. It's plausible to say that there are people out there that have had successful surgeries and some who haven't. I fall under the latter category. My ordeal began in 1999. Shortly after the birth of my son. I went to every specialist available in my state. After trying every non-operative measure every doctor I saw recommended surgery for my grade 1 spondy. I just wanted to get rid of the pain so that I could take care of my little one. I had my 1st surgery (fusion&laminectomy) in 2000...4 days after his 1st birthday. After the surgery I felt worse than ever. Months went by and I wasn't getting better. My doctor sent me to a psychiatrist. He thought it was all in my head. Nine months later I landed in the ER. After a CT scan I learned my screws were broken. I now needed a second surgery. I went with a different doctor for the second surgery but I didn't get any better. I went to another doctor and he said I was still in so much pain because my spondy was now a grade 4. I now suffer from flat back syndrome. I have permanent nerve damage and I'm in chronic pain 24/7. I can't work (I was a hairstylist). I can't sit or stand too long. If I walk farther than my drive way I have to use a walker. I've opted out of having a Intrathecal Pump Implant (morphine pump) so I see a pain management doctor once a month for my meds. If I don't find a doctor willing to help me...I don't know what I will do. My son is now 9yrs old and I've missed out on so much. That hurts me more than the pain itself! If I could go back I would do things differently. I would travel out of state if I had to. I would go to a University Hospital in a big city. I would research everything!  I did research my local doctors but there is something that I never thought to do. I never thought to research the hardware they were going to put in me. Has anyone on this forum done that? It just never occurred to me. For some people the damage is done. For those like yourself...don't leave any rock unturned. Research absolutely everything!
I don't know where you live but I have some information on some doctors I've researched for years.

Good Luck
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Avatar_f_tn
I just got diagnosed with spondylolthesis and Im in severe pain. My doctor sent me to physical therapy which only made it  worse. I also tried all the other non- surgical ways to help it and nothing worked. My doctor told me to lose weight and it should get better and eventually go away. It has already been a year at this point. Is this true? Can just losing weight and time work? Im thinking she's full of **** but maybe I'm wrong. She also said to just take Ibprofen 800mg for pain. That does absolutly nothing and I told as much and she said that it should be enough and didn't give me anything else. I think it's time for a second opinion. I was just wondering if anyone had any advice for me. Thanks.
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Avatar_m_tn
Yes,  losing weight can help, but is not the total answer.  The less you have out front pulling on your spine can lessen the symptoms, but spondy is with you forever.  When I was first diagnosed in the the early 70's my doctor told me to stay as physically fit as possible.  That's easy when your young and in your twenties, now I'm close to sixty and mine has deteriated over the years.  If it ever comes to surgery seek out a neuro surgeon not an orthopedic.  Ortho's main study is the bones, while a neuro specializes in the nerves.  It makes a big difference.
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I'm hoping by this time you will have made a decision by now.  I am 2 weeks post op anterior/posterior interbody fusion with instrumentation.  I'm hopeful this thing has worked.  At worst, the spacing is correct in my back again as it was bone on bone.  At best, I get my legs working again with no pain.  So far, the pain isn't gone and you can read my post from yesterday on that.

I think it's important that you seek qualified orthopedic and or neurological medical care at this point and not rely on fads, and quacks to heal you. My first diskectomy, I chose a neurosurgeon.  At the time and where we lived, he was the best in the area.  This go round I entrusted an orthopedic surgeon.  No reason why the change, I would have prefered a neuro, but the orhto I did choose is the best in the city. Do some research, ask around. See a scar on someone at the gym, ask them how it got there. There's are always going to only be quick fixes.  Expensive quick fixes.  If you have decent medical insurance and can afford to be out of work for 6 weeks, take it.  You'll need it.

Keep in touch, I'd like to hear how you're doing.  Give me hope as I am still newly post-op and need some rainbow to appear to know I've done the right thing!

Take care!
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Avatar_n_tn
Need feedback from anyone with spondolythesis that has gone through fusion surgery.  I am scheduled within the next few months and very nervous.   When I was finally diagnosed I had been in severe pain for a few months.  Currently I have pain under control using massage/yoga therapy but am limited to staying at home most of the time as any form of travel puts me in pain again.

I don't want to live like I am for the rest of my life --- I am 53 and would love to be able to play freely with my grandchildren.  At this time surgery seems to be the only answer but I see so many negative comments.   Is there anyone out there that can give me more information on success stats - possible complications - etc.  

Any info would be appreciated.
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Avatar_f_tn
What sort of yoga exercises do you do for your therapy?
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Avatar_n_tn
I have been diagnosed with spondylolthesis at the age of 14 with a grade 2 slippage (50% slip) in my L5 - S1 disc.  I was in severe pain and could barley walk at this point. Surgery was my only option.

With the help of my family, we were able to find one of the best treating spinal doctor in the country after countless referrals and opinions.  

Ultimately, I had 2 screws placed in my anterior and a spinal fusion to my L5-S1 spinal disc when I was 16 years old.  The bone cracked and I had to do another fusion at 18.  I am now 29 years old and for the most part, pain free.  I still have to be careful since I have spondylolthesis in my L3-L4 and L4-L5.  But for the most part I am active and could do any physical activites that i could not at the age of 14.  I don't know the success stats, but I do know that my surgery was a huge success and I could not only walk but am now pain free.

Is there anyone out there who has multiple spondylolthesis in several area of their spine?  I am worried because I am starting to feel the same sciatic pain down my right leg and am worried my other disc may have started to slip.  Is there any cases out there where a successful surgery has been completed on several areas of the spine?
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Avatar_f_tn
I am 67 years of age. my pain started with herniated and bulging discs in l992. I chose to not have surgery at the time and have had spinal epidurals, cortisone shots and shots in the facet joints and shots to burn the nerves, etc. I am in horrific pain and had to quit work. Have been informed I have 3 choices.,.the fusion, the pain pump or heavy medication.  I am extremly worried about the fusion at my age, am overweight from no physical activity for the last few years except walking back and forth at work from one office to the next.` One of my sisters is on all kinds of meds and goes around like a zombie, one other one had the pump I think it helped a little but she was still in pain. My niece had fusion and it worked for her, but only after 6 months when it had not fused, they put her on a back stimulator and it finally fused, she is doing great. Anyone got any stories of someone my age doing the fusion??
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Avatar_f_tn
Having posterior back fusion with metal cage, screws, rods. Had to reconstruct the foramen holes on either side. Mine was at the common site of l5/s1. I had severe spondylolisthesis bilateral, disc deteriation at this level, severe bilateral foraminal stenosis and root nerve immpingement. Just had my surgery feb 22nd of this year so I'm 3 weeks out. Lately I have begun to experience horrid pain in my legs at night, not sure if that has to do with the walking I have to do. Otherwise, things are going ok. I can feel the hardware from within and that's a bit creepy lol. I'm a 37 yr old female. Good luck to ys. My surgery was 6 hrs and my hospital stay was 3 days
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Avatar_f_tn
I would suggest consulting with MICROSPINE . They are miracle workers. Here is a link to their website www.microspine.net They can do things there that others can't. A lot of their patients have had prior surgeries elsewhere and have complications and they repair and fix them. The procedures are minimally invasive and don't have the long recovery time as other surgical procedures. I would contact them for a consultation. They are rated #1 in this field and actually developed the procedures that others are trying to reproduce now. Trust me you won't be disappointed, I wasn't. :)
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Avatar_n_tn
Having posterior back fusion with metal cage, screws, rods.  Mine was at the common site of l4/L5. I had spondylolisthesis bilateral, disc deteriation at this level, root nerve impingement. I had my surgery on March 24 in NZ and hurrah the nerve pain in my right leg has totally disappeared and 4 weeks on the back pain is getting better.  The only problem is sleeping at night trying to get comfortable, the pain mostly from the bone graft in my hip.   I walk 30 mins every day slowly of course and take mild pain killers.  I too can feel the hardware inside, its like a concrete block attached to my back, but I feel its because its a foreign object that my body needs to get used to and I'm told that will disappear in time.  I am a 46 yr old female and in otherwise good health.  I was lucky enough to have one of the best surgeons in NZ and had total faith in him.  I have my next xray in two weeks to check the fusion, fingers crossed all good.  Everyone is different only you can make the decision on what works for you.   I wish you all well.
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Avatar_n_tn
I had spondylothesis and suffered for 10 years because I was afraid of surgery.  I finally could not walk 50 feet before the pain would hit me like a sledge hammer.  I had my surgery done, went home the next day and haven't had a problem since.  I didn't even have to have a fusion.  That surgery was done in 2000.  I am 53 years old and feel like a teenager again.  I have recommended my surgeon over and over again.  What a difference it makes when you get one who knows what he is doing.  ***@****
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1432897_tn?1322963137
I'm a 38 yr old male.  6yrs ago I was in an accident and left with a grade 1 spondylolisthesis @ L4-L5 along with a herniated disc in between the two.  I did IDD Therapy with my chiropractor and had good success along with daily core exercises.  Recently however I have been diagnosed with a spondylolisthesis in the same area except now it is just barely a grade 2.  I have been starting to explore surgical options and have found anything yet that makes me feel comfortable with spinal fusion.  I am going to do the IDD Therapy again because it  fixed the spondy the first time.  With any luck I will be able to put off surgery and live with manageable pain.  That to me is pain that stretching, ice and regular exercise can help alleviate.  Oh yeah,  the herniated disc healed well and is now taking a pretty good beating from the two vertebrea but it is not bulging.  So for all those suffering from herniated discs the IDD Therapy worked very well for me.  It can be expensive but I prefer it to surgery.  Good Luck and God Bless!!!!
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Avatar_f_tn
I am 40 years old and have Spondyloepiphysealdsyplasia and have to many surgeries to mention. I am a mother to three young kids 5,3 and 1 and I have my entire spine fused with herrington rods and pins. My fusion is deteriorating and I am now having compression of my lungs from the upper spine twisting to an S curve and my lower spine now has lordosis. I need the surgery but can't have it because I have no one to help with my three young kids. Pretty scarred I will have permanent nerve damage and may not be around to take care of my young kids. Can't be off my feet for months like when I was 13 because I'm a Mom now and my kids need me. Not sure how much longer I can hold on.
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1720455_tn?1309285462
I Have 2 Special Sisters ,Renee' [Baby Sis'] Who Thanks To God Guiding Her Surgeons In 2003, Survived Colon Cancer ! But To Fast Forward A Bit , Renee'  Took My Other Sister , Debbie [Litl' Sis] Age 57(7-30-54)-Into Her Home A While Back . However ,[From Previous Physical Abuse , Several Years Ago By Her Ex Husband Against A Refridgerator Door Handle], My Sister Debbie For The Past 5 Months , Has Been Humped Over , And Can't Straighten Much Higher Than Her Waist , And Is In Constant Pain . The Following Is Information She Gave Me From Her Recent MRI: Debbie Has: "Disc Desiccation, Protruding Discs And Anterior Spondylosis" The Only Treatments Are Medication And/Or Surgery.
I Had Spondylothesis , And Received An Implant @ L-4,L-5 , From A Reputable Surgeon , on 4-12-05 . I've Been Doing Well So Far ,For Being 60 Years Old , [Some Expected Discomforts] , So I Advised Debbie To Consult With My Previous Surgeon , And Her Family Doctor Set Up Her Appointment With Him Yesterday June 27th.!  But Due To Debbie's Past Mini Stroke, And Health , My Past Surgeon , Could'nt Operate At This Time Due To Health , And Life Threatening Risks,e.g. Heart/Stroke Etc.. As Family , We're All Pulling Together In Our Faith , That Debbie Will Be Led To Someone With Better Options ,Resolve So My Lil' Sis Can Soon Straighten Upright To Her 5'2" , And Not Be At Any Risk And/ Pain ! I'm The Oldest Of 5 Sibblings ,[2 Brothers and 2 Sisters] , I Want To Continue To Be A "Big Bro" Along With The Rest Of My Family , And Especially For My Mother ,In A Retirement Center Really Concerned About Debbie's Condition , And For Renee' Who Is Discouraged , Feeling Helpless In Trying To Care For Debbie , Watching Her [Debbie]  Bending Further Down Seemingly, [Except For Faith & Love], Falling Thru The Cracks Of Not Finding Much Needed Help ! Would Welcome Any Sound , Positive Advise ! Very Sincerely , "Litl' Sis Big Bro'" [L.G.I.]
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Avatar_n_tn
I agree with you.  I was diagnosed with Spondylosisthesis at the age of 27-28.  I was told by my doc that it was a birth defect.  After I was diagnosed then I had herniated and ruptured discs.   My doctor said I needed to see a surgeon.  So in 2008 I had major back surgery with 2 rods and 6 screws inserted at L4-L5.  At the point and time I am on MS Contin for pain.  If I had it to do all over again I don't think I would have had it.  It was a horrible surgery and recovery time was 3 months.  I don't feel like I have recovered.  I'm miserable all the time.  
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