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Hi I am a 33 yr old male who is considering surgery for spondylolisthesis on L5 which is causing a lot of pain in my low back and some nerve stuff in legs and back. I am curious if anyone knows will this surgery stop or ease the pain? Doctor recommended a wait and see approach (if nerve damage gets worse) and when i asked for pain med. he recommended a shot in the spine but that freaks me out, however am willing to try anything just tired of suffering! Help on either of the subjects is needed thanks!! :'(

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Hello,

I am a 35 female. Had a spinal fusion 2 years ago and a laminectomy a year and half ago. The fusion surgery was horrible. I do not recommend to anyone. I was in terrible pain after the surgery. So much that I wanted to die. Pain meds only helped so much. I now have more pain than I did before surgery. My surgeon is terrible. Dr. Goldstein, in NY, NY. Do not go to him. The ironic thing was he was voted one of the Best Doctors in NY in 2005 and 2004. What a joke that survey is! He does not provide me with answers as to why the surgery failed to relieve my pain. The only reason I had the surgery is because my surgeon said it would help the pain. He never answers my questions and just tells me to go see a pain management doctor. I have a wonderful pain management doctor that I found on my own. However, I am still taking pain meds and living a nightmare. I can't participate in sports, Can't excersise, can't go out dancing and I am terrified of being Pregnant. I rarely go out socially as standing or sitting too long causes a lot of painl. I used to be a very social person, but now I hardly ever see my friends. My family and friends have noticed a big change in me. I really want to start a family too. Before the surgery (fusion was at L5-S1 with instruments posterior and anterior), I very bad back pain and left leg pain (back sciatica). Tried PT/injections and meds and pressure point injections for months. Nothing lasted. Now after surgery, I have muscle spasms in both lef and right calf, a very sharp pain in my lower left buttock when I bend certain ways, like when I bend up from brushing my teeth, swelling and numbness in the right side of my abdomen, servere soreness all over my back, left leg pain and pain in my abdomen muscles. My surgeon had the nerve to tell me he doesn't think my sworeness in my belly is because of the surgery even though I never, ever had this type of pain until when I woke up from the surgery. And he cut me in my stomach. How can he say that the incision he made in my belly would not cause pain???!!I think he did something wrong and won't admit it. I wish someone day he has back problems and has a spinal fusion that causes him a great deal of pain. He's too busy on his boat to help patients he butched. He won't admit he did anything wrong. Be very care of surgeons; they think they are GODS and know everything; but they don't. If they operate on you, and you complain, they'll insinuate that the pain is all in your head. What disgusitng human beings surgeons can be. IF any one knows a good, honest doctor or has any other advise/tips, I would be sooo grateful. I am living in a nightmare and just want to wake up from it. For those of you thinking about spinal fusion, I would not do it. It's too much on your spinal to recover from. Thanks to all for listening!
A sad girl from Brooklyn.
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Thank you sad girl in Brookylin, I feel for you extremly, I cant imagine what you are going through. If you read this please know someone can sympothise with you no one seems to understand what we go through. I have a referense for you if interested I found him after I found this site his name is "Sensei Adam Rostocki" <_[removed]_ he seems to be very interested in helping peeps like us worth a look!! His website is cure-back-pain.org. Thanks for responding I will keep updating as I figure out more help available!
Jason
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:-D

I also had surgery for spondylolisthesis with Dr. Goldstein. I'm surprised you're so negative. I found the surgery to be life saving. I'm back doing everything I ever wanted. Last year I ran the NYC marathon in 4 hours. I owe it all to him!
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I'm a 40yr. old mother of 2 with grade 3 spondylolisthesis and have been in chronic pain for years. The pain is worse when I play tennis which I have been doing more and more as I don't want this pain to get in the way of doing things I enjoy and that give me an outlet. I have spoken to a number of surgeons and have one in particular that I think I am going to use this fall and get the spinal fusion.
What grade spondy did you have? I am impressed that you are able to run so much after the fusion. I used to run a great deal and had to stop due to pain and logically it didn't seem like the best form of excersise. I thought it was not a good thing to run after fusion.
As you can see I'm very athletic and want to continue to be so after surgery. What grade spondy did you have? HOw was the recovery?
Thank you.
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I am a 35 female.../quote]

Failed spinal fusions are not always the fault of the surgeon. Much of the outcome is based on what the patient does post-surgically or, in some cases, based on another problem that is exposed when one is taken care of. Nevertheless, I'm sorry you've had a poor outcome. I've had two instrumented lumbar fusions and a third is necessary, not because my surgeons did anything wrong, but because of my congenital deformities, spondylythesis, and stenosis. Once one level was stabilized, the increased movement on the next higher level has sped the degeneration process, not spread it. It's common and usual for a second procedure to succeed when the first does not. If you live in or near NYC, there are other terrific spine surgeons who can help you with your instability I can only refer you to docs in Boston or, horrors, Baton Rouge, LA (the place not the physician). A lifetime of medication isn't really the answer for you - you're too young and you want to have a family. Don't fear another surgery or write off every other surgeon because of one experience. I've trusted my life to two orthopedic surgeons (one retired) and have felt completely confident that I've gotten the best care possible. It's an attitude thing.
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Guest's post is very suspicious. Who would accuse someone of being "negative" for having gone through such horrendous pain. I wouldn't be surprised if "Guest" is just a shill for you know who.
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i'm 19 and I had fusion for spondylolisthesis about a month ago, it helped to relieve alot of pain, but currently, like the terrible account above, I can harly get back to my previous lifestyle.

I am slightly disappointed about this. However, I strongly believe that I will be able to recover so long as I don't rush it and do proper post-surgery treatment. If it takes a year or 2 years for treatment or even longer. I'll do it.. I target full recovery with ability to swim (except other sports) and I'm confident of achieving it. :-D To all friends out there who sufferes from back injuries, be strong at it.
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For everyone out there who has recently had, or is considering spinal fusion. You need to understand this is a long-term healing process. It will be atleast a year before you can begin to lead a normal life again. And you have to keep your physical therapy appts. For those of you who are having difficulty adjusting to your surgery...you may need to evaluate your expectations and see if your expectations were realistic or if you tried to hurry up the healing process. :-(

I've lived with this condition for over 30 years, but have not had surgery yet. I am currently in stage 3, almost stage 4. The first orthopedic I ever saw gave me the best advice...don't even think about surgery until you can't manage your daily life any longer, then you can START to think about it.

It's been hard, I was very athletic when I was younger, and over time I've had to stop doing things in order to perserve my back. I don't move furniture around anymore, I don't ride roller coasters or play football, and I have to ask for help on many things I should be able to do by myself; but the consequence of doing it myself is not worth it.

I don't use an orthopedic to manage my condition any longer, I use a Chiropractor. But, BEWARE...not all Chiropractors are created equal.

Having a positive outlook will help your healing process. XD
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Hello, I am 25 years old and I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Spondy when i was 13 years old, by 14 I couldn't handle the pain any longer and had to have surgery. They used bone from my hip and fibula to fuse L4 L5 and S1. I had quite a few nerves that were damaged in my legs and back. I was in the hospital for 6 days, I couldn't walk for 6 weeks, except for to the bathroom. I couldn't walk up or down stairs for 12 weeks. But slowly I eased back into my normal routine. I was playing sports again within a year. Having the surgery was the best thing I ever did. I still get pain in my lower back, but it is not very often and not nearly as painful as the pain before surgery. I found that working that area now doing pilates and other hip and lower back workouts has made my pain almost non-existent. I recommend this surgery to anyone and the younger you have it the better!

I would like to know if anyone has had the surgery and recovered and has experienced pregnancy?
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Hi there!Female aged 32. I am emailing from Ireland so not much help where a surgeon is concerned. However I had the operation when I was fourteen also and it was the best thing that I ever did. Actually my condition was so pronounced that I had no option. I t could have led to paralysis.

I can carry out any physical activity now and I never take any meds for it. I do sometimes experience a slight feeling of fatigue on my lefthandside from my pelvic bone graft but that's it. All in all a very positive experience for me.

However I do have concern for pregnancy in the future. My husband and I are planning on having a family shortly and I am concerned about back pain during the pregnancy and indeed getting the epidural.

So my question also is how has anyone found pregnancy even after surgery for spondy?
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Hi Everyone, I am going in for surgery Sacrum and L5 and possibly L4. After 27 years I have a grade 3. After many years with pain (often but I learned to live with it), not being able to lie on my back, turning 50 times every night, I finally got nerve problems. I cannot move my right leg normally. My left one just har cramps. I have no option I was told. This does not get better by itslef. I am lukky though; I have good bone, I do not have any reflex or other sensation problems, they are only motoric. So I must be the perfect candicate (healthy bone, no major bervous problems, healhty, still moving around). Are there any any of you out there? How long does it take to recover? What cn I expect? How are the first weeks after surgery? I have great support from my partner, work and medics........but am concernes and feel like I am on a rollercoaster. Any thoughts are appreciated. Best wishes Dutch Girl :-D
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Hi. Don't know if this is going to help at all as I haven't had surgery. However, here goes anyway. I'm a 45 year old woman with a grade 3 spondylolisthesis, diagnosed when I was 30, but I had been in pain with it for at least 15 years before that. My slip is L5/S1 and x-rays and MRI scans show that it has fused on its own. I know it's not the same as being fused surgically, but bear with me. I too was very worried about being pregnant. In fact I found that the pain was far less during pregnancy. My first child's birth was vaginal, but very complicated as he got very stuck. As a result of everything I went through then I was advised to have a planned caesarian with the second birth, with the spondylisthesis cited as a reason. (Incidentally, the caesarian was a dream birth in comparison although left me with compromised lower abdominal muscles on the right side - the side I get constant pain.) As I say, I don't know how relevant my experience is as I don't know how the two types of fusion compare, but pregnancy was not a problem for me.

Pain, however, continues to be a problem. It's constant. On the best days I just have light sciatica. Some days I can't walk more than 100 yards without having to stop. Those are the days I'd like to crawl out of my body or have the bottom right hand quarter of me amputated. The best thing for me is keeping my core muscles strong and using them to try and rise up out of my waist which seems to relieve pressure on the nerves. Like others on this site, I find the pain really affects my life and it's hard to remain positive some days - but if I start to get negative everything just starts to hurt more anyway so it's counter-productive. It's hard to keep smiling, but a positive attitude really does help. That and hot water bottles, heat wraps, anti-inflammatory drugs and the occasional whisky and ginger! Good luck all.
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Hi everyone,

I've just recently been diagnosed with spondylolisthesis. I'm sort of freaking been crying all day, It took them weeks to get the pain under control before they figured out what was wrong with me. I was fine one morning a little stiff and by the end of the day I was crippled with pain. Now I'm being sent to a neurosurgeon and the thought of going through the pain again AND the recovery time I just see the long road ahead of me and wonder how as a single mother im going to raise my 7 yr old son. I work a farm for a living. I don't know how I'm going to get through this . Please some one anyone tell me something good. Ive never been so scared in my life I love being active I don't want to lose my hands on approach to life. Can any one help me smile my way through this. I know attitude is crucial to healing and I don't want to worry those who love me, but I'm so scared for a myriad of reasons.
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I had the surgery, and my wife got pregnant does that count? I found my pain levels were reduced about 50%, I still needed pain meds from time to time and advil every day, but not around the clock oxycontin like I did before the surgery. Good luck with whatever you do, and good luck with the pregnancy. (She really did get pregnant. I wasn't being a smart $$$).
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