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degenerative spine disorder and spondyliosis

vikkitennisvvikkitennis Posts: 4
edited 01/13/2013 - 8:18 AM in Degenerative Disc Disease
Hello to the forum.

My post is regarding three issues with my spine: degenerative disc of the S4 and S5, which leads to spondyliosis; scoliosis, and a small fracture in my back. I am quite active, playing tennis, walking, working, and up to last year, I was running two times a week. I also coach tennis. Last year, I ran for a ball down, and something seized me in my right lower spine, and penetrated the pain down my leg. At that point, I wasn't working out very much due to work and coaching, plus I lacked keeping my core strong. and I had to reduce my exercise. I continued working which required me to walk quite a bit and some sitting. Sitting became very awkward, and it was intense if I drove the car. I sought three different PT's, had a back x-ray, an MRI, which brought me to see a neurosurgeon. I had two epidurals within six weeks, both did not take effect and give me relief. The neuro told me after the third epidural he would do spine fusion of the S4 and S5 lumber. I am seeking a second opinion on Tuesday, the 15th, outside the area at a teaching institution/hospital. My question to that person is will I be better off in rehabilitation if I have the surgery now (I am almost 58) or can I wait for one more year, or what is my next step. I am in good health, but the pain is becoming more problematic, and it is interfering with my work and my life.
Thank you for allowing me to post my situation.


  • jellyhalljjellyhall Posts: 4,342
    edited 01/13/2013 - 11:38 AM
    I understand how frustrating it must be to have this pain when you are usually so active.

    I suspect that you mean the L4 and L5 discs because I believe that S4 and S5 are fused together without discs.

    My suggestion would be that you prepare a list of questions for your appointment on Tuesday.
    In fact, prepare two lists; one about how to avoid surgery and what can be done to treat your problem in a conservative way, and one about the surgery and chances of that helping you.
    There are articles in the information section of this site about questions to ask a surgeon and about various treatments of spinal conditions. Try to learn all you can and then you will think of lots of questions of your own to ask. It will also help you to understand what your surgeon is talking about.

    Do come and let us know how you get on, and ask any other questions you have. There are lots of people here who understand how you are feeling and have lots of experience that they are willing to share.

    Good luck :-)
  • Thank you so much for your feedback. I will take your advice and look at the prepared questions provided on the website. I will also develop my questions as well.

    I appreciate your response and will let you know of my Tuesday's appointment, probably later on in the week.'

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  • I attended my appointment with the neurosurgeon at a teaching university hospital today. I enjoyed his knowledge and talking to me about my condition.

    I have discovered I have spondylothesisi at L5-S1 with a coronal curvature from L3-s1 (scoliosis)
    I also have a congenital spina befida.

    I will be receiving two seperate injections in the next six-seven weeks. One will be a right sacroilace joint injection with steroid and a right L5-s1 facet injection with steroid.

    The other will be a L4-5 facet injection, at another visit.

    It might buy me some time, but surgery will be inevitable, due to my age and my mobility on the tennis court and at the school.

    I am so pleased I went outside our area for another consultation, as all they see are high profile cases as in mine, and others that are further regressed.

  • It sounds like your appointment with the neurosurgeon went well and that you have learnt about your condition.

    I also had a spondylolisthesis. Mine was at L4/5. I also had a 'dimple' in my spine just above it, and from things I have read have wondered if that was from mild spina bifida. I also have a congenitally narrow spinal canal.

    I was in my 50s before my spondylolisthesis was diagnosed. They were amazed that I had carried 3 pregnancies without being diagnosed as it is known to be very painful carrying the weight of a pregnant stomach, which pulls the slip further forward.

    I had a lumbar fusion with decompression which gave me wonderful relief from the awful bilateral sciatica that I was getting. It also helped a lot with the lower back pain. My spine is very degenerated and I was warned that I would always have back pain. They were right and I have just (9 weeks ago) had a 2 level neck fusion (ACDF). I also have problems in my thoracic spine, but no surgery planned for that! No thank you!

    I didn't ever have injections. They said things had got too advanced. I had a grade 2 slip and the slipped vertebra was starting to tip forward and take the rest of my spine with it. My nerve roots/cord were being kinked and squashed.

    Good luck with the injections and I hope that they will give you much relief and enable you to keep active. Do let us know how you get on :-)
  • Good evening Jellyhall,

    I drove to the teaching hospital yesterday to receive a CT scan on my lower spine and two injections of epidural, pin-pointed to the area of pain. The staff was most thorough, and I was given a mild sedative and a little pain relief in my IV.

    I am taking it easy this weekend, no lifting, no tennis, with hopes of doing some activity on Monday.

    TIme will will tell if the epidurals work. At this point, I have to be optimistic, as they are not giving much relief.

    How is the weather up North? We have had a beautiful week and weekend, with rain to follow Tuesday.

    Take care,

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  • I hope that you are comfortable and resting well. Hopefully you will get some relief from these injections that will last a long time.

    The weather here in the UK is lovely. Blue skies with just a few clouds. My husband and I have just got back from a walk and it was very fresh with a cold wind, but invigarating.
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