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Back Problems Message Board

Back Problems Board Index

Here's my story: I ruptured my L5-S1 disc in 1992 in a martial arts class. I also have a genetic condition called spondylolisthesis. It's not a serious condition but it does aggravate back problems. Anyway, I basically lived with the problem (and pain) for a year until my doctor noticed reduced nerve function. In 1993, I had the laminectomy and fusion at L5-S1 with instrumentaion (pedicle screws and rods). The fusion took. After about 8 months, I was able to go back to the gym and start lifting again as long as I was careful about which leg and back exercises I did. However, the pain has remained. In 1999, I had a different doctor that wanted to remove the hardware due to concerns about possible damage to L4-L5. I asked if it would alleviate the pain and he said it might but there were no guarentees. I should also mention that the discomfort that drives me nuts is in my legs, not my back. I can usually deal with the back pain. He also told me that he would do a nerve root decompression which might help with the pain. It seems like the hardware removal has helped some but there was still pain. Last year, I had to have a third back operation because the removal of the hardware caused the L5-S1 disc space to narrow which leads to a narrowing of the opening where the nerves come out at the vertibrae. What they did basically was put a piece of bone in the space to act as a "shim" and covered it with a plate and screws. It's been about 8 months now and, although it does seem to feel a little better, I still have pain. So, in the long run, I do mentally feel better about everything being "stable" in my back. But, I also realize that back and leg pain is something I will probably always have to live with. Hope that helps.

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