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Back Problems Message Board

Back Problems Board Index

It sounds like you lead an adventurous life, and that some of the rough impact has caught up with you. I am sorry you find yourself in this situation and hope you are recovering from the crash.

Unless there is new technology that I am unaware of, the only thing that will keep the spondylolisthesis from progressing is a fusion. The problem caused by spondy is that the spine is unstable at the segment, and the spinal roots as they exit the spine end up getting pinched off. This results in nerve compression which can permanently damage the nerve and intense sciatic pain running down the back of the leg, sometimes into the foot.

Any activity where the spine is in extension will be very hard on the spondylolisthesis...from swimming any stroke where you're on your stomach in the water, back bends, sleeping on stomach, and any activity where there is any kind of impact would also be potentially dangerous with this instability.

At the least I would imagine you would need a one level fusion at L5-S1. Fusion is major surgery and recovery is not fully complete for at least a year (to the point where the new bone is hard and strong), although bone growth can start as early as three weeks. Most people are off work anywhere from about two months to six months, sometimes a bit longer.

PT will do little for the instability -- depending on treatment, it could even make the situation worse. This is not a condition that fixes itself. Either one lives with the pain and hopes for the best, or one has surgery.

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