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Back Problems Message Board

Back Problems Board Index

gmak, thank you for the reply. I think it was good for us to hear another opinion... as much as we would like them all to agree. Probably best to hear all angles. I think a lot has to do with Dr age, experience, etc.

teteri66, we do have two more scheduled. Last Dr just wanted to treat with steriods and exercise and said it would probably not progress. I have to assume he knows more about this than i do... after all, I have no medical experience. But I have to put some faith in major medical journal publications that I read... I have read that if a slip presents at 30% or less, then there are good odds that it will not progress... but >30% at presentation has greater odds for progressing. Also, thinking about it logically... it had to get to where ever it is today starting from some time in the past... how can you assume you are at the end point in the timeline? Today may be the middle of it!

I think what it comes down to is how likely is it to slip further... and what are the secondary effects of this condition even if it stays where it is, and will those secondary effects get worse. Pains, mild scoliosis or worse, improper spine curvature in both lumbar and sacral area, posture, limp, etc.

My understanding is that purely congenital means that the vertebrae is still all in one piece and this means the back part is changing the path of the spinal column. Purely isthmic means that the vertebra is fractured at the pars and the front is slipping forward and the back piece is not. I am not clear on this, but I think that means the rear part of the spinal canal is open and not getting distorted since the rear part of the vertebrae is not moving. But then I read about congenital isthmic, where the slip started from congenital deformity and the pars fractured later. Or the pars was weaker from congenital deformity then fractured later.

No wonder it is so confusing... I am not sure that any Dr could ever be sure about exactly what kind it is just based on xray and mri. And I think the chance of further slippage depends on what kind it is.

I have read that once past adolescence, it is much less likely to slip... until you hit your 40's or 50's and teh disc starts degenerating... then it can slip more. But, if it is already slipped 50% and the disc is already messed up, it just seems that it is only a matter of time before the disc ruptures or herniates and potentially allows it to slip way before 40.

This last Dr was not too concerns with progression or even level 5... he was all pain based... if you can live with it, don't worry about it. But, to me, it seems that the further it goes, then more serious the surgery and the less chance of the best outcome.

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