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Back Problems Message Board

Back Problems Board Index

Sorry, I got interrupted!

Having also suffered from lumbar spinal stenosis and spondylolisthesis, it is very annoying to hear a doctor tell you it's not that bad...with the implied "you shouldn't be in pain."

There is some discrepancy between the radiology report and the neurologist's assessment because if there is severe stenosis, it becomes very painful to stand, to sit, to walk.

I haven't heard of giving a ten day dosage of gabapentin, as it is not a quick-acting drug. It usually takes a week to have an effect, and it is the type of drug that one has to taper off of if it is taken for a period of time.

In any case, as I mentioned earlier, you would be smart to see an orthopedic spine surgeon or a spine surgeon who only see patients with neck and back problems.

The retrolisthesis may or may not be causing symptoms. It may be something you have had for a long time and it may now be stable, in which case, it is probably not causing symptoms. But if there is instability, it can cause nerve pain...often if there is pain in both legs or if it shifts from one leg to the other, it is a result of the spondylolisthesis.

The burning in your feet is probably coming from the compression of one of the lower lumbar spinal nerves, L4, L5 or S1, or all of them! It could be a peripheral neuropathy if we didn't already know you have DDD and the retrolisthesis. Chances are, it is a result of the spinal nerve compression. Even though the nerve is pinched off in the lumbar spine area, one can have pain at any point along the path of the nerve.

You may have some success with conservative treatments such as you mentioned. It all depends on the extent of the stenosis and how much nerve compression there is. If the stenosis is severe, the only way to make more space for the nerves is through a surgical decompression. Unfortunately, DDD and stenosis are not issues that will get better as time goes by. Most people continue to experience an increase in symptoms until eventually, surgery becomes necessary.

Hope your next appointment provides more information and a plan of treatment. If not, keep searching for a spine doctor that can help you. If surgery is suggested, be sure to get several opinions, from both an ortho spine surgeon and a neurosurgeon...or several of each!

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