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#213917 - 08/03/11 03:39 AM I have Spondylolisthesis and am really upset
poodlegirl Offline
Registered Visitor

Registered: 12/01/07
Posts: 2243
Loc: Houston
I also got the medical records from my back doctor yesterday. After not being able to sleep due to my new back pain, I got up and read my record from a year ago. I see that he gave my diagnosis as Spondylolisthesis. I remember him telling me about the L4/L5 bulging disc, and that my vertebrae were unstable there, but he didn't say that one had slipped over the other.

Well, here is my problem. I got much better during this last round of physical therapy. I hadn't felt that good in a long time. I was faithfully doing my exercises. During a modified hamstring exercise, I started feeling some mild pulling on the lower left side of my back, but it wasn't beyond the 'comfortable stretch' feeling, so I ignored it. Then some days later I stretched backwards and felt like something slipped downwards on the left side of my spine (towards the tailbone). Much lower than the L4/L5. I went to bed and woke up later with calf pain in the left calf. Never had that before.

Long story short, I have struggled with this for 3-1/2 weeks now. I thought I had just irritated a sacral ligament, but now I'm not so sure. I can't sleep on the left side anymore. I can sleep on the right some. Can't sleep on my back. I got maybe 4 hours of sleep last night, none of it consecutive.

I will call my primary for flexeril today. But I am terrified after reading about spondylolisthesis. I'm afraid that I really screwed something up. I am just so angry that the doc did not fully explain to me what I had so that I could make better decisions about my activities (he told me that I shouldn't limit my activities and should do whatever). I wouldn't have stretched backwards (which is what they all say to do for lower back pain) if I had known I had a slipped vertebrae. Just doesn't seem like a good idea to me.

I was halfway managing the past few weeks by taking an nsaid. And one night I took a strong antihistamine. Just hard to function the next day when I do that.

I don't know whether to go back to this doc or not. My memory is that he didn't want to see me again unless I was interested in surgery. But I need to be evaluated again before I decide on more treatment. But even last year when I told him that my pain started after I lifted something, he wouldn't do a new MRI. But if I don't go to him, I don't know where to go. My primary doesn't have any good suggestions.

I was getting sick to my stomach (from anxiety and terror) laying in bed, and I am trying not to cry.

Any thoughts?
_________________________
Brenda

peripheral spondyloarthropy, HLA-B27+, iritis, naproxen 500 mg, 2x/day, trochanter bursitis, Joint Hypermobility Syndrome, migraines, SI joint dysfunction/hypermobility, DDD L4/L5 and L3/L4, straightening of cervical spine, diabetes, sleep apnea.

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#213920 - 08/03/11 05:09 AM Re: I have Spondylolisthesis and am really upset [Re: poodlegirl]
Bobbysuniverse Offline
Registered Visitor

Registered: 07/18/11
Posts: 35
Loc: Georgia
Hello Brenda,
My advice is if you are unsure about any doctor, you should find another. I know sometimes surgery is the only solution however every doctor I ever talked to always said back surgery is risky and it should only be done as a last resort. With that in mind I would definitely get a second opinion if the original doctor is pushing for surgery.
_________________________
There are two sorts of pain, the sort that makes you stronger and the useless sort that only causes suffering...I have no patience for useless things.

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#213933 - 08/03/11 07:55 AM Re: I have Spondylolisthesis and am really upset [Re: Bobbysuniverse]
WhiteCell Offline
Registered Visitor

Registered: 05/31/10
Posts: 1043
When a doctor says something like that my experience tells me it is:

1) the doc is frustrated that they can't solve the problem.
2) it is a misunderstanding in communication.
3) the doctor has reached the limit of what they can do.
4) the doc is a jerk and out of their depth.

Sounds like a 2nd opinion might be of value. Go to the best.
_________________________
AS 40 years beginning @ 18 years old with Reiters Syndrome
Remicade since 2001 - 5mg/kg every 7 weeks.
Glaucoma- Right eye Trabeculectomy/lens replacement 2006. Pred Forte, Simbrinza and Timolol eye drops daily.
Corneal Transplant DSAEK Right eye 2008. Failed 2013. Considering elective DSAEK transplant 2016.
Supra Ventricular Tachycardia. Cured by RF ablation 2006.

Critical Care Emergency R.N. Alaska & California.


Grasp the challenge and succeed.

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#213934 - 08/03/11 08:03 AM Re: I have Spondylolisthesis and am really upset [Re: WhiteCell]
sequoia
Unregistered


so sorry poodle, pain is insane and i think you should call someone today. you likely should have a round of imaging to see if someone needs to do an emergency procedure, or perhaps one of those belts at the waist to stabilize you. i agree, do not go to the same doc. yet, i would definitely try to get into your rheumy (?) today. prayers to you, s.

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#213936 - 08/03/11 08:13 AM Re: I have Spondylolisthesis and am really upset [Re: ]
poodlegirl Offline
Registered Visitor

Registered: 12/01/07
Posts: 2243
Loc: Houston
Well, I took a stab at it and have an appt on Tuesday with a new spine doc. My primary is calling in some flexeril for me. Hopefully I will be able to sleep with that. Just worried about being too sedated even with just taking it at night.

The appt with my new rheumy is on Tuesday, too. Don't think I can handle two appts in one day since I don't know how sedated I will be from the flexeril. I may be ok in the am but need a nap by the pm when the rheumy appt is. So I will probably reschedule the rheumy.

I've tried to go back to sleep, but I just can't.

I hope this is not my new normal. I can't live like this.
_________________________
Brenda

peripheral spondyloarthropy, HLA-B27+, iritis, naproxen 500 mg, 2x/day, trochanter bursitis, Joint Hypermobility Syndrome, migraines, SI joint dysfunction/hypermobility, DDD L4/L5 and L3/L4, straightening of cervical spine, diabetes, sleep apnea.

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#213940 - 08/03/11 09:24 AM Re: I have Spondylolisthesis and am really upset [Re: poodlegirl]
poodlegirl Offline
Registered Visitor

Registered: 12/01/07
Posts: 2243
Loc: Houston
Also, thank you for your responses. I forgot before. Don't have my wits about me. I am so terrified about possible permanent pain that I can't manage or surgery or cauda equina. All are possibilities. I worked so hard to try and manage my back problem, and now this. It seems like I crawled out of one hole and fell into a deeper one.

For some reason at the same time my armpit/elbow pain has flared up. Haven't had it for years. Had some deep fritioning work on it before that really helped, but the guy who did it has moved away. At its worst, my arms ached so bad that I wanted someone to cut them off. Guess I will ask the spine doc about that, too.
_________________________
Brenda

peripheral spondyloarthropy, HLA-B27+, iritis, naproxen 500 mg, 2x/day, trochanter bursitis, Joint Hypermobility Syndrome, migraines, SI joint dysfunction/hypermobility, DDD L4/L5 and L3/L4, straightening of cervical spine, diabetes, sleep apnea.

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#213943 - 08/03/11 09:58 AM Re: I have Spondylolisthesis and am really upset [Re: poodlegirl]
asgirl Offline
Registered Visitor

Registered: 01/12/11
Posts: 397
Loc: Kentucky
Brenda,

I also have a spondylolisthesis. They found mine before they found the AS. My Ortho basicly said try the steroid epidural ( I did a series of 3) when they didn't work, I was told to come back in a year for a check up, unless I wanted to do the surgery. I refused surgery, because I haven't found enough evidence of good outcome to make me want to take the risk. I will tell you that when I was in PT, I did feel some improvements, but I was always careful not to over do my stretching, or my lifting.

If I were you I would seek out a new Ortho, and have then at least take new x-rays and verify the degree of your spondy. This way it can be monitored and you will be better equipped to tell if it is changing or getting worse. There is a good chance that you simply irritated the nerves when you "overstretched" and may need a round of preddy to help relieve the inflammation. Depending on your fusing stage, if it gets bad enough you might consider the steroid epidural. Most people find relief if a regular round doesn't take care of it.

Hope you get to feeling better!!
_________________________
AS Dx'd Feb'11 symptoms for 2-3 years
GERD & IBSD 10+ years
Asthma 25+ years
Spondylolisthesis 2+ years
Hypersomnia

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#213947 - 08/03/11 10:24 AM Re: I have Spondylolisthesis and am really upset [Re: asgirl]
avonldy Offline
Registered Visitor

Registered: 12/14/09
Posts: 2466
Loc: N. Sacramento Valley
Brenda, it sounds like you might just be having a AS flare, since you are having pain in your elbow and arm as well as your back. Sometimes it's hard to know what is going on. I would want to talk to my Rheumy about the problem as it could be from fusing or inflammation. The new Rheumy will probably want to have more x-rays or MRIs taken. Try to take the Flexeril as early in the evening or late afternoon as possible to reduce the grogginess the next day. I hope everything will work out OK.
_________________________
Donna
Suffering since a teenager.Dx with AS Dec 2009. Dx with ulcerative colitis 1998, both knees replaced 2006. GP said I had "some kind of inflammatory arthritis" 25 years ago. It has taken 50 years to get a Dx.

Mobic, Nexium, Naproxin, Lipitor, 6-MP, Nexium, Miacalcam, MSContin and 2 Norco for break through pain

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#213958 - 08/03/11 11:42 AM Re: I have Spondylolisthesis and am really upset [Re: avonldy]
poodlegirl Offline
Registered Visitor

Registered: 12/01/07
Posts: 2243
Loc: Houston
asgirl, I hope you are right that I just irritated the nerves. I felt something move at the time, but I often have tendons/ligaments move due to hypermobility. So I don't know. I am anxious to find out. My primary offered me medrol last week, but I wanted to wait. Last year I did a medrol pak and was better while I was on it but was in pain again as soon as I finished it. And then I had 6 months of side effects to deal with (that is how steroids affect me). But I might try it again based on what the new doc says.

Donna, you could be right. I think the back is mechanical (I have never shown any spondy in my back) but the elbow might be. I will have the spine doc see if he thinks it is anything mechanical, and if not I will have the rheumy look at it. They have tried to tell me it was fibro in the past. I disagree.

Thanks for the flexeril advice. I will try to take it early.

btw, the lady who made my appt told me to call each morning and see if there is a cancellation for the day. Maybe I might get in earlier. Just hoping for a morning appt because we are having a heat advisory almost every day.
_________________________
Brenda

peripheral spondyloarthropy, HLA-B27+, iritis, naproxen 500 mg, 2x/day, trochanter bursitis, Joint Hypermobility Syndrome, migraines, SI joint dysfunction/hypermobility, DDD L4/L5 and L3/L4, straightening of cervical spine, diabetes, sleep apnea.

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#213960 - 08/03/11 02:09 PM Re: I have Spondylolisthesis and am really upset [Re: poodlegirl]
tntlamb Offline
Registered Visitor

Registered: 07/19/11
Posts: 1338
Loc: Montana
BE VERY CAREFUL of the spine doc...... Here's the thing the pain you are having with the L-4 L-5 thing is NOT uncommon. 80% of folks with and without other conditions have it. Half get better with no treatment. Of the half that get treatment half get better half don't. Most get better with-in a year. Of Bulging discs on 40% of folks have pain 60% don't. No one in the medial community outside of spinal surgeons (surprise surprise) are convinced that there is even a direst relationship.

Moving between orthos and Rheumys is a dekicate thing UNLESS they are working together. One takes a mechanical appoach the other a medical approach. Frequently they are at cross purposes.

As much as it is dangerous here to say, there are some Rheumys who work well with chiros, and sometime Chiros CAN provide some relief. But unless your folks (medical) are working as a team, BAD things CAN and WILL happen.

In story (one I identify with BTW a lot) One thing jumps out. You were getting some relief from PT which its purpose is o strengthen and stabilize. Flexiril does the exact opposite, It make everything "mushy" with the hope it goes back to where it belongs.

Good luck.

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