About Spondylolisthesis Stories ...

Welcome! Spondylolisthesis Stories is a compilation of personal stories involving individual's diagnoses, experiences, surgeries, and life with Spondylolisthesis.

My hope is that this site may offer a voice and platform for those with the spine condition to share their personal stories with the medical community, fellow Spondyo patients, and the world as a whole. Spondylolisthesis Stories also provides a wide array of information, personal knowledge, support and ideas for those with Spondylolisthesis. Whether you were recently diagnosed, learning to live with the condition, making difficult decisions regarding surgical interventions, in the early phase of recovery following an operation, or further into your journey, this site covers it all!

In addition to general stories about this spine condition, personal stories which focus on the subject of Spondylolisthesis & Pregnancy may also be found. These shared experiences detail the matter of labor and delivery, and include women with both unfused slips and those whom have had surgery prior to pregnancy. It has been my experience that this topic is one which is shrouded in some mystery. By sharing these stories I hope we may be able to shed some light on the subject; offering guidance and ideas to those females with Spondyo who would like to become pregnant but fear the unknowns which this condition can create.

I am always seeking new stories and would love to hear yours! Let your story and voice be heard! Please contact me (Brenna), at spondyostories@gmail.com, in order to share your story here. If you are seeking additional help and support from others with Spondyo, please ask to join the "Spondylolisthesis and Retrolisthesis Support Group" on Facebook. *This group is closed, and therefore, offers a higher level of privacy and comfort for all members to share openly and without fear of judgement. It is open to anyone with Spondylolisthesis (or a family members of those with Spondylolisthesis) to join.

Below the Spondylolisthesis stories you will find several survey questions. If you have Spondylolisthesis, please take a moment to review these questions and select your answer(s). You are also encouraged to join in and participate by interacting in the "Community Answers" board, located at the bottom of the page. Feel free to post questions and comments, share stories, answer the questions already presented, and ask your own questions! I greatly appreciate your participation and look forward to reading your answers and comments!

Spondylolisthesis Stories ...

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Spondylolisthesis Story #9: Justin & Natalie (Grade 4)

  • Justin & Natalie - Spondylolisthesis Story (Grade 4)

    My son Justin was diagnosed with grade 4 Degenerative Spondylolisthesis. He is 11 years old. L5 slipped forward 98%. He had his first surgery in Sept 2011. Their plan was to pull the L5 back as far as they could without causing any nerve damage. I believe they were able to pull it back 75%. They then wanted to place a cage in-between L4 & L5 to replace the deteriorated disc. When they did that the nerves completely shut down. So they made the decision to take it back out. They nerves responded, but very weak. They tried to build it up with bone fragments. They placed a rod and some screws in to ultimately fuse L4, L5 and S1, and anchored it to his pelvis. It ended up being a 9 1/2 hour surgery. Pure torture! He looked absolutely horrible when he came out of surgery and was on a ventilator for almost a week.

    Due to complications Justin was in the hospital for 2 and 1/2 weeks then rehab for another 2 1/2. He had extreme burning pain in his legs. He had major nerve pain that slowed down his recovery process. They released him from rehab still in tremendous pain and barely walking, but they said they have done all they can now the nerves would just have to heal. He was getting the shooting nerve pain starting at the bottom of his foot. Mostly his left foot. And his right foot was weak and numb. They had him on Neurontin, Prednosone, Oxycontin and Oxycodone. We went back for our followup after rehab, and the CT scan is showing the screws are shifting and the disc that they tried to build up is now pushing against his nerves. But thankfully, after they gave him the back brace, higher dose of Neurontin and some steroids, the burning stopped. Started getting stronger and walking on his own by late Nov. early Dec., and in our visit in Dec. the x-rays did not show any change in the shifting. So we thought we were good and on our way to recovery.

    So my son is 4 months post op, thought it was getting better ... now PT is saying that he is regressing instead of progressing, and his legs have been giving out every once in a while. It's not an everyday thing, but they are concerned. Next step: Neurologists. :(

    He's 11! Way to young for all of this!! It's taken a toll on all of us!! The doctors at HSS have been great! Whenever I need them they answer within minutes! Take him same day! Very supportive. Just wish they could figure out what's going on quicker. Heading back tomorrow for EMG. Hope Justin will be able to handle it and get some kind of answers!!

    My son is only 4 months out and not 100 percent fused yet, so I am not sure if removing all the hardware would be a good idea?! But they have mentioned removing the 2 top screws because of the shifting that has occurred and what they believe to be causing his legs to give out. His doctor's are based at The Hospital for Special Surgery in NYC. At this point we are waiting for neurological testing to determine his weakness and regression. He still goes to PT 3x a week, but like I said, over the past 2 weeks they are saying he is regressing. So I guess we wait and see what neuro says ...

    We have already been to the surgeon. They are the ones recommending the neuro tests. He does have the foot drop, which was getting better, but for some reason has become weaker again. They are unsure if what's causing the legs giving out is muscular or the nerves. Yes this is all very frustrating!! Mostly started the first time his legs gave out, but they did x-rays and everything looked to be ok. Just said hardware was jarred which is causing the pain. This time his legs gave out, but thankfully, he didn't get hurt. He still has pain on a daily basis but it's not anything how it was or that he can't handle. Also stopped the Neurontin 3 weeks ago, so not sure if that has an effect on things. Hopefully the test results will give us more info.

    I was thinking the same with the Neurontin, but the surgeon does not seem to think so. Yes, there was some shifting of the top 2 screws back in November and they have been monitoring it. There has not been anymore shifting since even with the jarring. Their guess is that it could be possible for a certain movement from the shifting. They did talk about corrective surgery as well but they want to see the test results first. Find out Monday when we will go to see neurologist. Knew this was going to be a long recovery but thought we were coming to the end.

    EMG did not show anything they didn't know already. So they have now requested a cat scan. Legs have been giving out more often.

    Can't catch a break!! Cat scan didn't look good. L5 and S1 fused, but L4 is dangling. 2 screws are coming out, and there is no bone mass there. Certain movements push against his nerves which causes his leg to give out. So they want to go in and do corrective surgery on March 9th. Not sure what needs to be done until they get in there. They have 3 options. Trying to fix L4 alone if possible, but they may need to anchor to L3 as well. Another thing they may want to try is to put the cage in again, but this time go in from the side and through the muscle to avoid the nerves.

    Justin had his 2nd Surgery March 9th. A walk in the park compared to the first surgery. Only 6 days in the hospital this time, thank God. The moment they went in the top 2 screws in L4 just fell out. So the are pretty sure that was causing all the problems. It was a 6 hour surgery. They took bone graph from the hip to build up around L4, and put 2 new screws into L4. When they were going in, they tore the dural liner, so they had to repair that so he had to lie flat for 24 hours to be sure the tear heals. The side effects he has had from that were headaches and fever. From the surgery itself he had very little uncontrollable pain. He said the numbness in his right foot seemed to be a little better but it is still there, and from this surgery, he has numbness in his left leg as well. The Dr. say it should go away with time.

    So we are a month out of surgery and Justin is doing pretty good. Still has numbness in his left leg and right foot. He has also had some shocking pain in his back that has come and gone. He is still pretty weak. He had aqua therapy first time the other day and he couldn't get out of the pool. They needed two guys to go in there and get him. I am hoping all these little thing will go away, and when we go back on the 16th they tell us we are on our way to full recovery. Fingers crossed!!

    - Natalie & Justin (Justin is Natalie's Son. He is the Spondylolisthesis patient.)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Spondylolisthesis Story #8: Kristin (Multiple Slips)

Kristin - Spondylolisthesis Story (Multiple Slips)

For as long as I can remember I've had back and neck pain. When I was little my mom worked at a rehabilitation center and from time to time during the summer I would go to work with her and help do filing, or run little errands so that she could get her major work finished. One day, one of the therapists came to me and massaged my shoulder for a little and commented that my shoulder was, "too tight for being so young."  I was probably eight or so at the time. That was the first time I can really remember noticing it (the pain & symptoms associated with the Spondylolisthesis).

A couple of years later, when I was playing softball, I woke up with virtually no range of motion in my neck. Needless to say I went and played in my game that day. I loved softball, so nothing was going to keep me from playing.

In school I had been teased for the way I walked to the point where I went to the doctor. He told me I had flat feet, was going through a growth spurt, and told me to wear different shoes. In the meantime, I'm hearing it from my family about my poor posture. I kept telling them it hurt too much to stand up straight. Naturally that fell upon deaf ears. It was "growing pains."

A few years ago, after I moved to Tennessee, I had lifted something I shouldn't have at work, and felt a "pop" in my spine right between the shoulders. It's something that bothers me to this day.

Come last year, my back was so unbearable that I finally decided to go get it checked out. There were seven vertebral slippages: Two cervical, three thoracic, and two lumbar. My doctor also found that my L3, L4, and L5 are missing the transverse processes (what he called a "genetic malformation"), and there is no disc between the L5 and S1. The lower lumbar are also fused to my pelvis on the left side; later diagnosed as Ankylosing Spondylitis. I don't have the grade of slippage because, to be honest, I was getting hit with all this all at once, and along with everything else going on, I didn't get all the information. Also from that meeting with my doctor, he told me that if I planned on having children I could put myself in some danger. The pressure on the pelvis could cause I possible fracture. GREAT.

I'm not getting treatment for any of this for a few reasons. Right now I don't have insurance, and don't qualify for the lax Medicaid in Tennessee. After seeing my dad suffer with cancer and having to get bi-weekly infusions, I have reservations.

I don't know what the future holds right now; I only know what's going on in the present. And in the present, I'm having a lot of pain. I have days when my back feels like it's on fire. My spine is tender to the touch in certain places, and from time to time I have trouble walking because my feet feel like dead weights.

- Kristin 

Kristin's Pre-Op X-Ray with Multiple Spondyo Slips

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Spondylolisthesis Story #7: Anna-Marie (Grade 2)

Anna-Marie - Spondylolisthesis Story (Grade 2) 

I just recently found out that I have grade 2 Spondylolisthesis with a slightly dehydrated/degenerated disc at L5-S1.  I'm only 19, so this whole experience has been just as emotional as it has physical.
It's REALLY good to know that I'm not the only person out there that has Spondylolisthesis. I am thankful they found it so early and that the slip isn't worse. But, when they did discovered it, it was quite a shock. See, I've had health problems since I was born and these last three years have been particularily difficult. Turns out that this is something I was born with and just didn't know it. I've always had back problems/pain, but we all just assumed it was growing pains of some kind. During last Summer, I started noticing some severe numbness in my toes when I bent over for more than a second. I put off going to see my Orthopedic doctor because I was currently in intense Physical Therapy for a ACL Reconstructive Surgery that went wrong. I didn't actually see my doctor until mid-November. When he told me about what they'd found, everything kind of stopped. I didn't really understand the full reality of the situation until they started talking about the "spinal guy," about eventually having back surgery, and how this was something I'd have to deal with my whole life. I was thankfully able to hold it together until I was out of the office. Right now, I'm just trying to take it day-by-day and be thankful for the times when I'm not in incredible pain. 

The severe pain and numbness started in December when I started Physical Therapy for my back. The pain got so bad that I couldn't get out of bed some mornings. They did an MRI and found the dehydrated(leaking)/degenerative disc. I stopped doing the PT because it was irritating the nerves so much. I was referred to the spinal surgeon, but he doesn't want to do surgery or anything because I'm so young (not that I want to have surgery), so he referred me to the best Chiropractor in the state. I'm going to be honest, when I was told to go to a Chiropractor, I was incredibly wary because I knew anything dealing with an unstable spine was tricky and this is my life. I went to the Chiropractor and he is very attentive to my pain and how he does things. I've gotten a new, more firm mattress, and it's really helped. I'm still hurting a good deal, but the pain has dropped significantly, though I still have my moments.
I do have tingling and shooting pains. Generally, the shooting pains go through my right hip, behind my knee, and to the bottom of my foot. I haven't really kept up with the patterns or anything, but I guess I should start doing that. I notice the numbness mostly when I've been sitting a lot, or if the pain levels are really high. I'll be honest, the numbness has been showing up much more often these last few weeks, though I kinda didn't realize until now ...
The spinal surgeon doesn't want to do surgery on my back because I'm 19. I think they want me to wait until I'm much, much older. I'll be honest, I am slightly concerned about it due to the fact my slippage is "unstable" (not that I want surgery, I just want to do the right thing for my spine).

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Spondylolisthesis & Pregnancy Story #1 - Dena

Giving Birth Before and After Spinal Fusion

First of all, before I travel down this memory lane of giving birth, I just want you to know that I would do it all over again to have my 3 boys, whom are all so precious to me! It brings tears to my eyes as I type just thinking about not having each of them. I have literally had a "so-called friend" say to me: “How could you put your life and your child’s life in danger by getting pregnant again after your spinal fusion?" Because for one, I was told there would be no problems, go ahead get pregnant. The love for another child I wanted to give was indescribable! After fearing for the future before surgery and going through an entire year until I was strong enough, and I was pain free enough to get off the pain medications, I asked the question to my back doctors: “Can I have another child?” We weren't done having children, you know? When I was told yes, you can, I was beside myself excited! Scared? Of course! My previous two labors had been long and hard, but nothing like what was going to take place with my 3rd child! My husband and I had also talked about adopting. We had two sons, and would like to have a daughter, but would be happy with a third son. When I found out I could get pregnant again, we decided to give it one more try. Within a week after going off the pill I became pregnant. Being Pregnant has never been a problem for me - I always loved it! There is nothing in this world more amazing than feeling your child kick or move around inside your belly!

I am glad that I didn't know about my Spondylolisthesis before having my first two children. I was totally unaware. My only clues through life were if I laid on the floor my back would hurt instantly, and it would be hard for me to do the simple exercise of bending your legs with feet on floor and then lifting your buttocks. I remember once not being able to do this at all. Another memory I have is not being able to get off the couch for an entire day, but the pain went away. I say it’s from being young and na├»ve, and not thinking anything could be wrong with me! When I married I remember my husband telling me the first time he ran his hand down my back that something isn't right, your bone shouldn't be poking out your lower back like that. I remember telling him ... that’s been like that, I can't remember how long it’s been like that, but I’m sure its nothing; it’s not a tumor or anything, I think I’m just built weird. And, that was that! I had my first son in 1996. The cord was wrapped around his neck and he was stuck in the birth-canal for so long (I was in labor 22 hours I think) that he seriously looked like one of the Cone Heads from Saturday Night Live!! But his head quickly went back to regular shape after a few weeks. He weighed 8.5 lbs. But no problems or any concerns from any doctors.

My second son was the easiest birth. He was born in 1999. He weighed 10.5 lbs. The doctor joked about me sleeping with some football player to my husband ... and I can remember being irritated at the joke as I’m trying to push him out!! LOL. The only problem was that he was 10 days late and my water had to be broken and labor induced. Plus, the Epidural needle broke off in my back and they didn't know it. I remember saying, “the pain is coming back.” So, they would go to shoot more of the Epidural liquid in the tube that was attached to my back (it was taped to my back and they couldn't see it). Since it broke off, this liquid was bubbling up under the skin of my back and I could painfully feel it doing so! Finally they peeled the tape off to see what the problem was! Good Lord!! Thank goodness they got that fixed; the birth was fine! Easiest out of all three!

Oh yeah ... another symptom I remember having before I had children, but right after I was married, was my sciatic nerve pain. It would come on suddenly and I would literally have to drive with my butt cheek lifted up so that I wouldn’t have pain shooting down my leg while driving. This would only happen while sitting. This pain began to disappear as soon as I became pregnant with my first child, and was totally gone after I had him!

Okay, so I was symptom-free after having 2 children. Life is going along just fine ... No problems. I am one to always do for myself; very impatient, and will do heavy lifting or move things myself instead of asking a man's help at work, and even at home. The summer before I found out I had Spondylolisthesis, I remember finding a huge rock pile in our woods. I decided to get a wagon, fill it up numerous times, 
and proceed to put these rocks around flowerbeds! I would also carry 50 lbs of dog food in from the store ... whatever. If I could manage, I would do it! Then came that final “life-changing” day at work. Instead of waiting for a man to pick up and move this heavy box for me, I decided to do it myself. I felt my back that day instantly, like I pulled a muscle or strained it badly. So about a month goes by, and every day is getting worse and worse! I can't go shopping without sitting and resting, and grocery shopping for a weeks worth of groceries was undoable!  At this point I had my two boys, and they were 6 and 4 when I had my spinal fusion. Fast-forward to the day I give birth to my 3rd son (who is just turned 7 last month – 2/2012).  My oldest turned 15 in December, and my 2nd child turned 13 last month as well.

Keep in mind that when I got pregnant I knew that a C-section seemed like the smartest option.  If I could do it over and know what I know now - "That sometimes some doctors have no idea what the hell they are talking about!!" - I would have left that doctors office and went somewhere else!! But, I asked every time I would go in for a pregnancy check up if I could please be considered for a C-section. I was so happy when I found out that he was breech and I would get my wishes!! Well, sure enough, that little stinker decided to turn around in those last weeks and the doctors exact words were: "You already had to large babies and if this was your first then we would think of giving you a c-section, but you will have no problems even though you had a spinal fusion that will have nothing to do with it.” Did it??? They say no ... I SAY YES!!!!!!!!

Okay ... So I go to the hospital to have my labor induced – it’s a week past my due date - and it was up to me to wait it out or go to the hospital. I choose to have him on March 2nd. 2005. About 15 minutes after getting the Epidural I am beginning to have the slightest pain again, and then more intense pain coming back shortly thereafter. I kept saying the epidural isn't working right (I’m on my 3rd child and I am an expert as far as I am concerned!)!  They keep dosing me up with it and it works for a little bit then starts wearing off as quick as can be!! They’d never seen anything like it they said! Oh Great, I think ... Here we go again!  So it’s not working at all ... And at this point I am begging please just give me a C-Section - This isn't good!! The metal in my back is blocking the epidural from working!!! And then they decided to give me a Spinal!!! Which is supposed to numb you from the waist down ... Unbelievable! It doesn't work either!!!! By this time, he is coming and I am screaming like a lunatic cause he won't come out. I know it has been a loooonnng time with me pushing and nothing was happening!!! At this point I am getting so exhausted, as well as panicking knowing that I need an emergency C-section. It was mentioned, but apparently too late because it was at the point that this baby had to come out now! The doctor and nurses are panic stricken now. The doctor yelled at one of them that the baby has to come out now and a nurse jumped up on the bed and straddled my stomach. She pushed down as hard as she possibly could while the doctor pulled on my son's head and tried to get him out. He was stuck under my pelvic bone, I was later told. My son was seconds from dying that day. I guess you can look at it as that the doctor & nurses saved his life. But, I was angry for many years after about the whole ordeal, and felt if I would have been listened to, and had a C-section, that none of this would have happened!

That day when they yanked my son out he was limp, lifeless and blue. I wasn't allowed to hold him of course as he was rushed out of the room. I didn't know what an Apgar score was at that time, but his score was a 3. I later went to the Special Care Nursery where they were preparing to take an x-ray of his skull. No one had told me anything. I think they were trying to keep things “hush-hush,” so to speak. Anyways, I asked, “what they are doing and why?” They stated that there might be a possible skull fracture because of the indention to the head from the trauma caused by getting him out. He didn't have a fracture, but he was kept in Special Care because of head trauma and respiratory distress. He had red rings around his pupils. I forget what this was called, but was a result of the trauma. He cried a lot at first and was cranky from headaches they thought he must have. I will never forget the Pediatrician that came there to check him out telling me that it will be just a wait and see thing to know if there is any physical or mental damage done to my child.  To be continued ......

Continuation of Giving Birth Before and After Spinal Fusion (My Experience)

Last night when I signed off, I got to thinking about that night I gave birth to my 3rd son. Let me back up a bit. I would like to tell you a little more of that evening I forgot to share. Now mind you, IF YOU GET SQUIMISH OR OFFENDED BY DETAILS, AND THINK THAT I SHOULDN'T SHARE SO MUCH ABOUT MYSELF OR MY EXPERIENCE, THEN PLEASE, STOP READING NOW! ...

I think a lot of things are not talked about for embarrassment reasons, or people thinking differently of someone. I wish someone would had told me things, maybe warnings from doctors, or even listening to experiences from other women giving birth. So if by me telling you some things I went through might help you, or if you ever experience them you will know someone that has had the same thing happen. There is a huge comfort in knowing you are not alone. I welcome any questions and I am a very open person, as I am sure you will begin to realize as you read along.

First of all, let me say with my first child (I believe) I cracked my tailbone. It was over a year before I could sit on the floor without a donut pillow under my rear! With my 2nd child ... he was the 10.5 lb. vaginal birth, and my 2nd large baby. No one told me that a possibility was for your bladder or your uterus to drop. I guess doctors don’t want to worry or scare you, or maybe they just don't care enough. Anyways, after birth, when my periods got back on track, I proceeded to wear a tampon. This however, was a problem for me. It kept coming back out. I proceeded to get a mirror and give a ‘look-see’ at that area while sitting on a toilet (Never feel embarrassed to look at yourself ladies, it's not a dirty thing or something we shouldn't do...it's a part of our body). What I saw, but didn't know at the time, turned out to be my bladder protruding. It looked like someone was trying to blow a pink bazooka bubblegum bubble out my "coochie.” LOL ... that was suppose to be funny! Hope you are smiling at least, and I haven't grossed you out yet :). Fast-forward ... I went to my GYN and she told me what I was seeing, and with Kegel exercises, and over time, that my Bladder would shrink back up to where I would no longer see or feel it (I could also feel a "heavy" feeling down low in my belly if I sat on a hard surface). Well, sure enough that is what exactly happened. All good, no problems, but it took about 6 to 9 months, I would say, for everything to get back to normal.

Ok ... Fast-forward to after having my 3rd son 7 years ago. Since he was pulled out; yanked, torn, ripped, out of my body, this did terrible damage to me. Not only did my bladder and uterus fall some, but the visible outside damage was mortifying to say the least! I remember immediately after giving birth the doctor was attempting to sew the tearing that took place and I could actually feel this happening … as remember, the Epidural and Spinal never took it’s full effect and wore off within minutes after administrating. My Vaginal area was soooo swollen I remember saying it looked like a Bamboo's ASS! It was horribly swollen, and I also had a massive Hematoma there as well. It’s amazing all disappeared over I'd say about a week. I had a Vaginal Cystocele, Rectocele, and a Vaginal Prolapse starting too. All of this “corrected” it's self over the course of a year, I would say. Very slowly going back to normal. I think I was really lucky not to have to have surgery or any lasting problems from it. My OBGYN did tell me that when I got older my bladder or uterus will possible fall again, and have to have surgery to tack it all back up. Not surprising. Those were the least of my problems though! I didn't focus on myself; I had a little boy that need my care and lots of it in the days and years to come!
*Continued in my next document. Or by the time I am done...my book or Horror, Happiness and Hope!

Traumatic Birth ... Now What??

I was sent home from that hospital with so many questions, concerns, worries, and fears in my head. I had two little boys at home waiting to see their new baby brother. The “wait and see” approach by the pediatrician was insensitive I thought, and I did change practices and went to a more caring practice for my children. No one checked up on my son or gave me information about what was available out there if there were any physical or mental problems that should arise. I think the doctor and hospital was hoping to keep everything “hush-hush” in hopes that nothing bad would happen out of it all. I forgot to tell you that there were also forceps and a vacuum used on my son's head and neither worked. The vacuum flew off and spayed blood everywhere all over the room. My husband, mother, and mother-in-law, can tell their own horror stories of watching what went on that night they were in the delivery room. The bruising, lacerations and indention on my son's right temple were all a concern (caused by forceps), as a head ultrasound was done to see if there was any bleeding on the brain and an x-ray given. Then they also did a test called “Capillary Blood Gas.” This was done to see if there was any evidence of damage from being deprived of oxygen. All these tests came back normal, thank God!!! They were also monitoring him because of some rhythmic seizure activity which they noticed right after he was born. His leg, hand, and mouth, were making these movements at the same time. I found a lot of these things out AFTER I requested all of his medical records from the hospital.
 After arriving home with my son, over the days and months we watched him like a hawk of course! Wondering if every little thing was something to worry about or caused by the traumatic birth he had. Some things were it’s result, and some were just my obsessive worrying about him! He presented the following:
1) He had this stiffness about him. When I held him I instantly noticed that he didn't lay his head on my shoulder, as my other two sons had done.
2) When laying him on a blanket on the floor he would arch his back.
3) Then we started noticing that he couldn't lift his head for very long, and his head would lay over to the side on his shoulder (I know now it's because it hurt and he couldn’t' move normally).
Well, come to find out he had what was called "Torticollis" from torn ligaments in his neck. He was slow at rolling over and crawling, and from all of this he got behind in his overall physical development.

His pediatrician told me about a service called "FIRST STEPS” that would send Therapists to your home if you qualified for the service. It had nothing to do with your income, only with what your child needed! It costs a minimal amount compared to taking a child to a therapist somewhere. This service would last until a child was 3 years old. My son had Physical Therapy, Speech Therapy and Occupational Therapy.  We found out when he was 2 years old, with my persistence to get him a hearing test that the reason he was having speech problems and talking late, was because of fluid in his ears!! Nothing was developmentally wrong with my child! HE just couldn't hear us!! They told me what he was hearing was a muffled sound. Once this was taken care of everything speeded up and he caught up to where when was suppose to be. It took 2 days a week with the Physical Therapist, and a Speech Therapist came 2 days a week for 2 years, before his neck was corrected. He also had some sensory issues, and I don't know if it was related to the traumatic birth or not. But, his taste buds were off a bit; sour things weren't sour to him and he couldn't stand having anything sticky on his hands … still, to this day, he can’t stand it.  He hated things touching his bare feet, so this is where the Occupational Therapy came in to play. Once he was 3, no more problems and all was great!!!!

Anyways ... one more very alarming thing happened: He had 2 seizures. This was in
late September when he was 5 years old, and 3 weeks later it happened again, but it hasn't happened since then! Nothing on his brain scan showed up!  The Neurologist told me that since there is not evident reason why this happened - nothing wrong with the brain on the scan – that this was the least serious of seizure type and should go away. And, since it only happened those 2 times this positive outcome was more likely. Seizures have been known to happen after a head trauma, even years later ... and since my son's brain is growing, he said it was just like healing itself and “shorted out” for a second. If a child goes a year without having another, then the likelihood of it happening again is slim to none. IT’S BEEN TWO and 1/2 years!! But yes, I will always worry and always watch my child closely, and fiercely be his advocate!  Thank you for reading my long story. If it didn't help anyone or relate to anyone’s experiences, it at least helped me to write it. Thank you for letting me do that.
Also … one more thing ... I will never forget his Physical Therapist saying this about my son. It was the truest and closest thing anyone ever told me. That from my son's brain trauma, the brain got scattered and was like a hard drive on a computer that lost all of its memory and has to be reprogrammed! We had to show our son at that early age how to crawl and do certain things, sign language, clap ... he never sang songs ...but then he would catch on. He was VERY, VERY lucky not to have Cerebral Palsy or another sort of brain damage from this ordeal or permanent physical damage. All of that could have been avoided if someone would have said: “Hey, since you have Spondylolisthesis and had a very extensive Spinal fusion, you should have a C-Section, NOT a Vaginal Birth.” In my case, I should have been able to decide, not them!!
My son is a healthy, bright child with no side effects as of today. He is 7 and his name is TRENT. I thank God everyday for letting me keep him!

- Dena :)

Share Your Spondylolisthesis Story!

Would you like to share your personal story and experiences involving Spondylolisthesis? I am currently seeking others to share their respective experiences with the spine condition; including symptoms, diagnoses, treatments, surgeries, and all of the details in-between. Have your voice be heard & help make a difference in other's lives by telling your story here! If you're interested, or would like to inquire further regarding this project and website, please contact Brenna through the Spondylolisthesis Facebook Page: FB.Spondylolisthesis, or email Brenna at spondyostories@gmail.com! I look forward to hearing from you and getting your story posted!

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Spondylo Polls

Please take a moment to review and answer the survey questions below! If you'd like to further elaborate on any of these polls questions/answers, please comment in the FB Comment Box or participate in the "Community Answers" section below. Thanks!

What grade is your Spondylolisthesis?

At which vertebrae is your Spondylolisthesis slip?

What is/has been most helpful in treating your pain associated with your Spondylolisthesis?

Have you had Laser Spine Surgery to treat your Spondylolisthesis?

Did one or more pregnancies cause your slip to progress in grade?