When I was 15 years old, I started having pain in my knees and my back. At the time, I was playing volleyball and I thought that it was just normal aches and pains and I needed to "toughen up". Towards the end of that volleyball season, I was performing worse and worse and I remember a couple times the coach pulling me out of the game - and I practically limped back to my seat. I was more concerned about by knees at the time, they were popping and crunching like an elderly person's knees - not the knees of a 15 year old. So, with my my mom's insistence, we finally went to a Orthopedic Surgeon to find out what was going on.
I had x-rays taken of both my knees and my back. When I went back for the results, in one horrific day, I found out that my knee caps were out of place (born with it) and I had a grade IV spondylolisthesis at the L4-L5 level (most likely due to "stress fracture"). I was, of course, absolutely devastated. The Orthopedics' specialty was knees and he was very "surgery-happy." He said I needed to get the knees taken care of right away. In hindsight, this was such a bad idea ... but my back pain wasn't too severe yet and he really scared both my parents and I into getting the surgery.