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Anyone post-surgery Grade 4+ Spondylolisthesis??

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  • Anyone post-surgery Grade 4+ Spondylolisthesis??

    I'm a chubby middle-aged gal with a tweaked spine, and I'm not sure this is the right forum to post, but I need help from someone who's "been there." I used to be active....scuba diving, fishing, biking, etc. but now I just sit at home waiting for surgery/stabilization for my Grade 4 unstable (degenerative) Spondylolisthesis w/cauda equina (losing bowel and bladder functions) and stenosis, along with degenerative facet/dessicated disc and the usual arthritis oh, about T4 down. Without my forearm crutches, it's scary (my balance is shot and with numb legs,'s just plain not pretty.) My biggest fear is falling down or getting injured and having the unstable spondo result in a traumatic SCI.

    My doc (family doc) is dragging his feet with referring me to my ortho guy to get this fixed and I am angry about it . I've been waiting (and calling, and calling) for 3 weeks now and FINALLY he gets me X-rays yesterday that show the progression from a Grade I-II slip in 1990 to a Grade IV slip.....a "doozy of a spondylolisthesis" according to the tech who claimed she's seen LOTS of 'em. At least I have great insurance and am grateful for that, but I am so very frustrated and angry over the sluggish support from my doc and his staff. If I don't have my referral authorization from his office via my insurance by next Wednesday, I'm going to have to get verbal.

    I have to take alot the blame for my slow loss of function and sensation and my doc's misdiagnosis of my bowel, bladder, stomach/GI and other problems.....I wasn't properly educated about my condition, but now I am. And I intend to be aggressive with this until it is resolved (stabilization surgery).

    Does anyone else out there have this grade of spondo and is post-fixation/fusion (with our without SCI)? I'd love to learn everything I can about the surgery and recovery/PT/etc.

    I am actually looking forward to the surgery and bracing. That might sound tweaked to some folks, but I have to do something. I can live with the pain if that doesn't improve after surgery. I can live with the forearm crutches, numb legs, neuropathy, and balance probs and mobility issues that I've lived with for years. Yes, I probably will need a chair. Then a house with wider doorways.

    I'm just aggravated and angry, but also alot more pro-active and ready to kick some proverbial butt if necessary.

    I also desperately need info about chairs (I weigh 230 and need a 21-inch seat) and am worried the insurance company will get me some generic wide-load chair intended solely for bariatric use). I also would like to get info about what my hubby will have to go thru to help me after surgery/during recovery/therapy. Any advice or info will be greatly appreciated! It may not end up pretty, but it's my life and I'm going to enjoy the most out of it while the good Lord lets me!!!

    Last edited by SeabeeMom; 08-30-2008, 09:34 AM.

  • #2
    Hey Squid Mom,

    No experience with this but I'd call the doc and tell him you'll be there the next day for the referral in person. Talk to your orthopod or neurosurgeon about getting some inpatient rehab even if just a week after discharge from the acute hospital. The rehab will have specialists that are good at getting the proper equipment and will help you with the beginning of therapy that is needed soon to get the most function back. They'll also show your husband how to help at home and arrange the transition to outpatient therapies. You might also ask the surgeon if you can get an evaluation by an OT and PT before surgery. They'll have info on a lot of chairs and which are most appropriate for you.

    Good luck.

    And just kidding about the Squid thing. My Dad was at the NAS there during Korea working at the ground school.
    Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

    Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied and are based solely on my experiences as a SCI patient. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.


    • #3
      Squid vs Seabee

      duh..I musta hit the wrong key...see next post please!
      Last edited by SeabeeMom; 08-31-2008, 09:21 AM.


      • #4
        Squid vs Seabee

        Hey, I totally admire the Squid nickname. I'm married to a Seabee type...and my Dad and son were/are each Seabees. My FIL was a Reserve Seabee after the Marine Corps stint in Korea. So, we probably owe Squids some apologies, because Seabees are pretty much considered as rude, crude, and socially unacceptable!!

        But, in alot of ways, our Squids and Bees are all alike....if you need them, they're on they're way..whether by ship, by air, or land....isn't that right? (Speaking of needing for how our Navy guys (Seabees in particular and local military from ALL branches) respond to the victims that will be affected on the Gulf Coast by Hurricane Gustav. GO NAVY!!!!!!!

        Margie in FLorida
        (Soon to leave with the NAMB Disaster Relief Team from my church, Headed to Louisiana, representing the volunteerism of military family members, Americans with disabling conditions, and fellow Christians)...and....NOBODY at my church family EVER challenged me about my "ability" to go and do this in my condition.....None of those "are you sure you're up to it?" kind of hints, you know?
        Last edited by SeabeeMom; 08-31-2008, 09:22 AM.