Sharing My Journey with Spondylolisthesis

Welcome! While I am not a doctor, healthcare provider, nor a specialist of the spine, I am most certainly one very experienced patient! I write about my various chronic health conditions and medical adventures, or rather, my struggles, so that I may share my gained knowledge and personal experiences with all of those whom seek help, support, information, resources, along with facts and opinions, in regard to the spine condition Spondylolisthesis. At the time I was diagnosed, the internet was in its infancy, which made it a challenge to find additional information on the condition, let alone connect with those who had already taken the long journey of which I was just beginning. My hope has been, and continues to be, that through the power of the internet, and sites like Blogspot, that I may be able to reach others facing similar circumstance. By sharing my story, knowledge, research and continual experiences, I hope to offer a little guidance, and bring some comfort and empowerment where I had none. This condition, especially when severe, can certainly turn one's life upside down, and I know first hand that proceeding blindly into such a situation can be very overwhelming, painful and scary. If you have any questions or comments, and would like to contact my directly, please check out my Blogger Profile or email You may also contact me by way of my profile here and/or submit a comment at the end of each post.

Popular Posts

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Spondylolisthesis: My Story ... Round One

Between the ages of 13 and 14 years old I began to experience pain beyond comprehension. I spent a great majority of my time pretending that my back didn't pulsate in pain, that strange shooting dagger like sensations didn't throw down my legs, and that my body hadn't come to look deformed in the trunk region, with the actual Sacrum protruding out approximately an inch from my low back. I was entering my teenage years and everyone else was fine, so why shouldn't I be? Besides, I had been to a number of doctors starting around the age of 10 or 11, all of whom said I didn't have a problem ... no cause for pain. So, it must be in my imagination, I thought ... Or rather, everyone must feel this way, right? Wrong. After playing many sports throughout my childhood, all of which I loved and enjoyed dearly, I had come to a point at the age of 12 where I could no longer take it, I simply could not run, move and interact in the same fashion that I had always known. Mind you, at this point I complained rarely, as once again, the doctors, the authority figures of my health and body, said that I was just fine. Not one made mention of a spinal deformity becoming so severe that it may ultimately take away my ability to walk, even to function and survive in the future, should there be no intervention or treatment. I didn't want to create problems ... I didn't want to be so different that my world would be flipped upside down for the rest of my life. But, I knew that there was something terribly wrong and that I had to voice my fears and concerns once more to both my parents and doctors.

On a weekday after one of my first days in high school, I was sitting in my father's living room, I gulped and sweated in silence, trying to figure out a good way to show him the ever increasing lump on my back and share the pain that I was in. I had already sporadically displayed minor amounts of discomfort in my parents' presence, especially after quitting all sports, but nothing that would truly display and outline the extreme fear, pain and uphill battle we were all about to face. I cannot recall the details, just the look on my dad's face when I lifted my shirt to show him the painful protrusion. Just like my skin appeared for that last year before my surgeries, his face went a pale grayish green and I knew the severity of the situation. I began to cry, tears flowing from my face faster then I could stop them, and I finally let go. He held me in his arms and began calling people for immediate appointments. Finally, my parents knew what I knew, and that this was no figment of my imagination, not a ploy to gain attention or get out of playing sports, as the doctors had once suggested. This was real ... extremely real. And it had to be addressed with emergency speed.

I was sent to several doctors in my city, all of whom, thankfully, referred me on to the bigger and better specialists in the Orthopedic field. I had Spondylolisthesis at a degree that was so severe it made the doctors both excited and fearful. In all actuality, due to the degree of slip, my spine was labeled with the condition Spondyloptosis, as it was beyond that of a grade 5, the most severe slip on the Spondylolisthesis grading range. My spine at the L5 had not only slipped from the vertebra below, but it had collapsed, fallen to a degree of more than 3 inches, so that the L5 was actually sitting parallel with my S1 or my Sacrum. The severity of the situation was such that a surgery, or rather, series of surgeries and procedures, must be scheduled within the next year, but preferably, the next six months.

1 comment:

  1. Yowza. I think mine initially slipped at age 9. We didn't realize it until I failed a scolosis test and then we had an x-ray. It was about 40% and I was in about 7th grade. I too had the lump at my back. I was taken out of PE and was certainly never allowed sports. It had been several years and had seemingly stabilized. First day of college I picked up my back pack and everything changed. I went back to the dr and it was now 60%. They tried to stabalize it with PT that made me want to vomit it was so intense. And of course the back brace that became my enemy. Mine went from the base of my neck down my right leg to my knee. I'm sure your's was similarly fun. I spent 9 months in it. Obviously it didn't stabilize. I had a series of 3 surgeries. Bone graft, actualy fusion, then removed the metal 2 yrs later. By the time I was 19 they said I had the spine of 60 yr old... little did we know but AS was already going and the 7 hours spinal surgery really gave it the kick start. I ended at 40%. My mom and niece have the same injury. Same location. My niece had the same surgery. Same dr even. My mom is in desperate need of it and I think she might actually do it now. Camille


Please share your stories and/or feel free to ask questions related to your experience with Spondylolisthesis ... That's why I'm here!

Please feel free to comment ...

About Me

My photo
My interest for all things related to health & illness arises from my own struggles with chronic health conditions. I have found it most therapeutic & empowering to write about my many experiences within this realm. Through education, my own research, and my ongoing personal challenges, I am teaching myself how to become my own best advocate. To learn more about me, please see the page entitled "About Cat" located at the top of the page. If you have any questions or comments, you are welcome to contact me through the "about" section listed above, or email me at Please note that this address is also linked through my profiles. Blessings of health, energy and peace.

Questions? Comments? Please use the contact form below OR email


Email *

Message *

Feed The Fish!