Spinal surgery - personal experiences requested
January 3, 2006 2:57 PM   Subscribe

Grade 4 Spondylolisthesis: your experiences, please.

My 22 year old daughter was diagnosed with grade 4 spondylolisthesis today. She's going to need surgery, including fusing the (5th?) vertebra, inserting hardware and possible bone grafting. She's getting an MRI next week and I'm satisfied with both her doctor and her course of treatment.

What we're looking for is first hand experience from anyone who has had this diagnosis, or spinal surgery in general. What was your experience? How was your recovery? Is there anything you wish you knew before the surgery, or wish you would have done differently?

We've done quite a bit of googling, but I'm hoping for more specific, personal stories. (Please email any horror stories to me privately, I'll be sharing this link with her and she's worried enough as it is.)

Good wishes are also gratefully accepted.
posted by Space Kitty to Health & Fitness (9 answers total)
 
I'm really, really, really glad she's finally getting this taken care of! Whew!
posted by Kimberly at 4:16 PM on January 3, 2006


I've had a spinal fusion with hardware, grafting and the whole deal. I did end up with some complications including a nasty Staph infection, but I was as good as new a year later. By far the worst part was the broken ribs for the graft. I also lost a lot of weight and needed about three months to recover enough to return to a regular schedule.

It made a large difference in the quality of my life. I can now walk for a long time, even carrying something, without pain. Also, I now have really good posture. Considering the consequences it was well worth it.

Good luck to your daughter!
posted by Alison at 4:27 PM on January 3, 2006


No experience to offer, but I can offer my very best great well wishes to the Space Kitten. I hope that everything turns out wonderfully!
posted by kamikazegopher at 8:25 PM on January 3, 2006


Ah, Alison brings up a great point - they won't be breaking her ribs for the graft, instead they'll be using bones from a cadaver, sparing her an additional surgical incision.

Please keep the info coming!
posted by Space Kitty at 8:45 PM on January 3, 2006


the only folks I know who've had spinal surgery have gone through it after breaking their necks/backs (and they're all right as rain again!), so I don't really have any relevant info there.... but of course I do have limitless good wishes for you and the Kitten! I'll be thinking about you lots. *mwah!* (and email me if I can be of any practical help, since you're sorta in the 'hood now -- you're in WeHo now, right? I'm just a little south of youse, in Miracle Mile.)
posted by scody at 9:01 PM on January 3, 2006


I offer no knowledge but best wishes for your daughter's successful surgery and speedy recovery. From Alison's post, it seems like quite a good idea and I hope your daughter's experience is equally salutatory! Good luck!
posted by Lynsey at 9:08 PM on January 3, 2006


Best of luck to you and your daughter. I'll have my fingers crossed.
posted by pollystark at 3:28 AM on January 4, 2006


a doctor? pshaw, i can totally fix this...
*rummages about for wooden mallet, bottle of scotch*
posted by sexyrobot at 1:27 PM on January 4, 2006


Update: MRI scheduled for Thursday.
posted by Space Kitty at 2:11 PM on January 10, 2006


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