Injury Update: Spondylolysis and Spondylolisthesis

I never thought I would be writing an update to my injury post that I started in 2009. ( And apparently 10 years ago, more on that later.)

I am not sure what I originally thought when I was first diagnosed with Spondylolysis and Spondylolisthesis (it was all really a big blur), I had assumed that over time, my body would fix it’s self with a lot of rest?

However, I looked at the x-rays today and nothing has changed. I can still feel and see the crack in my spine.

How big is that “crack”? 0.77cm.

Now, before I keep going on with this post I just want to say that is not and will not be the worst thing that has ever happened to me.

I am so lucky, thankful and blessed to be a relatively healthy 20-something year-old.

One of the main reasons why I don’t have not been to a doctor in 3 years is the fact that I had a negative experience my first time around. And because I am busy with school, getting care for any sort of problem takes a lot of time.

I did not find my first spine surgeon to be helpful at all. He sent me a letter in the mail?? No follow up appointment.

Today, I was a little apprehensive going into my appointment, with a new doctor. However, my main goal for this appointment was to see if anything had changed with my spine in the past 3 years and what I can do to resume a “normal” life.

My appointment today took over 3 hours and I left feeling hopeful and that is all thanks to the doctor.

I really appreciated the fact that the doctor sat down and just listened to me, it was so nice to just share my story and what I have been going through for the past few years. I don’t really sit around and talk about my injury with many people because I am still confused about what is going on.

The doctor was really impressed with my hamstring flexibility, go me! However, he did say that I have probably had this injury since I was 13??? What on Earth was I doing at the age of 13?

Boy am I glad to have had the opportunity to play tennis for 15 years. It might never happen again.

(This picture makes me happy, I am pretty sure I hit a killer volley)

So what’s next?

I am going back for more PT, I have hope that something will get better. I have never expected to feel 100% better, but I will always work on improving my quality of life.

From what I have read about Spondylolysis and Spondylolisthesis and what the doctor said, this condition may get worse as I get older.

The dreaded “s” word was thrown around a few times, and I am not even considering surgery at this point.

So what does Spondylolysis and Spondylolisthesis feel like?

It feels like something is not lining up in my back properly, I can feel the “crack”.

  • I get tired easily.
  • Getting dressed in the morning is like a circus act.
  • I can’t sit for too long without back support.
  • And I get uncomfortable twinges in my hips and legs (nerve pain).
  • Running/speed walking usually makes me limp afterwards. And just feels wrong.
  • The obvious weight gain from a lack of physical activity.
  • It’s not an everyday injury. I feel normal sometimes and that can be tricky!

No part of this injury is unbearable and I do feel like I have taken really good care of myself.

I would love to be able to run or play tennis or jump around, but I am realistic. I would be just as happy walking and hiking.

However, that is not a totally pain free option at this moment.

What does this have to do with you? Enjoy what you are physically capable of doing today, because you may not be able to do it forever. Run! Jump! Play!

I have done some pretty epic things myself, and I am determined to continue doing so.

(See me? I am a super serious hiker. Oh and Switzerland was awesome too)

Anddd let’s come back to present day!

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We have been having some lovely spring weather here in Columbia, I obviously decided to wear flowers to celebrate.

And today, I went on a lovely 45-minute hike with my walking class in CERA

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I was expecting to see some deer, but all we found was a little baby snake.

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I am mainly writing this update post to keep track of how I feel as I go through PT and of course I can’t wait to share it with you guys as well. Yay!

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6 Responses to Injury Update: Spondylolysis and Spondylolisthesis

  1. Clare. says:

    Sounds like you have a good attitude! I’ve had chronic back pain for >10 years and I know from experience how frustrating it can be dealing with doctors — you’re really lucky you found a good one. I hope the PT will help!

  2. Good to hear things are looking up! Hopefully more PT will help your back.

  3. Kyrin says:

    Hi! I have the exact same diagnosis, the fracture and slippage, I only discovered mine after a back injury lifting something heavy awkwardly. Just like you I was told I already had it and I’ve just irritated it and made it symptomatic. Unfortunately surgery is the only solution to this issue. I decided to go though with it and am currently 1.5 years post-op with some improvements!

    If you want to talk more about it send me an email ! I know how annoying this thing can be.