My Husband Is 27 Years Old Suffering From Spondylolisthesis

Well, where do I begin?  My husband got hurt at work (salesperson/account manager) where he basically was doing his usually duty of stocking shelves at a supermarket of the product he sold.  He was lifting a couple of cases which wasn't out of the ordinary OR nothing more than he usually lifted and felt a sharp pain in his lower back.  He called me right away telling me what happened and I told him to go to the ER.  However, being a man he decided that he was going to tough it out and finish the day.  It was a Friday, therefore, he spent the whole weekend moaning and groaning and still went to work on Monday saying he felt better.  When he got to his first stop at work he began to lift cases out of his truck and experienced the same pain yet again, therefore, he FINALLY went to the ER.  With all of that being said that was three years ago.  He has been to numerous doctors (orthopedics, nuerologists, etc.) who have all told us many different things but with the same conclusion that he cannot be helped and the only thing he can have done is minimally invasive procedures.  When he was 1st hurt he was told that he had three herniated discs (not sure at this time exactly what L-?) and with that he also has an extra vertebrae L-7 and they mentioned he had spondylolithesis with severe nerve damage in both legs due to the herniated discs pinching his nervers.  No doctor ever elaborated on this condition past just mentioning it to my husband.  In the past three years he has seen several doctors who have told him "nothing can be done" .  He has tried physical therapy, which only made him worse...epidural shots which do ABSOLUTELY nothing, and ALOT of NON-Invasive procedures (I would write thew names of all of them down, however, there have been so many in the past three years I would be writing FOREVER!  Well, after nothing has helped him my husband (not to mention myself) have become VERY frustrated, therefore, he decided what could it hurt if he went to see a Chiropractor.  First, since he was hurt at work, he has been on Workman's Comp for the past three years and still is to this day so we needed to see if they covered it which they do so he made an appt.  He went to see the Chiropractor, who looked at him and saw the way he walked in and told him that before he touches him he needed to get a series of tests done.  He sent him to get the following:  complete Bone scan, two special xrays (standing up and bending over), and a MRI (I think there was more but I can't remember).  To make a very LONG story short after all of the tests the Chiropractor found that Chris (my husband) has 5 fractures not herniations and told us again about the Spondylolithesis.  Anyway, this doctor is telling me (not my husband) that he is going to try a back brace and send him to a surgeon, however, he states that all surgeons are going to tell my husband that there is nothing that can be done because all of Chris's Diagnostic test results have come back Negative.  I'm not sure what this means but his words were as follows: "There really is nothing that can be done for Chris, no surgeon will want to perform surgery on your husband because of the Negative results from the Diagnostic tests, therefore, I regret to tell you that your husband will HAVE TO live like this forever!"  I know my story has some holes since I really DONOT know all of the correct Medical terms, but I can tell you this.....In the past three years my husband has gone from a healthy 27 year old man to walking like an 80 year old barely able to get up and down steps and cannot even sleep in his own bed because if he moves a little bit he wakes up screaming.  I hope that this site can at least give me back the hope I had that he will be able to live his life like before and feel more like his age rather than saying to me almost everyday "I can't live like this anymore, I'd rather be paralyzed then live in this pain."  Thank you for reading and allowing me to tell my story.


Hopeless Wife

boo1027 boo1027
26-30, F
5 Responses Sep 30, 2009

Hello hopeless wife,

I am so sad about the situation of your husband and I know how it feels. I was in that situation before. Ok, let me start how I got this back problem. I was on my eary 20´s when I made a stupid mistake. I lifted a heavy thing without bending my both knees, then I heard a tik sound on my back and a pain followed. For years I didn´t notice until I worked in a 5 star hotel. I cant stand too long and I felt like I was carrying a heavy back pack bag on my shoulder. I went to my doctor and I had an x−ray. Yeah, i got spondyloIysis on my lumbar 5. Anyway, I moved now in Holland then I asked a few doctors if they could help me with this problem. I had a running pain, on my legs, on my neck, shoulder, feet and my lower back. I felt tired all the time. Before when I made some wrong movements I can also walk like an 80 years old. It hurts when I bend over especially when changing the bed sheets. Terrible!!! My doctors referred me to physiotherapist, manual therapist, Caesar theraphy and followed the exercises but I didnt work. I got tired with my situation then I was begging from my doctor if he can able to refer me to a neurologist or a surgeon. But my request was not granted. I was also hopeless and I dont want to live in pain. So, I gambled. I made an appointment with the chiropractor. I know that the fractuur is forever and I can never be healed but my movements got improved, really better! I enjoy gardening now (imagine how painful it is if you have a back injury and doing some gardening?). After my 1st visit with my chiro I immediately felt the difference. I can sit 24hrs on my office chair, I can change the bedsheets without complaining and I love gardening now! My experience with my chiroprator turned well. For only 4 or 5 sessions. On my 2nd or 3rd session my head and neck ached. I returned and got adjusted and I was ok. Few months ago, when I was onder the shower I bend over and then in few hours, got a pain....hahaha! I just ignored it. In few days the pain went away. Only last week I carried my 4 yrs old son and got a terrible pain. Went to my chiro for an adjustment. 1st session no pain, 2nd session, yeah, terrible. The pain is on my neck, shoulder and I have a headache. This afternoon he will adjust me again. I am hoping that the pain will fade away. Sometimes we need maintenance on our body, I am just happy that my insurrance paying this and I pay only a little extra amount. Maybe if stop searching for the cure for my back injury I will never be in this situation now (enjoying gardening, studying nursing, walking). I hope you guys wont lose hope. If you know anyone, maybe a friend, a relatives who went to a chiroprator, ask their chiroprator's name. A friend of mine went to a chiroprator and I got healed. I went to the same chiropractor, at least I know that I am in good hands. Anyway, I hope this long message would enlighten you guys. I am happy to share my story to inspire people than get depress because of the pain. There is always hope for people who has back injuries without undergoing a procedure. Sorry for my grammar, I am not american, but I am proud to be an asian. Goodluck to both of you!!!!

my husband is going through the same thing right now but his started with back pain then migrains and blurred vision and seziures and vertgo and he loss the use of his left leg. after so many test and the test came back normal all of them did. I took him to the chiro. and she called me with his results and said his L5 S1 has the spondy thing after fight with drs. and insurance company his primary sr said he was going to refer him to a spine surgeon so we are waiting on that. but I kind of understand how you feel i cant inagain for more then 3 years going throught this this has only been this year 2013 on mothers day that it happened with all the pain it takes a toll on the whole family Im am so sorry I hope things are or do get better for you and your husband just always have faith and jesus will get you through anything.

I can feel your frustration in your story, and so sorry your husband is so miserable. Apparently testing must have revealed that he has spondylolithesis and/or fractures and herniations. These things can go together and they are treatable. I would walk away from any doctor telling him to just live with it. Not to knock any provider or specialty, but it seems that a provider's specialty directs their treatment point of view (chiropractors never seem to advise surgery, pain theraputists advise injections, surgeons seem to advise surgery, etc.) It sounds like he could have some degenerative issues going on. Are all the doctors he has seen been doctors referred by workers comp? If so, can he see doctors that are not part of that network? Good luck with all this.

I am very sorry to hear this. I was 28 when first diagnosed. Epidurals were hopeless. I was told of 2 options - Fusion surgery OR physiotherapy. I went to a good physio. The idea is to have strong ab muscles that can compensate for a weakened back. Not possible to do exercises every day, but I try to cope with it. Each day I exercise, I feel better. The day I don't, its a painful tomorrow. Hope this be of some help.

I am so sorry to read about your husbands pain. <br />
I haven't really had any experience with anything like this but I have heard a couple of friends say that an osteopath has helped relieve pains in bones and joints for them. Your husband's case sounds much more serious than theirs though. I'm sure people are always trying to give you advice about it. He might have already visited an osteopath... but just in case you are still searching for other avenues of help... ? Maybe other readers here have had experiences with that sort of treatment.<br />
Good luck!