spondylolisthesis treatment without surgery


spondylolisthesis treatment without surgery

What is Spondylolisthesis?


what is spondylolisthesis

Spondylolisthesis means that one vertebra is moving forward on the other. This can cause lots of problems, including a breakdown of the facet joints at that level (not shown) and nerve irritation. The amount of motion is graded a 1-4, based on how far one vertebra has moved forward on the other. From zero to 100% displacement ,grade 1 st 0-25%,in grade 2nd from 25-50%,in grade 3 rd 50-75%,in grade 4th ,75-100%.

My Story

I first injured my back in a motorcycle crash in school. I broke several transverse processes, which stick out the side of the spine. I likely also injured several other things in that situation.

I would get annual Transforaminal epidural injections in my back to keep the pain easy. These switched from high-dose steroids to platelet lysate (PL) many years ago. Comparing the two, PL was far superior to high dose steroid shots, in that an epidural steroid injection was a bit like to raise a sugar high. You felt great for a while and then crashed hard. The platelet version was nice sustained relief. as in my opinion, however, last year, Dr Sanjay Sharma noticed a spondylolisthesis grade 1 st at L5-S1 on my x-ray during an epidural injection. So my disease there was finally advancing. Hence, I needed more.


Treating Spondylolisthesis

I have now had two treatments that have involved using my own platelet-rich plasma, platelet lysate, and platelet-poor plasma focused on the spondylolisthesis at that level.

First, these three types of Orthobiologics are different. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is my own blood platelets that are concentrated to high levels (14X). Platelet lysate (PL) is made by breaking open those platelets to get the healing growth factors out and then resuspending those in my Plasma. Finally, Platelet poor plasma (PPP) sounds like what it is, it’s the plasma leftover from the creation of my Platelet-rich plasma.

Next, each of these was injected into a different Points, My high-dose PRP was injected into my Facet joints, at L5s1 level, the PL was injected around my irritated spinal nerves (epidural) and into the loose ligaments, and my PPP was injected into atrophied muscles. 

My Heavy and Aching Legs?

As long as behave, I don’t have much back pain. I do have back stiffness after sitting for a while. I also have difficulty straightening back up if I’ve been sitting for any length of time. In addition, my legs get “heavy” and I have lots of aches and pain, everyplace from the outside of my thigh to my toe joints. I know all of this relates to sloppy movement at the L5-S1 segment, swollen facet joints, and irritated low back spinal nerves that supply all of those spots in my aching legs and feet. throughout.

My Legs starts Work Again?

 So after my first spondylolisthesis treatment earlier this year, I should have another in the spring, but that never happened. However, I did get one at the beginning of June. It’s been a bit of a minor miracle for me, as my lateral x-ray view showed no spondylolisthesis further. Meaning my L5 was no longer forward on my sacrum (at least lying face down).

After feeling pretty good for a few months after the first treatment and actually returning to a little Crossfit, my inability to get my butt back on the table for a second treatment had caused me to regress back to where I began. Hence these past 1 - 2 months I have had a harder time keeping up. My legs just felt heaving and my thighs, knees, and feet ached. I literally felt like my lower half of the body was pulling a hundred kilograms.

Yesterday, I was walking our dogs in the park and I needed to run from point A to B to keep one dog from blocking the path of a pavement. I not only did it, which would have been all but impossible just last month, but I actually had some pep in my step. I have also noticed that my legs no longer feel heavy or ache. Getting up from a chair now feels normal, rather than a 5-20 second period where I needed to push myself to straighten and get my achy legs to work.


What We Do is more Important for us-

So what are my options? I could have another epidural steroid injections, but that’s just a sugar high as discussed earlier. In addition, the high dose steroids would have been eating away at my tissues. I could have gotten a lumbar fusion way back when, but right about now my SI joints or L4-L5 would be wearing out because of the adjacent segment disease (ASD), meaning another surgery.  after seeing patient after patient saved from surgeries due to procedures like these and then experiencing my own recovery, all I could think about yesterday after being able to get that dog out of the way because I could sprint again, was that what we do is important!

 At the end of the day, I am so glad to be able to be normal again. I could feel my body grinding to a halt because my nerves were getting beat up. Just the little things of being able to get up from a chair and not having to hide the fact that I was like an 80-year-old is a big deal.  Hiking without aching feet is huge. So I now know first hand what my patients have been telling me about all of these years. What we do is important