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Spondylolisthesis in a 16 year-old boy

Posted by @paul101 in Bones, Joints & Muscles, Jun 1, 2012

My 16 year old son was recently diagnoses with Spondylolisthesis, where a bone (vertebra L5) in the lower part of the spine sliped out of the proper position onto the bone below it. He has been very athletic (wrestling, pole vault, weight lifting) and this loss of sports in his life is difficult for all of us in the family. Nevertheless, I need to get a 2nd opinion (he was diagnosed locally about 6 hrs from Mayo) and we are looking for information or recommendations about who at Mayo (or elsewhere) might be appropriate. Your prayers would also be appreciated.


Posted by @cherie903gmailcom, Aug 14, 2012

My 13 year old daughter had surgery 7 months ago to fuse L5 S1. She was having constant back pain and after a year of xrays, PT and chiropractor we finally had an MRI that revealed the problem. Spondylolisthesis. She was very athletic, including breaking state records in the triple jump. She still can not bend over to brush her teeth. We are very frustrated and so sad for her. She has pain in areas of her body ( leg, neck, tingling) that were not even present prior to surgery and seem to going the wrong direction. Our doctor was deployed to Iraq so we are weighing our options. Did you have surgery? How are things going? Our kids are too young to be dealing with this.


Posted by @paul101, Aug 22, 2012

I'm so sorry your daughter is going through something like are correct that they are too young. I appreciate you responding to my post as I was beginning to feel like we are the only ones dealing with this. I did a good deal of research (as I'm sure you did) looking into where we could get a second opinion from a physician who works with kids. We eventually found Dr. Lawrence Lenke at Barnes Children's Hospital in St. Louis. Please don't think I don't have the highest regard for the physicians at Mayo (we have been going there for years!), but we wanted to find someone who had extensive experience working with KIDS. Ultimately, he did not recommend surgery because he felt, in Brad's case, the benefits of surgery did not justify the risks. So, we continue to deal with pain issues, but are trying to keep on top of it. Sadly, Brad's sports participation is likely over and he struggles with this loss. Fortunately, he has put his energy into a new job (sales/marketing for a nutritional supplement store in our town) and he feels good about this success. I hope and pray your daughter can also find something to help her manage her physical and emotional challenges and find success in new endeavors.

Ironically, I am a psychologist and I work with chronic pain patients, many of whom are struggling with the same issues as our children. I want to encourage you and your daughter to keep your hope alive that things can improve...I see this everyday! I don't know if this is appropriate, but if you'd like to chat on the telephone sometime let me know and I will give you my work telephone number.


Posted by @reformerdiva, Mon, Sep 12 at 9:51pm CDT

I have just learned I have this disorder. I am also very active.
I had surgery three and one half
years ago for two herniated discs
at L2 and L3. I also have scoliosis
directly across from it. I had been
doing fine but on waking one morning I felt severe pain and
instability in my spine. I had to lay
back down. I went to a sports
medicine doctor because I am a
Fitness Professional. He is sending
me back to my surgeon. I am very


Posted by @safetyshield, Thu, Sep 15 at 2:23pm CDT

reformerdiva I have had many surgeries in my life time and continue to have even more hospital stays. As an adult at least now I feel I have more control over when I go to the hospital and what will happen when I am in the hospital. Try to think of the postitives like getting better and being able to come back to some normalites. I understand your fears but keep good thoughts and in control and it will all be over. Good luck


Posted by @colleenyoung, Mon, Sep 12 at 10:18pm CDT

Hi @reformerdiva. I can imagine you are frightened. @paul101 @cherie903gmailcom haven't posted on Connect for a while, but I hope they will return to share their experiences with spondylolisthesis with you. In the meantime, I'm also tagging @kta1 @sma1952 and @safetyshield to bring them into this discussion to share their support.

When is your appointment with your surgeon? What questions are racing through your head - perhaps we can help you prepare for the appointment.

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