I am a 57 yr old female who's had problems with my back since I was 17 yrs old. I was diagnosed at age 35 with DDD, DJD and spondylolisthesis by doctors who advised not to have surgery because I may get worse from it. I've learned to handle the chronic pain with bed rest, Aleve, heat, occasional Lortabs but in last 2 years, pain has been horrible. So I saw a neurologist who did MRI's, CAT scan and xrays with diagnoses of end-stage lumbar DDD on 3 levels, a herniated disc, multi-level cervical DDD and spondylosis and lumbar facet arthropathy. This doctor was quick to say the X-Stop surgery on 2 of the 3 levels of DDD would be the answer.
I decided to see a second neurosurgeon who ordered more tests showing a pars defect L5-S1 and Stage I - S1 spondylolisthesis. His recommendation is to have a fusion instead because of the pars defect.
I am so upset since I have no idea what to do. 20 yrs ago, I had the Spondylolisthesis and some DDD, but not as severe as it is now. So my guess is I need the X-Stop rather than the fusion. Can the Spondylolisthesis cause instability of my spine and the X-Stop would cause my spine to worsen?
I am tired of all the tests and money spent on doctor visits. Does anyone have any info on these diagnoses and surgeries? Thank you in advance for any assistance!