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Suffering from back pain. CT scan showed bilaterial spondylolyses at L5. Proper diagnosis?

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Spine Surgeon
Practicing since : 2002
Answered : 322 Questions
Hello. Aproximately 8 weeks ago I suffered immediate back pain while washing my floors. Since then I have had significant pain, cannot sit (although I work in an office, I stand all day) and cannot participate in typical family outings. I had a CT and see the doctor in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, here is what the report states: "Bilaterial spondylolyses at L5. Bulging disc and focal disc protrusion without significant stenosis".
Until I am able to see my doctor, are there activities I should (not) engage in? What does this type of diagnosis mean? Also, I have not been able to take NSAIDs due to a recently diagnosed ulcer, however I am experiencing significant pain.
Thank you!
Posted Sun, 23 Dec 2012 in Back Pain
Answered by Dr. Rahul D Chaudhari 9 hours later
Thanks for the query.

Spondylolysis means break in continuity of the posterior elements of the spine. Usually causes severe pain on extreme extension as the load increases on the posterior facet joints in spine.

Avoid extreme bending forward or backward, long travels in sitting position, lifting heavy weight. Complete rest for few days with opiates with muscle relaxants will relieve the pain.

This may be episodic and once pain is relieved then regular exercise will help you to stay pain free. However if pain persist then you may need spinal stabilization surgery. Over a period, we need to keep a watch if the vertebrae above are slipping as compared to the lower one.

Hope this helps you. Do let me know if you have more concerns.

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