nurse with a spondy/upcoming surgery

Nurses Stress 101


So, I started working at my hospital in 2015, at age 29, as a PCA on a telemetry unit and fairly quickly started having back pain. Prior to this I spent 7 years at a desk job, so I was completely out of shape. Over time I adjusted and became stronger, but I also saw a spine specialist who diagnosed me with a grade 1 spondylolisthesis. I continued to work as a PCA and in 2017 went to physical therapy for the first time. I graduated nursing school and started working as a nurse on the same unit in July 2017.

In February 2018 I had an x ray done that showed it was a grade 2 spondy. In April of 2018 I went back for a second round of physical therapy. At this point I had worked as a registered nurse for about 8 months, so less stress on my back than what I experienced as a PCA but still quite a bit of lifting required as this is a floor unit job.

It is now August 2018 and I visited my spine specialist yesterday whose xrays now show that my L5 is at about 50% or perhaps a smidge further over the edge of my S1. So, it's basically a grade 3 spondy now. He's very surprised that I don't have severe leg pain at this point. I have no leg pain whatsoever. I do have pain with movement that stretches horizontally across my lower back and some pressure along the lower spine. I have adapted to the discomfort and while it's annoying at times it is not overwhelming.

Regardless, my spine specialist is talking spinal fusion and within the next 6-8 months. I realize that is the recommended treatment for a grade 3-4 spondy.

So, I'm here just looking for advice from fellow nurses with similar experiences. I know the outcomes for back injuries can be...not good. :/ I don't want to end up in a worse situation. But I also can see the writing on the wall, and it does appear that this issue is progressing in a rapid sort of way. If you were in this situation, what questions would you ask the provider? BTW, I went to the Leatherman Spine Center in Louisville, KY, which has a pretty good reputation. But that doesn't always mean everything. I'm currently doing recon on the physician who would do the surgery.

Thanks so much for input!

Specializes in RETIRED Cath Lab/Cardiology/Radiology.

It is indeed unfortunate that the progression of your "spondy" is proceeding as fast as outlined. And in the wake of a new job/new career too!

It sounds like you are doing due diligence with your research into your condition and into the history of those caring for you/rendering treatment.

Unfortunately, per the Terms of Service, no one here may provide any medical advice.

We wish you wisdom in deciding your course of treatment, and success with that treatment.

Closing this now.

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