After 11 years of managing with lower back pain, this 73 year old female consulted with Dr. Anand regarding possible treatment options. She had already tried physical therapy, chiropractic techniques, and epidural injections, but her symptoms continued to worsen. At the time of her presentation, she was having pain in her lower back and down her left leg to her foot. She was using a cane to support her left leg, which felt weak to her. Her imaging studies revealed multiple levels of spondylolisthesis (forward slipping of her spine) at L3-4, L4-5, and L5-S1, imitating a staircase. The instability of the spine resulted in thickening of the ligament (stenosis) in the spinal canal and compression of the nerves. In order to address both the spinal instability and stenosis, Dr. Anand recommended a minimally invasive approach to reconstruct and stabilize the spine.
In November 2018, she underwent an oblique lateral interbody fusion at L3-4, L4-5, and L5-S1 with posterior instrumentation from L3 to S1. The cages placed within the disc spaces at L3-4, L4-5, and L5-S1 restored the height of the discs, decompressed the nerves by opening the foramen, improved the lordotic angle of the lumbar spine, and created a surface area for bony fusion. The pedicle screws and rods (posterior instrumentation) realigned the spondylolisthesis and secured the alignment. She recovered well from surgery and reports no pain in her back or legs and that she has resumed all of her regular activities.