A spondylolisthesis is the forward shifting of one vertebrae on top of another

Spondylolisthesis is a condition where one vertebrae slips forward on the vertebrae beneath it. Symptoms include back pain and lower extremity pain if the slippage encroaches on the nerves leaving the spine.

This forward shift is the aspect that distinguishes a spondylolisthesis from spondylolysis, which is a defect in the bony ring of the spine. Refer to image here on this page.

In this article, we look at what causes spondylolisthesis, how to diagnose spondylolisthesis, and how to treat spondylolisthesis. Please let us know what you think of this article by leaving a comment below. If you have a specific question about spondylolisthesis, go ahead and ask and a member of our medical team will answer your question directly.

Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Spondylolisthesis

Orthopaedic clinical specialist, Malton A. Schexneider, PT, MMSc put together a nice article on spondylolisthesis.

Spondylolisthesis can be present at birth, occur in childhood as a result of injury or be present in older adults as a result of degeneration of the disc and spinal joints.

Spondylolisthesis from degeneration usually affects people over 50 years old, is more common in African Americans, and affects women more often than men. Degenerative spondylolisthesis mainly involves slippage of L4 over L5 while in patients under 20 years of age, spondylolisthesis usually involves slippage of the L5 vertebra over S1.

Back pain associated with spondylolisthesis will gradually improve in up to one-third of all patients. Worsening of symptoms is not expected in patients who don’t have neurologic symptoms at the time of diagnosis.

A condition called spondylolysis can lead to spondylolisthesis. Spondylolysis is a defect in the bony ring of the spinal column that is thought to be a stress fracture that results from repeated stress to the bony ring. Participants in gymnastics and football commonly suffer these types of stress fractures. Spondylolysis can lead to the spine slippage when a fracture occurs on both sides of the bony ring. This slippage is called spondylolisthesis.

Spondylolisthesis is graded from I through IV, with a grade 1 being mild and grade IV often causing neurological symptoms. (Read the full article here)

Spondylolisthesis Symptoms and Causes Video

Spine-Health put together a nice video about the symptoms and causes of spondylolisthesis.

Spondylolisthesis is a condition in which a defect in a part of the spine causes vertebra to slip to one side of the body. Typical symptoms of spondylolisthesis include back pain and/or leg pain. This video explains the common symptoms and causes for patients with both degenerative spondylolisthesis and isthmic spondylolisthesis. (Click here to watch the video)

Would you like to receive more information on spondylolisthesis? We’ve put together a comprehensive booklet on spondylolisthesis and we’d love to send you one. Just click this link and we’ll make sure you get your copy today. Patients’ Guide To Spondylolisthesis

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