A condition where a vertebra “slips” or becomes displaced with varying degrees of severity. This causes the spine to become misaligned and can lead to serious concerns, including lower back pain, upper leg pain, hypersensitive nerves near the affected area, and muscle stiffness and tightness. If left untreated, neurological impairment and reduced lung capacity may result.
Types of Spondylolisthesis
- Isthmic: A congenital disorder that develops in children between the ages of 5 and 17. Non-surgical treatment is offered unless the displacement is severe, in which case surgery may be necessary.
- Degenerative: Typically caused by the natural process of aging and arthritis, this form of spondylolisthesis is a gradual wearing down of the various tissues, which eventually leads to a vertebral slip.
- Dysplastic: A rare congenital defect that derives from developmental issues, usually on the lower spine where the lumbar spine and sacrum (tailbone) meet.
- Traumatic: Another unusual condition, traumatic spondylolisthesis occurs when fractures occur
tothe joints that allow the spine to bend and flex.
- Pathologic: This type of displacement only occurs as a result of certain, very rare, metabolic bone diseases.
The appropriate type of treatment for spondylolisthesis will depend on several factors, including the type of spondylolisthesis, the level of pain and/or disability, the patient’s overall health, and others. Most forms of this condition can be treated non-surgically. More severe instances may require surgical correction, such as fusion, discectomy, laminectomy, or another technique. Minimally invasive methods will be used whenever possible, although sometimes the unique structure of the anatomy will make this difficult or impossible. Our extensively trained surgeons will review your options during your initial consultation.
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