Spondylolisthesis is a vertebral dislocation disorder, which typically occurs in your lower spine. This condition involves the forward slip of one vertebra, causing it to overlap the vertebrae below it. Spondylolisthesis may have little or no symptoms, and it varies from mild to severe cases. For children, it is often due to a birth defect (such as thin vertebral bones) in the affected area, whereas degenerative disease is the most common cause among adults. The slippage usually occurs at the fifth lumbar vertebra.
Other causes include physical stress to the spine from trauma, bone diseases and general wear and tear. And, because of the additional stress that physical exertion puts on the lower back, athletes in gymnastics, football and weightlifting are at a higher risk of spondylolisthesis. To learn more about disorders and diseases related to the spinal vertebrae and joints, visit our facet disease page.
Possible effects of spondylolisthesis can include:
- Tight hamstring muscles
- Nerve damage from pressure on nerve roots
- Pain across the lower back that feels like a muscle strain
- Tenderness near the slipped bone
- Lordosis of the spine (swayback)
Consult your doctor if you are experiencing any of these symptoms. He or she can determine whether or not the pain you feel is caused by spondylolisthesis. Treatment options depend on the severity of the dislocation and may include strengthening and stretching exercises, over-the-counter medication to reduce the pain, and the wearing of a back brace. Visit our facet disease treatments page to review other treatment tips.
If the slippage is severe enough, the bones can start to press on nerves. To correct the condition, surgery may be necessary, but thanks to the minimally invasive procedures performed at Laser Spine Institute, you’ll experience a faster recovery time than with spinal fusion surgery and other conventional surgeries. Contact us today for a free MRI or CT scan review and to learn more information about our institute.