What Your Spondylolisthesis Diagnosis Means

Spondylolisthesis Diagnosis

If you’ve recently received a spondylolisthesis diagnosis, you’re probably wondering what the condition entails, let alone how to pronounce it. “Spondylolisthesis” (spon-dil-oh-lis-thee-sis) is a medical term used to describe the forward displacement of a vertebra in relation to the one below it. The vertebrae in your spine are generally quite stable, gaining additional support from intervertebral discs, facet joints, ligaments, tendons and muscles. Spondylolisthesis can occur for several reasons, but is generally related to the normal degenerative changes that affect your spine over time.

Risk Factors

Your physician likely arrived at your spondylolisthesis diagnosis based on the following:

  • A physical examination, which measures range of motion and determines which movements exacerbate or improve symptoms
  • A neurological examination, which measures reflexes and identifies gait changes, numbness, or muscle weakness
  • One or more diagnostic imaging tests, such as an X-ray, MRI, or CT scan, which can visually confirm vertebral slippage

After your spondylolisthesis diagnosis

Once your physician has confirmed the occurrence of vertebral slippage in your spine, he or she will likely recommend that you begin a course of conservative (non-surgical) treatments. Methods of this nature often include thermotherapy, cryotherapy, physical therapy, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, narcotic pain medications and others. In addition to or in lieu of conservative therapies, you may also decide to explore alternative (holistic) treatments, such as massage, acupuncture, acupressure, chiropractic adjustments, yoga or herbal therapies. Should you decide to try one or more alternative treatments, it is essential that you consult with your physician and a certified complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) professional to avoid complications.

Laser Spine Institute

If your physician has confirmed a low-grade spondylolisthesis diagnosis, and several weeks or months of conservative treatments have failed to provide you with relief from the symptoms of nerve compression, you may be a candidate for a minimally invasive procedure. Laser Spine Institute, the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery, offers several different options to treat low-grade spondylolisthesis and other spinal conditions, like bulging and herniated discs, spinal arthritis and others. Contact Laser Spine Institute to schedule your initial consultation.