Congenital spondylolisthesis is condition characterized by a forward displacement of a vertebral disc over the disc beneath it. The word “congenital” means that the condition is present at birth. Spondylolisthesis can also be acquired later in life as a result of aging, a trauma to the bone, or in response to another condition affecting the spine such as arthritis or a tumor. This condition can occur anywhere in the spine, but it most frequently affects the lumbar region (lower back).
Congenital spondylolisthesis is the most common cause of back pain for teenagers, often presenting itself during growth spurts. Though many people have spondylolisthesis without showing any symptoms at all, the most frequent symptom is lower back pain. Other spondylolisthesis symptoms include pain in the buttocks, tightness in the lower back and leg muscles, and tightness in the hamstrings affecting the patient’s ability to walk.
Spondylolisthesis is diagnosed using an X-ray or CT scan, and the amount of slippage is graded on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the most severe. The course of treatment is based on the extent of the slip as well as the age and general health of the patient. Spondylolisthesis treatment is often conservative, including rest, stretching and exercise, pain medication, or a back brace. For more severe cases of spondylolisthesis, surgery may be recommended.
If you have been diagnosed with spondylolisthesis and your physician recommends back surgery as a treatment option, it is important to be aware of the choices available to you. Advanced technologies allow for many back surgeries to be performed in an outpatient environment, using minimally invasive techniques that offer greatly reduced recovery time. Laser Spine Institute can treat the symptoms of congenital spondylolisthesis and other back and neck conditions using minimally invasive endoscopic procedures that can relieve you from pain immediately and have you back to your normal activities in less than two weeks. For more information or to schedule a free MRI or CT scan review, contact us today.