Determining a spondylolisthesis diagnosis
Determining a spondylolisthesis diagnosis is incredibly important for those who experience the painful symptoms of this condition, as it will determine the types of treatment they will receive. For this reason, if you believe you may have spondylolisthesis, which is the slippage of one vertebra past the vertebra below it, you should consult a board-certified physician to obtain a diagnosis so you can begin an effective treatment plan.
Types of qualified spondylolisthesis physicians
There are many types of physicians or spine specialists to choose from. These individuals have closely studied the spine, are familiar with its anatomy and the general conditions that can affect it, and likely are more able to provide a correct spondylolisthesis diagnosis. Often the type of physician a patient consults with will depend on the underlying disorder or condition that caused vertebral slippage in the first place.
For example, a patient whose advanced spinal arthritis and weakened facet joints contributed to the development of degenerative spondylolisthesis may be referred to a rheumatologist. This type of physician specializes in diagnosing and treating disorders of the jointed areas of the body. A patient whose condition occurred because of strenuous and repetitive sports activity may see an orthopedist, which is a physician trained in treating disorders of the skeletal system.
Course of treatment for spondylolisthesis
In most cases, if the vertebral slippage is not severe enough to compromise the stability of the spine, a physician will likely recommend a course of conservative treatments for a patient who has received a spondylolisthesis diagnosis. Treatments such as physical therapy, anti-inflammatory drugs and epidural steroid injections are often able to relieve the pain, numbness, weakness and tingling in the extremities commonly associated with spinal nerve compression caused by vertebral slippage.
Surgical spondylolisthesis considerations
In the event that conservative therapies are unable to relieve a patient’s symptoms, a physician might suggest surgery. If this is the case for you, there are two options available — a highly invasive traditional open spine surgery or a minimally invasive procedure performed by the board-certified surgeons+ at Laser Spine Institute. We offer a minimally invasive decompression and minimally invasive stabilization surgery to treat varying degrees of spondylolisthesis and relieve pain for candidates of our procedures.
At Laser Spine Institute, we have performed more than 75,000 patient procedures, setting us apart as the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery. If you find yourself in the situation where you are recommended for surgery to treat your spondylolisthesis symptoms, contact us today to learn more about our outpatient procedures. Ask our team for a free MRI review* to find out if our minimally invasive spine surgery would be effective for treating your condition.