Spondylolisthesis symptoms and treatment options

Spondylolisthesis symptoms range from mild to severe; in fact, often there are no symptoms at all and a patient will discover the presence of spondylolisthesis in an X-ray of an unrelated condition. Spondylolisthesis is a slipping of a vertebra over the disc beneath it, and the amount of slippage is measured using a grading scale — grade one being the least amount of slippage, and grade 5 being the greatest amount. In general, the greater the slippage, the more severe the spondylolisthesis symptoms, meaning, a person with grade one may be completely unaware he or she has a spinal defect, whereas a person with grade four or five spondylolisthesis may experience extreme pain and an inability to perform certain tasks.

Spondylolisthesis symptoms include pain and tenderness in the back, muscle spasms, stiffness in the hamstrings or buttock pain. The most common symptom of spondylolisthesis is lower back pain, and this pain is usually aggravated by activities that put extra stress on the lower back or by activities that cause the back to hyperextend (bend backward). Spondylolisthesis also can affect body mobility, causing you to walk in shorter strides with slightly bent knees or in a “waddling” motion, and posture, causing a recessed curvature in the lower spine and a protruding abdomen.

Spondylolisthesis treatment options

If you are experiencing any of these spondylolisthesis symptoms, it is important to be aware of all of the many spondylolisthesis treatment options available to you. Typically, you will start with conservative, nonsurgical treatments like stretching, back bracing, pain medication, physical therapy and chiropractic care. Before you start any treatment, however, it’s vital to consult with your physician who can provide you with a personalized treatment plan.

If these treatments fail to provide you with lasting relief, Laser Spine Institute offers minimally invasive decompression and stabilization procedures to treat spondylolisthesis symptoms. Our minimally invasive procedures, which are performed in an outpatient setting, offer many advantages compared to traditional open back surgery, including no lengthy recovery.^

If you have been diagnosed with spondylolisthesis and have tried conservative treatment but are still experiencing pain or limited mobility, Laser Spine Institute understands your pain and frustration and is here to help. Contact us today to learn more about the minimally invasive surgeries we offer for those with spondylolisthesis. We can provide you with a free MRI review* to determine if you’re a candidate for our procedures.