What is the best treatment for spondylolisthesis?

Spondylolisthesis is a painful spine condition that occurs when a vertebra becomes displaced over the one above or below it. It can cause pain, stiffness, numbness and a number of other symptoms that can worsen if left untreated. With treatment, however, most patients with spondylolisthesis are able to maintain a positive quality of life.

The best treatment for spondylolisthesis will vary from person to person based on a number of individual factors such as their overall health and personal preferences. The most appropriate course of treatment will also depend upon the severity of the patient’s vertebral displacement. Spondylolisthesis is graded on a scale from 1 to 5, with 1 being the least severe and 5 being the most severe.

How is spondylolisthesis treated?

If a person’s vertebral slippage leads to the compression of a nerve root or the spinal cord, conservative treatments are most often recommended first. A conservative treatment regimen for spondylolisthesis can include one or more of the following:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Physical therapy to build strength and flexibility
  • Corticosteroid injections
  • Walking and other forms of low-impact exercise to improve range of motion and circulation

Furthermore, some patients choose to explore alternative methods of spondylolisthesis treatment on their own. While acupuncture, chiropractic manipulation, herbal supplements and other alternative treatments are not considered to be mainstream, many patients have found them successful in relieving their pain and other symptoms. Be sure to consult with your physician before beginning any alternative treatments.

If the strategies mentioned above do not provide sufficient relief after several weeks or months, the patient may need to undergo surgery. If this has happened to you, you may be surprised to learn that you don’t necessarily have to endure the lengthy recovery time that is typical of a traditional open spine procedure. Rather, contact Laser Spine Institute to learn about the benefits of our minimally invasive outpatient surgeries. Our procedures require a less than 1-inch incision and offer shorter recovery times and less risk of complications than open spine surgeries.^ To find out if you are a candidate, we can provide you with a free review* of your MRI.