What are the symptoms commonly associated with spondylolisthesis?

The symptoms of spondylolisthesis depend entirely on the severity of the condition. This degenerative condition occurs when one vertebra moves forward and slips over the one beneath it, causing spinal misalignment. While this can be a very serious condition, spondylolisthesis can also cause little or no noticeable symptoms for some patients. For this degenerative spine condition to cause back pain or other symptoms, spondylolisthesis must cause the compression of a nerve in the spinal column.

The best way to understand spondylolisthesis is to visualize the makeup of the spine. This S-shaped structure is comprised of a series of bones that stack on top of one another. The individual vertebrae are separated and cushioned with a spinal disc and linked by facet joints. In addition to providing the body with the flexibility and mobility that we require for daily activity, the spinal column protects an extremely complex infrastructure of nerves. When a vertebra becomes misaligned — either as a result of injury or spinal deterioration — the spinal column may become constricted, which leads to nerve compression and pain.

Specific symptoms of spondylolisthesis

Spondylolisthesis is typically graded on a scale of one to five, with five being the highest, that describes the extent of the vertebral slippage. While lower-grade cases of spondylolisthesis can cause nerve compression and symptoms, it is more likely to occur from higher grade spondylolisthesis cases. Should a nerve become irritated, a number of symptoms may be experienced, including:

  • Lower back pain
  • Sciatica pain
  • Unexpected muscle weakness or fatigue
  • Numbness or tingling in the lower extremities
  • A burning feeling in the legs

Spondylolisthesis treatment options

Upon diagnosis of spondylolisthesis, most doctors will recommend a course of conservative treatment options to relieve symptoms, improve mobility and promote the health of your spine. If you have exhausted conservative treatments and surgery is being recommended to treat your spondylolisthesis, contact Laser Spine Institute to learn about the advantages of our minimally invasive spine surgery. We offer both minimally invasive decompression and minimally invasive stabilization procedures that can treat spondylolisthesis on an outpatient basis.

When you speak to a member of our dedicated team, request a no-cost review of your MRI report or CT scan* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.