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How Do I Know if I Have Spondylolisthesis?

Your spinal vertebrae stay aligned because of the connective tissues and facet joints that surround and support them.

Spondylolisthesis can be caused by a number of different joint issues, including congenital defects, trauma or injury to the joints, overuse, or extra stress on your joints from excess weight.

When vertebral slippage is slight, patients may not experience any symptoms. In many cases, however, spondylolisthesis can cause the following symptoms:

  • Pain, tingling or numbness that radiates down the leg or arm
  • Muscle spasms, especially in the back of the thigh
  • Back or neck pain
  • Issues with mobility, including walking
  • In severe cases, incontinence might occur, if the nerves of the bowels/bladder are affected

What is the Right Treatment for Me?

The kind of treatment that our surgeons recommend for patients experiencing spondylolisthesis can vary depending on the patient’s health, age, and the severity of symptoms.

If you are a patient at Q Spine Institute, you will need to undergo a physical exam to test range-of-motion and an x-ray to confirm the extent of vertebral slippage.

The kind of treatment needed is generally based on factors like overall health, age and the severity of symptoms you have experienced.

In many cases, the first approach is conservative management of your condition, including plenty of rest, combined with pain and anti-inflammatory medication. In some cases, a prescription medication may be needed initially to help reduce swelling. Steroid injections may also help your condition. Combining medication and physical therapy can help to stabilize the spinal column and strengthen muscles.

We may recommend surgery if the symptoms are severe and more conservative approaches do not provide you with enough relief.

Surgical treatments may include laminectomy, where a portion of the vertebrae is removed; or spinal fusion, which fuses together sections of the spine to prevent further friction and stabilize the spine.

If you have questions about treating your condition, make an appointment for a consultation with our team to determine the best course of action.

Spondylolisthesis Quick Facts

Common Symptoms:

  • 1 Symptom: Lower back pain
  • Pain that is worsened by bending forward
  • Leg pain, in some cases

Common Causes:

  • Multiple causes, depending on Spondylolisthesis type
  • Spinal Arthritis (Osteoarthritis)
  • Weakening bones, due to disease or tumors
  • Spinal stress fractures
  • Sudden injury

Typical Treatments:

Dysplastic Spondylosisthesis = hereditary condition

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