Everything about Spondylolisthesis

Everything about Spondylolisthesis

April 24, 2020


Spondylolisthesis is the spinal column vertebrae problem in which the vertebrae is present underneath it. Due to this, the nerves get pressed which can lead to different problems like leg pain, muscle weakness, or not being able to stand for a long time. This guide will tell you in brief about the spondylolisthesis problem.

What is Spondylolisthesis?

Spondylolisthesis is a problem in which the spinal column vertebrae becomes displaced as compared to the vertebrae present below it. The spine contains 33 vertebrae and they are stacked onto one another which allows the nerve to travel through the spinal column without any problem. Due to spondylolisthesis, the vertebrae which have a narrow pathway, and it can result in several different symptoms according to the displacement severity.

What are the signs and symptoms?

It is essential to keep in mind that orthopedic spinal conditions have the same symptoms. So, the likelihood of the symptoms will be determined by the doctor and some of them include:

  • Low back or leg pain
  • Numbness or tingling that reaches the both or one leg
  • Hamstring tightness
  • Neurological impairments (ie. Diminished reflexes)
  • Muscle weakness in lower extremities, or possible muscle atrophy
  • Pain brought up with prolonged standing, but not sitting

If the problem is resulting in severe back pain then you should consult the doctor. In some cases, the patients need to get spine surgery so that their condition gets back to normal.

What are the causes?

Different causes can result in spondylolisthesis so you must determine the exact reason for the condition. This way the doctor will give you the treatment plan according to your condition. Spondylolisthesis is classified into different categories which include:

Isthmic Spondylolisthesis

A slow defect or fracture at the intra articular can slide forward from the vertebral without the back support. This type is more common in younger people.

Degenerative Spondylolisthesis

It occurs at the L3 to L4 level, or L4 to L5 level of the spine which leads to weak bones, and ligaments age after the age of 50. In some cases, the traumatic event in the vertebrae apart can lead to fracture which leads to displacement.

Some of the risk factors which increase the risk of spondylolisthesis which includes:

  • Female gender
  • Older age
  • Anatomical predisposition
  • Pregnancy
  • Severe hyperextension of the spine (as in gymnastics participation)
  • The joints and soft tissues get hypermobile

How is the problem diagnosed?

First of all, the doctor will do a physical examination of your condition. Additionally, the doctor will do the imaging test like CT-scan, MRI, or X-ray. This will confirm if you have any other problems. It is important to see the spine segment properly.


Consult with the medical expert to get the customized treatment plan. One of the treatment options is exercise therapy, limit the stressful activities, and take proper rest.

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