Spondylolisthesis is a condition that occurs when one vertebra slides forward over the one below it. This most commonly occurs in the lumbosacral area of the lower spine, and can cause pressure on nerve roots. Symptoms of spondylolisthesis typically include weakness in your legs, pain in your buttock, a limp, and lower back pain, although symptoms may not emerge for years after the vertebrae have slipped out of place.
Your vertebrae are all connected by small joints that keep them in line but still allow for a wide range of motion. When there is a problem with one or more of the joints, vertebrae can easily slip out of place. These problems can be congenital, caused by overuse, trauma, or damaged by arthritis. Spondylolisthesis can affect people of all ages, from children and teens involved in strenuous sports such as weightlifting or gymnastics, or adults who have damaged joints due to overuse.
When diagnosed with spondylolisthesis, adults can try a variety of non-surgical treatments to see what is most effective in managing their pain. Some common options include:
If the nonsurgical methods have been unsuccessful for a few months, your doctor may recommend a spinal fusion to fuse the vertebrae to each other, securing them into place. Spinal fusion surgery is a very effective treatment for spondylolisthesis but requires a lengthy recovery, which is why doctors pursue non-surgical treatments first.
If you are suffering from back pain that runs from your lower back down to your leg that seems to get worse with bending or twisting, contact one of the compassionate physicians at the Florida Spinal Institute to see if you have developed spondylolisthesis and to learn about your treatment options.