The Oddity of Spondylolisthesis

SpondylolisthesisIt can seem incredible that one of your vertebrae can actually slip out of its correct place and onto the bone beneath. When people think of the sturdiness of their spine, it’s a hard condition to imagine. The condition is known as spondylolisthesis.

In some people they may have grade 1 spondylolisthesis and not even know it. But other cases will be more serious and painful.

Here’s some more information on the different types of spondylolisthesis.

  • Degenerative spondylolisthesis — Degenerative spondylolisthesis is usually the result of arthritis that comes with aging. The spinal joints, called facets, wear down and may shift position.
  • Isthmic spondylolisthesis – Isthmic spondylolisthesis results from a common congenital malformation that may lead to small spinal stress fractures. These decrease bone strength, allowing vertebrae to slip out of place. This is found in children, although the patient may not have any symptoms until adulthood.
  • Dysplastic spondylolisthesis — Dysplastic spondylolisthesis is the result of a very rare congenital defect in which the lumbosacral joint is malformed. This malformation of the spine increases the risk of vertebral slippage.
  • Traumatic spondylolisthesis — Traumatic spondylolisthesis is also very rare. It is the result of a fracture from a traumatic injury.
  • Pathologic spondylolisthesis — Pathologic spondylolisthesis occurs when the person has an underlying bone disease, such as osteoporosis, or a rare bone infection.

What are the symptoms of spondylolisthesis?

As mentioned above, some patients have bone movement in their spine and never know it. Others can with chronic pain when the bone movement compresses a nerve. Here are some symptoms of spondylolisthesis:

  • Lower back pain
  • Upper leg pain
  • Leg weakness
  • Pain in the buttocks
  • Tight hamstring muscles
  • Extreme tenderness at the slippage site
  • Stiffness, numbness, or tingling in the region

Untreated spondylolisthesis can lead to some serious issues with your posture. If you have any of the above symptoms, give us a call at DFW Center for Spinal Disorders, (817) 916-4685. We can help.

Posted in: Spondylolisthesis

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