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Spondylolisthesis

more about Spondylolisthesis


Spondylolysis



  • Spondylolysis refers to a defect in the vertebra, usually in the lower back.  Spondylolisthesis is a condition in which one vertebra slips on another, leading to the instability of the spine.  Spondylolisthesis can be secondary to spondylolysis.

  • Spondylolysis itself usually does not have symptoms.  The symptoms of Spondylolisthesis vary according to the degree of slippage.
  • Pain and tenderness in the lower back
  • Stiffness of the lower back
  • Buttocks and lower leg pain if the nerve is compressed by a slipped vertebra

  • Spondylolysis may be caused by trauma or a stress fracture in childhood or adolescence.  Some individuals are born with spondylolysis.  The causes of Spondylolisthesis include spondylolysis, trauma, degeneration of spine and congenital abnormality of the vertebra.

  • Spondylolysis and Spondylolisthesis is easily diagnosed by X-Rays of the lower spine.  A CT or MRI is helpful in diagnosing the nerve compression, and to rule out other causes of lower back pain.

  • Conservative treatment -- if the symptoms of Spondylolisthesis are mild, conservative treatment is recommended.  Conservative treatment includes anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy and a back brace.  If the back pain worsens, patients may need to rest for a few days, gradually increasing the level of activities as the pain goes away.
  • Surgery -- if the conservative treatment does not work and the symptoms are severe, then surgery is recommended.  The goal of surgery is to relieve the compressed nerve and stabilize the spine.




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