Lumbar Spondylolisthesis

Spondylolisthesis is a spinal condition that causes lower back pain and occurs when one of the vertebrae, the bones of the spine, slips out of the plane. The word Spondylolisthesis comes from two Greek words, ‘spondylos’ which means ‘spine’, and ‘listhesis’ which means ‘slipping’ or ‘movement’. It is a condition of spinal instability that puts pressure on the nerves leading to lower back pain or leg pain or both.

Types of Lumbar spondylolisthesis

Some common types of spondylolistheses are discussed below-

Congenital spondylolisthesis is most common at the L5-S1 level and is due abnormal bone formation during development. But it usually becomes symptomatic at teen age when there is a growth spurt.

Isthmic spondylolisthesis occurs as a result of spondylolysis, a crack or fracture in a part of spine that leads to the weakening of the bone.

Degenerative spondylolisthesis happens due to aging. As age increases, disc, the cushion that protects vertebrae loses water leading to thinning of the disc and abnormal growth of the facet joint leads to slippage of the vertebral bone. 

Less common types of spondylolistheses involve-  

Symptoms of Lumbar spondylolisthesis 

Some of the symptoms experienced by the patient suffering from lumbar spondylolisthesis are-

Diagnosis of the Lumbar Spondylolisthesis  

The diagnosis can be made through a spinal X-ray 

CT scan or MRI scan helps to visualize the bony structures and nerves in the spinal canal in detail. 

Non-surgical treatment for lumbar Spondylosis

Non-surgical lower back pain treatment options include–   

Rest- Take a break from tiring exercises and sports.

Medications- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) such as ibuprofen or naproxen can bring pain relief.

Local steroid or anesthetic Injections in which the patient is given an injection of steroidal medications directly in the affected joints.

Physical therapy- involves local pain therapy and back strengthening exercises

Surgery for the Lumbar spondylolisthesis

If there is high degree of spondylolisthesis or if the lower back pain right side is not getting better with medications and physiotherapy or if there is weakness of legs, your surgeon may offer you a lumbar fusion surgery
The aim of lumbar spondylolisthesis surgery is

If you have been advised to undergo Lumbar spondylolisthesis spine surgery, then consult another surgeon for lumbar spondylolisthesis to get a second opinion to explore all the available treatment options.

Dr. Arun Rajeswaran

Consult Dr. Arun with a professional experience of more than 13 years in the field of Neurosurgery

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