Spondylolisthesis is a slip of one vertebra in the spinal column, most commonly occurring in the lumbar region. Some people are born with a defective vertebra; in others, trauma, a stress fracture, infection or disease may cause the problem. Even a minor displacement of a vertebra can cause nerve compression and chronic pain. Symptoms of spondylolisthesis include local pain or pain that radiates into the arms or legs, depending on where the slippage is located. Symptoms will worsen as the condition is allowed to progress. Symptoms may be experienced at the actual site of the “slip” or can develop in an apparently unrelated area of the body. Pain and stiffness are most common at the site of the vertebral slippage, but if a displaced vertebra causes nerve root compression, a set of neurological symptoms known as radiculopathy could be produced. This can include pain, burning, tingling or numbness, weakness or loss of muscle function.
Conservative care for spondylolisthesis
includes the use of a back brace to create support, physical therapy for developing greater core strength, anti-inflammatory medications or pain medications. Epidural steroid injections may be considered, and in some instances surgery is required to restore desired function and pain control. Our Pain Management and Spine specialists are available to evaluate patients with spondylolisthesis and discuss the advanced procedural options available.