Among the many kinds of spinal conditions that affect people, one of the
most serious is Spondylolisthesis which is a condition where one vertebra
of the human body gets displaced and pushes up against another adjacent
vertebra. Ideally, the arrangement of vertebrae in the spine resembles
a neat stack but for people affected with spondylolisthesis, one particular
vertebra slips and shift from its normal position and pushes up against
the one directly below it, causing an abnormality. The symptoms are many
and treatment is also a slow process.
- Degenerative spondylolisthesis, the most commonly found kind of spondylolisthesis,
is caused by gradual degeneration of the spinal column due to aging and
overuse. All kinds of body tissues tend to degenerate with advancement
of age, including bones, muscles, joints and ligaments, all of which are
responsible for the holding together of the vertebral column. With years
of age related damage, there can be loss of stability and integrity in
these tissues, till the point where the tissues becomes so weak as not
to be able to maintain the proper position of the vertebral column.
People with the bone defect spondylolysis can be affected by a variety
of Spondylolisthesis called isthmic spondylolisthesis. Spondylolysis is
usually the result of a repetition of small amounts of trauma to the spine
from a very young age, which causes a defect in one particular area of
the linkage between adjacent vertebrae. According to
spine specialists, if this condition affects both sides of a particular level of the spinal
column, the result is isthmic spondylolisthesis.
- Other factors which can cause the onset of Spondylolisthesis are congenital
defects of the spine, cases of trauma, tumors, lesions and past cases
Spondylolisthesis can have a wide range of different symptoms varying from
person to person and depending on the severity of the condition. In cases
where the condition is mild, there can be intermittent cases of pain in
the back especially when the back is arched. In more serious cases, due
to the fact that the spinal nerve gets pinched by the affected vertebra,
nerve related symptoms can emerge. This can include severe pain in a leg,
a feeling of numbness and loss of sensation, tingling sensations resembling
electric shocks and, in some rare cases people might also face bowel and
Diagnosis and Treatment
Diagnosis of the condition is usually through a thorough physical examination,
aided by the use of diagnostic devices like x-rays or CT scans. The line
of treatment for Spondylolisthesis varies greatly, depending on the severity
of the condition and the symptoms and the age of the person affected.
In case the slip is mild and the symptoms are within control, treatment
is usually nonsurgical and consists of implementation of good posture,
adequate rest, and the modification of day to day activities so as not
to put pressure in the area and to aid natural healing. If the problem
is severe and has the potential to worsen further, the
orthopedic spine surgeon might recommend surgical procedures. The surgical procedures are usually
carried out to bring about stabilization and balance the spinal column.
Visit the spine specilists in Plano, TX for thourough diagnosis and treatment
of Spondylolisthesis. You can locate them at 4031 West Plano Parkway Suite
100, Plano, TX 75093.