A 48-year-old member asked:

What are the tests for spondylolisthesis?

4 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Michael Bolesta
Orthopedic Surgery 42 years experience
Exam, radiographs: A careful physical may pick it up, but in most cases the deformity is not visible to the eye. Plain radiographs (x-rays) show the slip (spondylolisthesis). If done standing, they can show subtle slips that go away while lying down. Mri and ct are helpful if there are nerve symptoms (like leg pain, numbness, weakness) and if surgery is being considered. Bone scan is sometimes used too.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Mehul Desai
Pain Management 21 years experience
Standing xrays: Standing xrays of the lumbar spine in flexion (bending forward) and extension (arching back) are best for evaluating both the misalignment and helping determine instability (does the misalignment move ).
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Justin Esterberg
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 26 years experience
Xrays: Xrays can make the diagnosis of spondylolisthesis. Xrays can show the relationships of the vertebrae (bones) in your spine and determine if one is slipped relative to the neighboring vertebrae.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Kevin Vaught
30 years experience
Studies and exam: Typically, imaging studies including an MRI, standing flex ion and extension films, possibly a CT scan and of course a consultation with a spine specialist. Check out Spine-health.com.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.

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Last updated Dec 19, 2014

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