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Doctor insights on: Spondylolisthesis

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Dr. Michael Bolesta
314 Doctors shared insights

Spondylolisthesis (Overview)

Is the subluxation or slippage of one vertebral body over another, usually with the more superior body slipping forward relative to the body below. This can be due to to etiologies such as ligamentous laxity or an abnormality of the bone (spondylolysis). If mild, it may be asymptomatic. If severe or unstable, it could cause kinking/compression of the spinal cord or nerve root compression.


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What are common complications of spondylolisthesis?

What are common complications of spondylolisthesis?

Pain: Back pain is the most common symptom. Nerve symptoms can also occur: numbness, tingling, pain in the legs. Rarely it can affect the ability to empty the bladder or bowels.

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Dr. Michael Bolesta
314 Doctors shared insights

Spondylolisthesis (Overview)

Is the subluxation or slippage of one vertebral body over another, usually with the more superior body slipping forward relative to the body below. This can be due to to etiologies such as ligamentous laxity or an abnormality of the bone (spondylolysis). If mild, it may be asymptomatic. If severe or unstable, it could cause kinking/compression of the spinal cord or nerve root compression.


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How does degenerative spondylolisthesis affect pregnancy?

How does degenerative spondylolisthesis affect pregnancy?

It does not: Degenerative spondylolisthesis usually is not seen before age 50. While is rarely occurs earlier, it should have no direct affect on pregnancy.

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I fell, dr took x-rays and said I have congenital spondylolisthesis. Insurance company says my pain couldn't be from fall because dr diagnose congental?

I fell, dr took x-rays and said I have congenital spondylolisthesis. Insurance company says my pain couldn't be from fall because dr diagnose congental?

Spondylolisthesis: Spondylolisthesis can be congenital or acquired. For whatever reason you have it, it can lead to greater risk for injury if you have a fall impacting the area involved. Would suggest you discuss with your doctor and appeal the insurance company's decision. Even if they knew it was present before a fall, it still has a risk of being associated with greater injury to nerves and the spine.

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What are the tests for spondylolisthesis?

What are the tests for spondylolisthesis?

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.

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What causes spondylolisthesis?

What causes spondylolisthesis?

Bad back: Spondylolisthesis is a forward sliding of a vertebra, typically in the low back. It is caused by a number of things including chronic poor posture and obesity. Congenital defects, osteopenia and osteoporosis can also make you more susceptible.

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What does grade 1 spondylolisthesis at the l4-5 level mean?

Up to 25%: Grade 1 means that the forward slippage of L4 is up to one quarter (25%) of the top of the L5 vertebra. So if the top of L5 front to back is 50 mm, the forward slip of L4 is more than zero and less than 12.5 mm.

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What are the best ways to treat spondylolisthesis?

What are the best ways to treat spondylolisthesis?

Exercises: Spondylolisthesis is often found on x-ray examination as an incidental findings. Just because it is there, does not mean that it is the cause of your symptoms. When is established that this is the cause of your symptoms, then exercises, bracing and nsaids such as tylenol, (acetaminophen) advil and Aleve make help. If not prescription pain medication may be prescribed. If all fail then surgical intervention.

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How are spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis typically treated?

Depends!: Unless symptoms are severe, most can be treated by core strengthening exercises, medications. Surgery can help if simple measures fail and pain interferes with normal activities.

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What kind of treatments are there for spondylolisthesis?!?

Majority non op: Common types: congenital which occurs in 6% of the population & is treated without surgery 90% of the time with occasional use of otc medication, bracing & activity modification along with core strengthening exercises, flexibilty routines & cardio ones-other common type is the acquired usually seen in females over 50 with 70% getting same treatment. Surgery is a fusion +- laminectomy for both.

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Spondylolisthesis -- is there a cure?

Spondylolisthesis -- is there a cure?

No: It is due to degeneration of disc and joints, occasionally from a type of fracture. Surgery can be used to correct it, but usually exercise, weight control and otc medication can control symptoms without anything more drastic needing to be done.

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What other treatment options are open for spondylolisthesis?

Many: Spondylolisthesis is the slipping of 1 vertebral body on the other. This is not always painful. When it is, it can often be treated like any other form of back pain with exercise, nonnarcotic pain medication, and bracing. When the slippage results in the pinching of a nearby nerve, surgery usually with fusion of the bones may be helpful.

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Lumbar retrolisthesis vs spondylolisthesis. What are the mechanics? How does it happen? Can a fall cause it? Does it cause back pain?

Lumbar retrolisthesis vs spondylolisthesis. What are the mechanics? How does it happen? Can a fall cause it? Does it cause back pain?

Typically a: Retrolisthesis is due to degenerative changes leading to this instability pattern. A spondylolisthesis can occur by the same mechanism or by trauma or genetic in nature. Since there are abnormal mechanics leading to this, they remain abnormal and can lead to pain in back or even radicular symptoms due to nerve irritation, development of spinal or foramenal stenosis or possibly disc herniation.

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What pregnancy risks does spondylolisthesis pose?

None: There is usually no risk other than possibly some increased risk of some back pain during the pregnancy.

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What prevents spondylolisthesis from getting worse?

These rarely: Progress if the isthmic or congenital type with less than 1% progressing in adulthood. They can progress during youth. The acquired or degenerative type can progress but rarely past grade 2. Weight control, not smoking and regular exercise including core strengthening is important in terms of symptom control.

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What causes spondylolisthesis?

Spondylolisthesis: Spondylolisthesis is the slippage of one vertebrae over another. Causes can be degenerative arthritis, trauma/fracture, congenital, or stress fracture of the pars intraarticularis which is often caused by sports involving hyperextension of the back.

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What causes spondylolisthesis?

Bad back: Spondylolisthesis is a forward sliding of a vertebra, typically in the low back. It is caused by a number of things including chronic poor posture and obesity. Congenital defects, osteopenia and osteoporosis can also make you more susceptible.

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Anyone diagnosed spondylolisthesis?

What is the question: Spondylolithesis is diagnosed by flexion and extension xrays but may also be picked up on mri.

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