How do physicians read a MRI of the spine spondylolisthesis?

It Depends. In a patient with spondylolisthesis (forward slippage of one vertebra on the one below), an MRI is most helpful in evaluating the extent of spinal stenosis caused by this misalignment of the vertebra.
Just like reading or. Interpreting a regular x-ray as there is a shifting of one vertebra on top of the other (spondy=spine & listhesis=slip). However, a MRI most often is done lying done so some subtle slips may not be identified unless done in a standing or flexed position, especially the acquired or degenerative types. Lying down may allow the bones to be more aligned or reduced. Mri can reveal any stenosis & hnp.