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What is spondylolisthesis?

Dr. Langston T. Holly, MD
Neurosurgeon

Spondylolisthesis occurs when one segment of the spine is slipped forward on the segment immediately above or below it. This is in contrast to the normal spinal orientation in which each segment is aligned with the segment above and below. Spondylolisthesis can be caused by degenerative disc disease, trauma, a birth abnormality, or result from previous surgery. Many patients with minimal or mild spondylolisthesis are without symptoms. As the spondylolisthesis progresses, patients can develop back or leg pain, as well as symptoms in their extremities. Many patients with this condition can be treated non-operatively, but some may need surgery.

Dr. Don Y. Park, MD
Orthopedic Surgeon

Spondylolisthesis is a slippage of the vertebral body, typically forward. This is associated with arthritis of the spine and degeneration of the disc with instability of the disc space, as well as the spine.

Spondylolisthesis is often associated with lumbar stenosis, as well as degenerative scoliosis.

Spondylolisthesis is a condition in which the small joints that connect two vertebrae together fracture and allows one vertebrae to move anteriorly (forward) in relation to the other spinal segments. This is commonly caused by stress from repetitive or forceful lumbar extension (such as with weight lifting, gymnastics and football).

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.