Spondylolisthesis occurs when one of the bones in your spine slips forward. It may occur anywhere in the spine but most commonly occurs in the lower back. The two most common types of spondylolisthesis are degenerative spondylolisthesis and lytic spondylolisthesis.
Spondylolytic spondylolisthesis occurs when one of the vertebrae in the spine slips forward as a result of a break. This most often occurs in the lumbar area of the spine. The fracture most often occurs during adolescence and goes unnoticed until adulthood. Most patients do not experience symptoms with this type of spondylolisthesis and are often surprised an x-ray shows signs of slippage. Patients typically visit the doctor with low back pain or leg pain.
Diagnosis is made upon examination of the back while imaging tests can be used to confirm diagnosis.
Degenerative Spondylolisthesis Learn more about possible treatment options for Degenerative Spondylolisthesis.
As we age and the spine begins to dry out and weaken, the discs in the spine can lose height, become stiff, and begin to bulge. As arthritis develops, it weakens the joints and ligaments that hold the vertebrae in place. The discs can become loose and move forward as a result. This slippage can also narrow the canal and cause spinal stenosis, a common problem in patients with degenerative spondylolisthesis. Symptoms include leg and/or lower back pain. Patients have described weakness in the legs associated with prolonged standing or walking.