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Spondylolisthesis - Types, Symptoms & Treatment Of It!

Written and reviewed by
MS - Orthopaedics, MBBS
Orthopedic Doctor, Nashik  •  11years experience
Spondylolisthesis - Types, Symptoms & Treatment Of It!

Lower back pain is a common condition that afflicts most adults at some point in their life. While in most cases, lifestyle is to blame for the pain, low back pain is also indicative of certain serious disease. Spondylolisthesis is one such condition.

What is spondylolisthesis?

Spondylolisthesis is a medical condition where one of the bones from the spine shifts from its normal place and slips in place of the vertebrae below it. The displaced bone sometimes presses on a nerve, which can result in severe pain. The condition affects the lower back.

Here is a look at the types of spondylolisthesis:

• Congenital spondylolisthesis - This type of spondylolisthesis is present at birth. Children are often born with bone structure disorders, which can lead to the dislocation of the vertebrae.

• Isthmic spondylolisthesis - The disorder occurs due to small stress fractures at various parts of the vertebrae. Due to these fractures, the bone becomes weak and thus slips out of place.

• Degenerative spondylolisthesis - This the most common form of the disease and occurs due to the weakness of the bones with age.

Apart from these common types of spondylolisthesis, people may also experience other types of disorders, such as traumatic, pathological and post-surgical spondylolisthesis.

Symptoms of spondylolisthesis:

Most people suffering from spondylolisthesis are not even aware of the disease. The most common symptom of the disease is lower back pain. However, this low back pain is often misconstrued as muscle strain.
The disorder can also cause muscle spasms in the hamstring, which will cause difficulty in walking. The posture during the walk may also be affected as a result.

Treatment for spondylolisthesis:

Treatment varies from one person to the next. Doctors will need to take a number of factors into account before determining the best procedure to follow. Here are some common treatments for spondylolisthesis-

• NSAIDs - Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs help deal with the pain and discomfort from the disorder. However, these do not rectify the problem and are only used for the management of the symptoms.

• Physical therapy - Physical therapy is the most common form of treatment. It helps strengthen the abdominal muscles and reduces the movement of spinal bones. Doctors will recommend around 8-12 weeks of daily physical therapy to treat the condition.

Surgery - Surgery is necessary only if all other forms of treatment have failed to show the desired result. Furthermore, surgery is recommended only when the pain and discomfort caused by the disorder are interfering with daily life.

If you suffer from lower back pain and experience difficulty walking, you may be affected by spondylolisthesis. Visit your doctor to get a diagnosis and start treatment.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult a specialist & get answers to your questions!
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