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Introduction to Spondylolisthesis

Spondylolisthesis is a condition in which a vertebra is displaced forward of the one below it in the spine. This problem can cause both back pain and leg symptoms.

Symptoms of a Spondylolisthesis

SpondylolisthesisThere are different causes of spondylolisthesis. The congenital form (being born with abnormalities which contribute to the displacement) is a rare cause. Other causes include trauma (sudden falls, accidents, etc.), degenerative changes in the spine (like arthritis), or destruction by tumors.

Spondylolisthesis is characterized by the percentage of displacement of one vertebra over another). Displacement of over 50% is considered high grade.

Treatment Options for Spondylolisthesis

The treatment of spondylolisthesis is usually non-surgical. Physical therapy to strengthen the back and abdominal muscles is the primary mode of treatment. Medication such as NSAIDS (aspirin, Aleve, etc.), steroids or narcotics can help with the pain and inflammation. Epidural injections can also be effective, especially with leg symptoms. Surgical treatment becomes necessary when conservative management fails. Surgery is especially effective for patients with leg symptoms.

Latest news

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The Spine Institute is often in the news pioneering new treatments to help the reported 34 million Americans 18 years and older who suffer lower back pain, and another 9 million who suffer neck pain. Watch the news coverage here.



Dr. Hyun Bae is the first U.S. surgeon to test a new synthetic gel called the NuCore injectable nucleus. It's injected directly into the natural cushion of the disc.