Spondylolisthesis is a condition that occurs when one vertebral body slips or subluxes over another.  This condition is most commonly seen in the lumbar spine or lower back but can also occur at other levels.  Causes for spondylolisthesis include degenerative changes, traumatic injury, congenitally acquired or spondylolysis (failure of the neural arch manifesting as a defect in the pars interarticularis).  The severity of spondylolisthesis can be mild or severe depending on the degree of subluxation of one vertebral body over another.

Symptoms of Spondylolisthesis

Some patients with spondylolisthesis may experience no symptoms at all.  Others may experience pain, tightness, or stiffness of the muscles of the neck or back depending on the level of the subluxation.  Spondylolisthesis can also lead to spinal stenosis, foraminal stenosis, disc protrusion, disc bulge, disc herniation, or degenerative disc disease.  All of these conditions can place pressure upon the nerve roots or spinal cord.  When this happens, the patient may experience pain, numbness, or weakness involving the arms or legs, gait disturbances, bowel and/or bladder dysfunction, or other symptoms.  Since spondylolisthesis is a form of spinal instability, symptoms may worsen with increased activity or weight bearing.

Treatment for Spondylolisthesis

When symptoms are not alleviated by conservative management such as bed rest, pain medication, bracing, traction, chiropractic care, or physical therapy, surgical intervention may be required.  Surgical efforts usually aim to stabilize the level of spinal subluxation.  Often, this can be accomplished using minimally invasive surgery techniques.  In other cases, decompression of the nerve roots or spinal cord may also be necessary and require an open surgical procedure.  Spinal stabilization generally requires the use of internal stabilizing hardware to promote bony fusion.

At Princeton Neurological Surgery, Dr. Lipani is a board certified fellowship trained spine surgeon in New Jersey who performs minimally invasive spine surgery as well as complex spinal procedures. Dr. Lipani is a specialist in the treatment for spondylolisthesis, spinal instability and many other spinal conditions such as spinal stenosis, herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, low back pain, neck pain, spinal tumors, spinal cancer and more. Dr. Lipani treats patients from around the world, New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey including locally from Princeton, New Brunswick, Hopewell, Pennington and communities throughout Somerset, Middlesex, Ocean, Burlington, Monmouth and Mercer Counties for spondylolisthesis. Dr. Lipani offers image guided spine surgery approaches for spondylolisthesis treatment, tailored to the needs of each patient. For state-of-the-art spondylolisthesis treatment, call or email us to schedule a consultation at our offices in Hamilton, New Jersey or Bridgewater, New Jersey!

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