Spondylolisthesis is the destabilization of the spinal vertebrae. This condition occurs when a vertebra in the spine slips forward out of its proper position and onto the bone below it. Spondylolisthesis can be caused by several factors, including disease and injury.
One of the most common symptoms is back pain that can radiate down to the buttock area and one or both legs. Other symptoms include stiffness and numbness, as well as hamstring tightness or weakness in one or both legs. Sufferers may also experience tenderness around the area of the slipped vertebra, though some people with spondylolisthesis may experience no symptoms at all.
Different types and causes of spondylolisthesis include:
- Congenital spondylolisthesis – A condition that a person is born with, congenital spondylolisthesis is caused by a defect in the formation of a section of the vertebra called the facet. This defect that allows the vertebra to slip forward.
- Degenerative spondylolisthesis – Aging plays a factor in the development of spondylolisthesis, since spinal discs begin to flatten out and wear down as we age, making it harder to effectively cushion joints. This can cause the facet joints to become eroded down and/or slide out of place, allowing the vertebrae to move slightly forward.
- Isthmic spondylolisthesis – This form of spondylolisthesis occurs as the result of spondylolysis, a defect that leads to small stress fractures in the vertebrae. When these fractures are severe enough to weaken the bone, it can cause the vertebra to slip out of place.
- Pathologic spondylolisthesis – Pathologic spondylolisthesis occurs when there is damage to the spinal vertebrae resulting from the spine being weakened by disease. Examples of such diseases include tuberculosis, tumors, infection and metabolic bone disease.
- Post-surgical spondylolisthesis – This condition occurs when the vertebra slippage becomes worse and begins to protrude even more following spinal surgery.
- Traumatic spondylolisthesis – This form of spondylolisthesis is usually caused by a major trauma, such as a fall from a significant height, which results in a spinal fracture or slippage.
Spondylolisthesis Treatment in the Greater Princeton Area
If you have any questions about how to prevent or treat spondylolisthesis, contact us today to schedule an appointment. Our offices are located in Hamilton, NJ, serving the greater Princeton area, and you can reach us at (609) 890-3400. We look forward to serving you.