The Displaced Resulting Spondylolysis

Symptoms and diagnosis for Spondylolisthesis

By Neurosurgery Singapore

Spondylolisthesis Main

What is Spondylolisthesis?

Spondylolisthesis is a spinal condition that affects the spinal bones. This disease causes one of the lower vertebrae to slip forward onto the bone directly beneath it. As a result, it’s a painful condition but treatable in most cases. Both therapeutic and surgical methods may be used. Proper exercise techniques can help you avoid this condition.

Due to the varying degrees and causes of the misalignment, spondylolisthesis is broken down into types and grades. The six main types are based on the cause of the spondylolisthesis.

1) In some cases, people are born with spondylolisthesis. A child may also develop the condition naturally during his or her developmental years. In both cases of Type I spondylolisthesis, a child may not experience any symptoms or problems until later in life.

2) In Type II, the most common type, there is a problem with a section of the vertebra called the pars interarticularis. The fractures from Type II only become spondylolisthesis if they cause the vertebra to slip forward.

3) Type III is associated with aging and the natural wear and tear on a person’s body.

4) For Type IV is a fracture that occurs anywhere in a vertebra except in the pars interarticularis region.

5) Type V involves tumors on the vertebrae that push on the bones and cause weakness.

6) Finally, Type VI is an uncommon spondylolisthesis caused by weakening of the back due to surgery.

What are some symptoms of Spondylolisthesis?

The symptoms of spondylolisthesis vary. People with mild cases may not have any symptoms. However, those with severe cases may be unable to perform daily activities. Some of the most common symptoms are:

  • persistent lower back pain
  • stiffness in your back and legs
  • lower back tenderness
  • thigh pain
  • tight hamstring and buttock muscles

“There are 5 different grades of spondylolisthesis and the higher the grade the increased risk of neurologic symptoms. Most people can manage their spondylolisthesis with a combination of therapies and medication.”

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What types of diagnosis?

If you have spondylolisthesis, you may have difficulty raising your leg straight outward during simple exercises. X-rays of your lower spine are crucial for determining whether a vertebra is out of place. In addition, our Specialist may also look for any possible bone fractures on the X-ray images.

Our Spine Specialist may order a more detailed CT scan if the misplaced bone is pressing on your nerves.

Possible treatment methods?

The treatment for spondylolisthesis depends on your severity of pain and vertebra slippage. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that you understand the cause of your symptoms before embarking on a treatment program. If you are unsure of your diagnosis, or the severity of your condition, you should seek medical advice before beginning any treatment. Nonsurgical treatments can help ease pain and encourage the bone to go back into place. Therefore it’s important to avoid contact sports during the healing process.

Common nonsurgical treatment methods include:

  • wearing a back brace
  • doing physical therapy exercises
  • prescription of anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce pain
  • using epidural steroid injections

We recommend trying nonsurgical treatments first. However, adults suffering from severe cases of spondylolisthesis may need to have a surgery called a spinal fusion.

Surgical correction of the misplaced vertebra is required when the bone has slipped so far down that your spine doesn’t respond to nonsurgical therapies. Surgery is also required if the bones of your spine are pressing on your nerves.

Our Specialist will work to stabilize your spine by using a bone graft and metal rods. They may insert an internal brace to help support the vertebra while it heals.

After the spinal fusion is complete, it will take four to eight months for the bones to fully fuse together. The success rate of the surgery is very high.

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