Spondylolisthesis happens when one of the spine’s vertebrae slides out of place. This vertebra has often slipped forward over the vertebra just below it. Spondylolisthesis is most frequent in the lower back and affects teenagers and adults the most.

3 Types of Spondylolisthesis 

1. Congenital 

  • And this happens when a baby’s spine does not develop properly before delivery. The displaced vertebrae increase the likelihood of slippage later in life.

2. Isthmic 

  • And this is the outcome of spondylolysis. The bone is weakened by a crack or fracture.

3. Degenerative 

  • And this is the most prevalent form and is caused by aging. The disks that cushion the vertebrae lose water with time. The disks are more likely to fall out of position as they thin.

Other Types

  • Traumatic – This occurs when vertebrae slide as a result of an injury.
  • Pathological – This happens when a disease or tumor, such as osteoporosis, causes the condition.
  • Post-Surgical – It is slippage caused by spinal surgery.

Symptoms of Spondylolisthesis 

A person may have had Spondylolisthesis since birth and has never been aware of it. However, it is usual for a person to acquire symptoms as they age.

Among the most prevalent symptoms are:

  • walking or running difficulties
  • lower back or buttocks discomfort
  • back discomfort that spreads down one or both legs
  • one or both legs are weak
  • lower back and leg discomfort exacerbated by activity or twisting
  • hamstring strain
  • thigh pain

In more severe cases, symptoms might range from non-existent to a lack of urinary and bowel movement control.

Common Causes of Spondylolisthesis

Spondylolisthesis causes vary according to age, inheritance, and lifestyle. This disorder can affect children as a result of a congenital abnormality or injury. However, if the illness runs in the family, persons of all ages are at risk. Rapid development during adolescence may also have a role.

Typical reasons include:

  • Fractures
  • Joint injury
  • Degeneration
  • Birth defect
  • Spondylolysis 
  • Tumors
  • Surgery

Also, Sports may cause the strain to overstretch, putting tension on the lower back. The following sports are particularly prone to causing this condition:

  • football
  • gymnastics
  • track and field
  • weightlifting

Knowing the etiology might assist a doctor to establish the type of spondylolisthesis a person has, and can provide the appropriate treatment for them.

The Low-Grade & High-Grade Spondylolisthesis

Spondylolisthesis is graded because of the varying degrees and reasons for the misalignment, allowing the healthcare professional to identify its severity:

  • Low-Grade (Grade I & II)Typically, this grade does not necessitate surgery. Adolescents with isthmic spondylolisthesis and practically all cases of degenerative spondylolisthesis have low-grade cases.
  • High-Grade (Grade III & IV)If you’re in so much pain, this grade may necessitate surgery.

Typical Treatments for Spondylolisthesis

The treatment for Spondylolisthesis is determined by the intensity of your discomfort and vertebral slippage. Nonsurgical therapies can help relieve pain and enable the bone to heal. During the healing period, it is critical to avoid contact sports.

  • Rest Take a vacation from physically demanding hobbies and sports.
  • Medication Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can provide relief.
  • Injections Steroid drugs are injected directly into the afflicted region.
  • Bracing A brace can aid in the stabilization of your spine. The brace restricts mobility to allow fractures to heal. Adults do not wear braces.
  • Physical Therapy A physical therapist can give you specific exercises to strengthen your stomach and back. After a few weeks, daily activities can typically reduce discomfort.

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