Spondylolistheis

Spondylolistheis (stress fracture)

What is it?

Spondylolisthesis occurs when a vertebra in the lower spine slips forward and onto a bone below it.

Causes, Symptoms and Risk Factors

Spondylolisthesis can affect people of any age. Causes include:

  • Birth defects
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Fractures or other injury

Symptoms of spondylolisthesis may include:

  • Pain in the lower back, buttocks or thighs
  • Muscle tightness
  • Back stiffness
  • Tenderness
  • A feeling of weakness in the legs

People at particular risk:

  • Are children with birth defects or are older people experiencing deterioration in the spine resulting from normal wear and tear
  • Play contact sports or participate in extreme sports
  • Do work or other physical activities that put strain on the spine
  • Have had a spinal injury

Tests

A doctor will diagnose spondylolisthesis by performing a physical examination, reviewing symptoms and medical history, and conducting imaging test, such as X-rays, an MRI or CT scans. 

Treatments 

Treatment for spondylolisthesis includes:

  • Undergoing physical therapy
  • Modifying lifestyle and activities
  • Wearing a back brace
If the pain does not subside, the doctor may recommend surgery to fuse the disc and prevent it from slipping.

Have Questions?

Call St. Luke's
Orthopaedic Specialists

Allentown,
Bethlehem,
Easton,
Wind Gap:
484-526-1735

Tamaqua:
570-645-1835

Phillipsburg:
908-859-8884

Quakertown:
267-424-8850

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