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Spondylolisthesis

Spondylolisthesis occurs when one vertebra in your back slips forward or backward in relation to the vertebrae surrounding it. Once the vertebra slips, it can cause the bone to press on a nerve and result in pain. It can also lead to other spinal issues, such as spinal stenosis (the narrowing of the spinal canal).

What are the symptoms?

Some people have spondylolisthesis and experience no symptoms. Others experience pain similar to that of a muscle strain in the lower back. Leg pain, numbness, weakness, and muscle spasms in the back of the thighs are also symptoms of spondylolisthesis. The condition can also cause you to experience decreased range of motion in your back. The loss of mobility can eventually lead to loss of bone density over time, especially without treatment.

What are the causes of spondylolisthesis?

Spondylolisthesis is sometimes present at birth. It can also occur due to aging and general wear and tear on your spine. Tumors and spinal injuries can also cause spondylolisthesis.

How is it treated?

Pain from spondylolisthesis can be improved with epidural injections, which involve the placement of medication directly in the fluid surrounding the spine, which reduce inflammation and eases pain. Another option is spinal fusion surgery, in which a piece of bone is transplanted with the goal of fusing the spine together for stability.