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Spondylolisthesis

Symptoms

Spondylolisthesis may result in back or neck pain, but extremities can be involved if the spinal cord or nerve roots are compressed or irritated. Commonly, patients will complain of muscles spasms, thigh and/or buttock pain, and/or tight hamstrings.

Description

Spondylolisthesis occurs when one vertebral body slides forward relative to the one below it. It can be congenital (present at birth) or develop in adolescence or adulthood. The disorder may result from the physical stresses to the spine from physical activity, trauma, and general wear and tear.

Treatments for Spondylolisthesis

Treatment varies with severity of the spondylolisthesis. Most patients require only physical therapy combined with activity modification. If pain is arising from nerve root irritation, epidural steroid injection may be considered. For cases with severe pain not responding to therapy, if the slip is severe or there are neurologic changes, the slipping vertebra might be surgically fused to the vertebra below it.

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