What Is Spondylolisthesis?
Spondylolisthesis is where one of the bones in your spine slides forward, distorting the shape of your spine.
This is problematic because this new shape can compress the nerves in your spinal canal, causing pain and immobility.
While this is typically seen in older patients, it can also be triggered by injury or illness – like degenerative disc disease.
What Causes Spondylolisthesis?
A range of things can cause spondylolisthesis, from the normal bodily wear and tear that comes with age, to bone disease and injury.
Alongside that, the risk of this kind of condition can be increased by certain recreational activities like gymnastics, weightlifting, and football – or heavy lifting in the workplace.
What Are The Symptoms of Spondylolisthesis?
Depending on the severity of your condition, the symptoms experienced can vary. Some of the most common felt are:
- Muscle spasms in the thighs
- Difficulty walking or standing for long periods
- Pain when bending over
- Numbness, weakness, or tingling in the foot
What Are My Treatment Options For Spondylolisthesis?
There are various treatment options for spondylolisthesis, depending on the severity of your symptoms.
If possible, your doctor may consider non-surgical treatments first, such as physical therapy or non-surgical decompression. But in some cases, surgery is required. The most common types of surgery used to treat spondylolisthesis are:
- Laminectomy – this is removing the part of the bone causing the compression on the nerves
- Spinal fusion – this is fusing the vertebrae together to stabilize the affected area.
Frequently Asked Questions About Spondylolisthesis
1. Is spondylolisthesis a serious condition?
Yes and no. It will impact your life without treatment, but it is not dangerous or fatal.
2. What happens if spondylolisthesis is left untreated?
Without treatment, the chronic pain caused by the nerve compression will persist, but nerve damage can also become permanent which can lead to leg paralysis. In some severe cases, it can even cause an infection of the spine.