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Spondylolisthesis is the displacement of a vertebral disc from the spinal column. Outward (forward) movement is termed as anterolisthesis, and inward (backward) displacement is termed as retrolisthesis. This condition is often preceded by spondylolysis, a degenerative disease of the vertebra.



  • Lower back pain.
  • Stiffness in the back and tightening of the hamstring muscles from spasms.
  • Pain in the thighs and buttocks.
  • Decreased range of motion of the lower back.
  • Pain and weakness of the legs or numbness because of nerve compression.
  • Loss of control of bowel or bladder function by severe nerve compression.
  • Increase in lordosis curve also called swayback.
  • Kyphosis (round back).



Treatment for spondylolisthesis is based on the diagnosis made by collecting medical & family history, physical examination, and radiographic scans. During the diagnosis, also the severity of displacement is assessed which is expressed as grade I to IV. In mild conditions and for symptomatic relief, conservative treatments including medications, bracing and physical therapy are recommended. In severe cases, surgical correction with decompression laminectomy followed by spinal fusion is recommended. The procedure involves removal of a portion of vertebra compressing the nerves and other vertebra followed by removal of a disc between the vertebrae and fusion of adjacent vertebrae. Fusion surgery is performed to confer stability to the spine. Following the surgery, your surgeon recommends physical therapy and rehabilitation programs to regain strength to the surrounding bones & muscles as well as to make you active soon.

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