Facts and Tips about Spondylolisthesis
- Spondylolisthesis is easier to understand if you separate the word into 2 parts. Spondylo means spine and listhesis means slippage. Put it back together and spondylolisthesis means one vertebral body slips forward over the one beneath.
- Spondylolisthesis is a common cause of back pain in teenagers. Sometimes symptoms develop during a growth spurt.
- The severity of a spondylolisthesis is graded on a scale from 1 to 5. Grade 1 is a forward slip between 1% to 25%, and grade 5 is a forward slip between 76% to 100%.
- Although an ordinary x-ray can detect a spondylolisthesis, an MRI is needed to view involvement of spinal nerves. Spinal nerve compression can cause pain and other symptoms.
- Most patients with a spondylolisthesis lead full lives. However, chronic pain related to a spondylolisthesis can result in inactivity. Inactivity increases the risk for weight gain, loss of bone mineral density, and muscle strength. Proper care by a spine specialist is suggested.
- It may not be possible to prevent a spondylolisthesis, but eating right, maintaining normal body weight, and regular strengthening exercises are always healthy choices.
Updated on: 09/15/15
Exams and Tests for Spondylolisthesis