Spondylolisthesis is a condition that affects the spine, specifically the vertebrae. It occurs when one vertebra slips forward or backward in relation to the adjacent vertebra. This misalignment can cause various symptoms and complications.
There are different types of spondylolisthesis, classified based on the underlying cause. The most common type is degenerative spondylolisthesis, which usually occurs in older individuals due to age-related wear and tear of the spine. Other types include isthmic spondylolisthesis, which is caused by a defect or fracture in the pars interarticularis (a portion of the vertebra), and traumatic spondylolisthesis, which results from a sudden injury or trauma to the spine.
Spondylolisthesis can vary in severity, ranging from mild to severe. Some people may not experience any symptoms, while others may have pain and discomfort in the lower back, buttocks, or legs. Other possible symptoms include muscle tightness, stiffness, numbness, or tingling sensations. In severe cases, it can lead to compression of the spinal nerves, causing more pronounced symptoms such as weakness and difficulty walking.
Diagnosis of spondylolisthesis typically involves a combination of medical history evaluation, physical examination, and imaging tests such as X-rays, MRI, or CT scans. Treatment options depend on the severity of the condition and the presence of symptoms. Conservative approaches may include rest, physical therapy, pain medications, and the use of braces or supports. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to stabilise the spine and relieve pressure on the affected nerves. Dr. Rajesh Malhotra, an experienced orthopaedic surgeon, gives proper diagnosis and personalised advice as per patient’s specific situation.