Traumatic Spondylolisthesis

January 25th, 2011

Spondolylolithesis can be defined in the simplest way as a medical condition relating to the slippage of the spine, usually anterior (forward) displacement of a vertebra in relation to the vertebrae below. The term Spondolylothesis refers to the condition of a back disorder or spinal instability caused by this slippage. This can lead to a gradual deformity of the lower spine and also a narrowing of the spinal canal that could compress the nerve roots causing pain in the lumbar spine (lower back).

The degree of slippage determines the type of Spondolylolithesis that a patient has and its severity. There are five slip grades of Spondolylolithesis: Grade 1 is < 25%, Grade 2 is 25-50%, Grade 3 is 50-70%, Grade 4 is 75-100% and Grade 5 is the complete dislocation of the spine (spondyloptosis). Grade one is usually the least advanced, and grade 5 is the most advanced form of Spondylolisthesis.

There are a number of causes of Spondolylolithesis that indicates the type of Spondolylolithesis that exists in a patient. The five major types of Spondolylolithesis are Dysplastic or Congenital Spondolylolithesis, Isthmic Spondolylolithesis, Degenerative Spondolylolithesis, Traumatic Spondolylolithesis and Pathological Spondolylolithesis.

Children are also susceptible to having Spondolylolithesis commonly Dysplastic or Congenital (inborn defect of the bone of the spine) and Isthmic Spondolylolithesis (relating to a defect in the par interarticularis, part of the vertebrae that connects the upper and lower facet joints). It is possible that the pars defect would be present without any slippage referred to as spondylolsis. The majority of cases when this type of Spondolylolithesis condition is detected is when a fracture or injury is caused to this part of the vertebrae from repetitive micro fractures from performing certain sports activities such as running, gymnastics, football, weight lifting and or diving.

Adults usually suffer from Degenerative Spondolylolithesis which is the most common form of Spondolylolithesis as it occurs due to aging and the general wear and tear of the tissues, bones, muscles and ligaments in our back or from a rare underlying disease such as arthiritis, osteoporosis, or a tumor or cancer of the spine.

The most severe case of Spondolylolithesis usually occurs due to some major accident, or direct trauma or injury to the spine that results in complete dislocation of the spine leading to Traumatic Spondolylolithesis. The fracture would be associated with the posterior elements such as the pedicle, lamina or facets, other than the pars interarticularis, that allows the front portion of the vertebrae to slip forward in relation to the back portion of the vertebrae to a very high degree (Grade 4 or 5). Traumatic Spondolylolithesis can also occur due to a complication after spinal surgery, in particular a laminectomy or decompression of the spine, however this is very rare.

Surgery would be the only advisable treatment for Traumatic Spondolylolithesis as the back is completely unstable unlike in the other types of Spondolylolithesis. Treatment in order to stabilize the back may include the use of braces in order to help the patient walk, and surgical treatments such as lumbar decompression accompanied by spinal fusion using spinal instrumentation (implants, screws, to help aid the healing process). Surgery can be performed from the posterior (back of the spine) or from the anterior side (front of the spine). Once the surgery is successfully performed the patient may experience pain that may be reoccurring for which doctor’s would recommend taking pain relievers and anti-inflammation medications. Also the patient after having gone through the surgery will have to alter his or her activities so as to not put any pressure on the spine and to avoid further injury.

Acquired Spondylolisthesis

January 22nd, 2011

When a healthy person starts feeling pain in back and complains about lower back stress then it is said that he has acquired a back pain disorder due to his constant back forcing activities. The disorder could be of any type, be it a displacement of vertebrae or forward and backward movement of them. If in such condition the vertebrae are moved forward or backward in the spine then the person is said to have an Acquired Spondylolisthesis.

Acquired Spondylolisthesis can be of many reasons. Two of them could either be carrying of lots of stress on the back, as in lifting heavy objects; or it can be due to any such of sports activity which can cause pain in the back bone. A repeated and constant force applied to the backbone tends to cause acquired spondylolisthesis which can result into serious and severe condition of spondylolisthesis as well.

The symptoms for spondylolisthesis are certainly pain in back and particularly the lower part of the back near to buttocks and the thighs. Sometimes inflammation is also complained by the sufferer in the muscles and tissues connected to the spine. This is because of movement of the vertebrae in the vertebral column loosen the attachment of tissues that are fused with them and cause extreme pain and inflammation.

Acquired spondylolisthesis can be cured and treated with the help of exercises, massages and pain killers. However pain killers provide temporary relief from the pain to the patient and also containing many effects that are explored later in the body but exercises are the best way to comfort the pain and bring the displaced vertebrae back to their positions. These exercises are suggested by the best physiotherapists that are acted and performed in particular postures by the patients to attain the actual and required movement of the vertebrae, so that they can be positioned actually and originally.

Causes and Treatment of Degenerative Spondylolisthesis

January 22nd, 2011

Spondylolisthesis is term that comes out from two of the Greek words, “spondylo” which means “spine” and “listhesis” meaning to slide or to slip. As the term indicates that Spondylolisthesis is a condition in which one of the vertebra slips over the other vertebra. Due to aging, many degenerative changes occur in the human body, especially in the bone ligaments, tissues and joints. Similarly, such changes also occur in the human spine as it is a constructed network of small bones. When these degenerative changes fail to hold the position of the bones and make them slide over one another, such condition is termed as the “Degenerative Spondylolisthesis”.

When we study about Degenerative Spondylolisthesis and take a look at the history of the disease we try to discover the cause behind the condition. As the literal definition of the disease arises up in the mind it explains all in a prescribed manner. The name itself indicates that the cause of such kind of spondylolisthesis is the degeneration of the bone pars, ligaments and joints.

These changes occur in the body as the person grows old; therefore old aged people are most likely to suffer from this disease. This disease is commonly seen in women, aging above 60.

As soon as the patient discovers the disease in his/her body, he/she is primarily advised to see a doctor or a physiotherapist. The preferable prescription by the doctors is always a non-operative treatment of the disease, which means treating the disease without any surgery and just by the help of external means. This may also include oral method i.e. taking of medicines such as pain killers.

Moreover injections and application of medicated analgesics and ointments also result in a better way of treatment. Whereas, exercises are always the best cure for back pain, but due to age factor some patients find difficult to perform exercise and thus doctors go for other options in that case. If the condition has become a worst one and none of the non-operative measures provide relief to the patient, perhaps a surgery might be carried out for cure then.

Cervical Spondylolisthesis

January 21st, 2011

Cervical Spondylolisthesis refers to the forward displacement of vertebrae in the cervical spine. The cervical spine is the first section of the vertebral column right after the head. This section has 7 little bones from C1 till C7. When any one of them slips or slides over another then the person suffers from the Cervical Spondylolisthesis.

Similar to Lumbar Spondylolisthesis, Cervical Spondylolisthesis can be a result of many reasons. Commonly a neck injury or arthritis is has been found as the reason of cervical spondylolisthesis. The cervical spine is situated in the neck region therefore any injury that occurs in the neck might affect the cervical vertebrae. Such kind of spondylolisthesis is categorized in Pathologic Spondylolisthesis.

Sometimes this condition is also present in a person from the time of his/her birth. This is regarded as congenital condition and is categorized in the Dysplastic Spondylolisthesis. Dysplasia is a condition in which the abnormal positioning of the cells occurs. This condition happens during the cell formation. In regard of spondylolisthesis, due to dysplasia when vertebrae are displaced or not positioned in proper order then the person when grows old suffers from the disease.

The obvious symptoms of Cervical Spondylolisthesis are pain in neck, pain in upper portion of back, uncomfortable nodding movements etc. When these problems happen with the person, he/she tends to have a Cervical Spondylolisthesis. As soon as the disease is discovered in the body the first thing that is prescribed by the doctor is the neck exercises. The exercises is the most effective treatment of neck pain and gradually also becomes the cure for the pain.

Other treatments also do well for Cervical Spondylolisthesis such as medicated ointments and oral pain killers. These medicines also help in providing relief to the patient and give a long lasting effect as well. However surgery is opted as the last resort when all other methods fail to cure the problem.

Surgery for Spondylolisthesis

January 21st, 2011

Surgery for Spondylolisthesis is an extremely severe and persistent idea for highly slipped vertebral condition. This measure is taken when the slippage of the vertebrae reaches to an advanced level and none of the non-operative treatments show positive change results to the condition of the disease. In such case doctors go for the surgical approach and give out a treatment of the disease.

Surgery for spondylolisthesis can be in two ways either Spinal Fusion or Bracing. Spinal Fusion is a technique in which those vertebrae of the spine which are displaced from their original positions are brought and fused back to their actual positions to hold the spine straight and framed absolutely.

The other option that may be performed to hold the vertebral column straight in frame is installing a Spine-Brace. Bracing of a spine is a method of inserting a brace over the spine that holds the spine at its position and prevents further or more slippage in the vertebral column of the vertebrae.

Before these surgeries have to be performed, there are several precautionary steps that are to be taken by the doctor as well as the patient. The patient is asked to have a prescribed diet before the operation so that the operation is not interrupted by any metabolic activity of the patient’s body. The doctors are supposed to use instruments with pure sterilization and the most careful part of the operation is the anesthesia providing step. For this purpose, an anesthetist is there to give a nap to the patient. A nurse is also present there to console the patient and answer to every of his worry and nervousness. Moreover he/she also assist the doctor in getting the instruments throughout the operation.

Though a surgery is the most invasive option for the cure of spondylolisthesis but is rarely chosen and had also been a positive idea in some of the cases. However this option has resulted in death or severe and worse outcomes of the condition of the patient. Therefore surgery is a great risk to be taken anyhow for the patient.

Spondylolisthesis Symptoms

January 19th, 2011

Spondylolisthesis is the condition where the vertebra or the vertebral panel of the spine shifts from its original position. The displacement can occur as a cause of an injury, excess stress, aging and in some cases by birth. The people involved in strenuous physical activities such as outdoor sports, gymnastics etc are quite vulnerable to the ailment. Even the young active kids might get this trouble due to some injury. However, the back injury occurred in childhood goes unnoticed until it shows up its effects in the adulthood.

The exact severity or even the correct diagnosis of the Spondylolisthesis is possible via X-Ray only. Also the spine MRI discloses the actual spine condition. However there are few symptoms which may direct the patient to the doctor’s door. These symptoms however are not directly related to the issue. If at all any person is suffering from any of these problems, he may or may not have Spondylolisthesis.

Common Symptoms

  1. Pain in back. If the person experiences severe pain in back after perform any vigorous physical exercise, and gets relieved after taking rest for a while, the are chances that he might be suffering from this ailment.
  2. Though back ache is quite very common. Every person, young or old, male or female, experiences this problem at some point of time. Many times you do not need any medication at all, some times by applying some pain relieving ointment you are able to get hold of the situation. However, if the pain I accompanied by stiffness as well, you must visit the doctor. Perhaps, the stiffness may be because of the sedentary lifestyle followed by most of us but even if it I due to Spondylolisthesis, you can cure it by following few exercises.
  3. In many cases of Spondylolisthesis, the nerves of the spine bare imminence pressure because of which the patient experiences tingling, crippling electric shock like pain travelling down the limbs. Thought the problem is at the spine, but it may cause a leg pain or the arm pain.
  4. Because of the spine nerves getting affected, the person may also feel numbness in the legs and feet.
  5. The leg muscle appears to be weaker than before.
  6. The patient might find difficulty in back arching.
  7. In children the condition may be diagnosed if they are unable to perform the hyper extending physical activities.

No symptom mentioned above is directly related to the Spondylolisthesis. In many cases, the patient did not complain of any of these symptoms and found out about the problem accidently! The condition is not harmful neither it is very serious. But that does not mean that you should take it lightly. You will indeed have to prevent the condition from getting worst. And for that you need to follow the instructions given by the doctor religiously. Even if you are not diagnosed with the issue, then also you should take a good care of your back. Exercise regularly, eat healthy and be fit for ever!

Spondylolisthesis Exercises

January 19th, 2011

Healthy living and good thinking are the two important keys to good health. By bringing a slight change in our life styles, we can avoid big troubles. Our body becomes potent enough to fight back many diseases, illnesses and ailments if we nourish it with proper food and keep it fit with appropriate exercising. With right exercise, we boost our stamina, keep the body in shape and push the illnesses at the bay. Spondylothithesis is one of the many ailments that can be taken care of via exercise also. If you are exercising regularly, you are less likely to fell a prey to this health problem. Even if you are diagnosed with the issue, you can keep it just under control by following apt exercising routine.
Here are mentioned few very effective exercises that help you to come out of this troublesome situation.

Yoga is an ancient way of exercising. Originated in the pious land of India millions of years ago, Yoga still fascinate the people all round the world with its amazing eternal health benefits. Yoga enhances the flexibility of the overall body and at the same time makes the body strong.

As spondylolisthesis results in stiffness of the lower back, Yoga is a beautiful way of resolving this health condition. While performing the Yoga postures, the person is require to regulate his breathing rhythm as well. The whole combination of stretching, deep breathing and holding the posture for a while facilitates the good flow of blood all through the body. And hence each and every organ is able to receive the optimum amount of nutrients. 

Sit Ups
Besides Yoga, the sit ups also help the person in achieving a problem free strong back. To perform this exercise, the person is required to rest his feet and lower legs on the chair while laying the rest of the body on the hard floor. Make your legs comfortable and then lift your torso up to 30 degree angle. Repeat the exercise for five times initially. Once you are comfortable with the sit ups you can increase the number of sit ups and the number of sets as well.

The sit ups work particularly on your lower back while putting the strain on your abdominal. Hence with these advantageous sit ups you can not only have a potent flexible spine but also can enjoy trimmed tummy!

Stretching exercises are beneficial to all. When you stretch your body beyond its limits the muscles open up and tend to become more elastic. In the case of Spondylolisthesis particularly the back becomes really still. The stretching exercises hence release the tension from the back and help the person to get relief from the problem. Stretching with help of Pilates is a popular and trusted way of exercising.

Whatever exercise you choose upon, it is very necessary that you should take it under the professional supervision and only after your doctor’s supervision. And, which ever routine you adopt, be religious to it. Follow it regularly and stay hale and hearty.

Degenerative Spondilolisthesis

January 19th, 2011

Medical Definition

The degenerative spondilolisthesis is medically defined as a condition cause due to the spinal degeneration occurred at the lower lumber spine. In mot of the reported cases, the L4 Vertebrae is most affected. However, the other vertebrae are also equally vulnerable and can be affected by the ailment. Unlike the spondilolisthesis where the vertebrae get displaced of its original position, the degenerative spondilolisthesis is not caused due to any pressure or stress. Neither it is congenital in nature. This ailment is solely related to the growing age. Therefore most of the patients suffering from this problem are old.

Degenerative Spondilolisthesis

Degenerative Spondilolisthesis


As mentioned in the earlier section, the degenerative spondilolisthesis is caused due to the wearing of bones in older age. Apart from this natural reason, there are other two prime reasons that makes the person quite prone to the ailment. They are; Osteoporosis and Osteoarthritis.


Osteoporosis is the medical condition where the bone of the patient weakens down gradually. This state is not particularly associated with old age. Even the middle aged man and mostly the woman fall prey to this problem. With the bones getting weaker, the vertebrae become quite vulnerable to the fractures even in absence of any strenuous physical activity. Such vertebral fractures hence push the spinal bones to slip and shift. This marks the beginning of multiple levels of degenerative spondilolisthesis. It is a serious issue because once the process has started, it is quite impossible to stop it or prevent the spinal bones from it.    

Osteoarthritis is defined by the increase in the bone to bone contact. Here in, because of this wearing and tearing, the bones looses their intactness and thus become vulnerable. The spinal bones are also not spared by this ailment. They also become prone to slippage. Many spinal levels can get affected.

If and when occurred at the older age, the degenerative spondilolisthesis is mildly painful. But if the condition has occurred as a result of some other ailment, the condition can be serious and painful. But the cases of such issue are rare.
If the vertebrae get displaced by higher percentage, the patient will suffer from excruciating pain caused by the pressure exerted on the nerves.



When the condition is reported in elderly patients, it is actually a harmless situation. It may appear problematic on the X-Ray report but the person will feel mild or no discomfort because of degenerative spondilolisthesis. However, if the degenerative spondilolisthesis is caused due to other issues like osteoporosis of osteoarthritis, the person may require surgical help. Though the surgery may provide temporary relief but is certainly not the permanent solution. Particularly in the case of Osteoporosis, there is no way to cease the damage in the bones. The only thing you can do is prevent yourself from falling into its prey.

Last but certainly not the least, a healthy routine and a wholesome diet keeps us safe from many health hazards. Therefore, it is better late than never! Adapt a fit routine, make your diet to be more nutritious and enjoy the life to the fullest.

Isthmic Spondylolisthesis

January 19th, 2011

When the bone that connects the two joints of the spinal segment gets fractured, the vertebral body gets displaced forward as compared to the rest of the structure. This condition is known as the isthmic spondylolisthesis. The bone can get fractured by any reason. It is a very thin bone and do not get adequate blood supply from the body. Hence it is not able to tolerate the stress and become susceptible to fracture. In most of the cases, it is because of the high pressure laid on the bone. Many a times the injury goes unnoticed especially if it has taken place at the young age of 5 to 7. It shows up its symptoms in the adulthood only. The situation may occur in adults also. The individuals involved in any kind of sports activity such as athletics or weight lifting are quite vulnerable to the problem. However, no case of this bone fracture has been reported in the new born so far. That means, this is not a congenital issue and no person is born with it.


Isthmic Spondylolisthesis

Isthmic Spondylolisthesis

Isthmic Spondylolisthesis In Adults

Many cases of isthmic spondylolisthesis are reported by the individuals in their late forties. As the person grows old, his spine gradually starts to wear out. And hence becomes vulnerable to the displacement. The bone that joins the spinal segment has the mere purpose of keeping the disc free from the shear force. When these joints get fractured, the disc is forced to withstand the shear forces and hence ends up in problems like severe back ache and pain in legs.

Isthmic Spondylolisthesis in Adolescents

The problem of back ache is more common in adolescents involved in vigorous physical activities. However, the issue resolves it self with time and do not require any medical help. A little more rest and a healthy life style helps a lot in keeping the problem at the bay. However, if the problem persists, a little medical help is beneficial. The severity of the problem can be measured via X-ray only.  

Treatments For Isthmic Spondylolisthesis

The lower grade displacement is taken care of via oral medication and non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs. With the proper course of medication, the physical exercises like stretching are of great help but should be taken under doctor’s advice only. To get the instant relief from the high grade excruciating back pain, injections are recommended. However, they may give you relief for a while but are not the solution to the ailment.

Dysplastic Spondylolisthesis

January 19th, 2011

Dysplastic Spondylolisthesis is the condition which occurs in the patient while the cell development stages. “Dysplasia” is a term derived from a Greek word meaning “malformation”. This is an abnormality caused during the development of a cell. In this abnormality the immature cells are expanded minimizing the space and reducing the number of the mature cells. This deformation occurs in the early stages of the cell development and becomes the central reason of Dysplastic Spondylolisthesis.

As the deformation had already taken place in the person, the spondylolisthesis becomes severe as he grows old. Therefore the person is more likely to die if not treated and cured properly and intensively. As known that spondylolisthesis is the forward or the backward movement of spinal vertebrae, it is a disease of the vertebral column which causes a lot of pain and stress in the lower back region of the person.

Dysplastic  Spondylolisthesis can be treated so as to reduce the pain and cramps the patient suffers from. The first and the foremost application of treatment are always suggested to be physical exercises and physiotherapy because it gives the most relaxing and soothing effectiveness to the patient. Secondary treatment of spondylolisthesis can be prescribed as drugs and medicines to the patient. Pain killers and steroids reduce the pain and give relief to the patient.

Dysplastic Spondylolisthesis is considered to be one of the most critical types of spondylolisthesis as the chances of the worsening of condition are increased with the advancement of the patient’s age. Therefore the treatment shall be started from the very initial time of discovering the problem in the patient. Sometimes Dysplastic Spondylolisthesis results in a fatal disease as the chronic pain and stress becomes unbearable for the patient and he/she is eventually led to death. One shall always go for the right way-out and treatment steps as soon as diagnosed a disease because a little carelessness may make you bear a huge loss.

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