Spondylolisthesis is a painful condition that develops when one of the vertebrae in your spine begins sliding forward or backward, covering the bone beneath it. While most common in the lumbar, or lower spine, spondylolisthesis can also affect your cervical spine or neck.
When the bone moves out of place, it can press on the surrounding spinal nerves, triggering pain and other symptoms that affect your quality of life.
Your risk for developing spondylolisthesis increases as you age, especially if you’re physically active in high-impact sports. You may also be prone to spondylolisthesis due to your genetic history.
Spondylolisthesis can develop without causing you any symptoms. As the condition worsens, you may experience an increase in back pain and loss of range of motion in your spine.
Other common symptoms of spondylolisthesis include:
With an early diagnosis, spondylolisthesis-related symptoms are treatable, and you can prevent a worsening of your condition.
The team at Beaufort Orthopaedic Sports & Spine offers diagnostic evaluations of symptoms that relate to spondylolisthesis.
In addition to reviewing your personal and family medical history, your provider examines your spine. They may request that you make certain movements to better access the area of your pain and the impact your condition has on your spine’s range of motion.
You may need imaging tests, like X-rays or an MRI, to evaluate how far your vertebra has slipped, so your Beaufort Orthopaedic Sports & Spine provider can recommend the right treatment plan.
Treating spondylolisthesis may initially involve conservative treatments, like wearing a brace or engaging in physical therapy, to relieve pressure on the nerve. You may also benefit from anti-inflammatory medications to reduce nerve irritation and pain.
If you aren’t able to find relief of pain and mobility limitations, your provider may recommend surgery. The most common technique for treating severe spondylolisthesis is spinal fusion surgery.
During a spinal fusion, your surgeon fuses two or more spinal vertebrae into one solid piece. This limits movement in the vertebrae to prevent nerve compression and stabilizes your spine for the long-term.
If you have symptoms of spondylolisthesis, schedule a diagnostic evaluation at Beaufort Orthopaedic Sports & Spine today by calling the office or by requesting an appointment online now.