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Spondylolisthesis

Birmingham Neurosurgery & Spine Group

Neurological Surgery located in Birmingham, AL

If you’ve injured your back playing sports or participating in other types of exercise, it could lead to a condition known as spondylolisthesis. Spondylolisthesis causes pain and can make it difficult for you to walk or perform normal activities. Fortunately, the team of skilled providers at Birmingham Neurosurgery & Spine Group can relieve the symptoms of spondylolisthesis, usually with nonsurgical treatments. To end back or leg pain caused by spondylolisthesis, call the office in Birmingham, Alabama, to schedule a consultation.

Spndylolisthesis Q & A

What is spondylolisthesis?

Spondylolisthesis is a condition that occurs when one of the vertebrae in your spine moves out of place and lodges on top of the vertebra beneath it. This can create pressure on the nerves that emerge from your spinal cord through the vertebrae, leading to painful symptoms. Spondylolisthesis most frequently occurs in the lower back.

What causes spondylolisthesis?

The most common cause of spondylolisthesis is improper form during exercise. Football, weight lifting, running, and gymnastics are often associated with spondylolisthesis.

Other possible causes include:

  • Stress fractures
  • Traumatic spine injuries
  • Osteoporosis

Spinal deformities present at birth can also cause the condition. This is known as congenital spondylolisthesis.

What are the symptoms of spondylolisthesis?

Mild spondylolisthesis doesn’t always cause symptoms. Moderate to severe cases can cause a variety of symptoms, such as:

  • Lower back pain
  • Tenderness in the low back when touched
  • Back and leg stiffness
  • Thigh pain
  • Muscle spasms
  • Difficulty standing or walking

Severe spondylolisthesis may also cause nerve-related symptoms such as numbness or tingling. Left untreated, spondylolisthesis can lead to loss of mobility, loss of bone density, and permanent nerve damage.

How does a doctor diagnose spondylolisthesis?

To diagnose spondylolisthesis, your compassionate physician at Birmingham Neurosurgery & Spine Group begins with a physical exam, a review of your medical history, and a series of questions that help them understand the exact nature of your symptoms. Your doctor also orders diagnostic imaging procedures, such as:

  • X-ray
  • CT scan
  • MRI imaging

Once your doctor has reviewed all of your test results, they can determine the exact cause of your symptoms, and therefore recommend the best treatment for your individual needs.

How is spondylolisthesis treated?

The team of experts at Birmingham Neurosurgery & Spine Group typically begins with a conservative approach to treating spondylolisthesis. Your treatment plan may include:

  • Rest and avoiding activity
  • Physical therapy
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Pain medications
  • Back braces
  • Epidural steroid injections

If these treatments don’t improve your symptoms, spinal fusion surgery might be necessary to alleviate your pain. The surgeons at Birmingham Neurosurgery & Spine Group have extensive experience performing spinal fusion procedures safely and effectively.

If you think you may have spondylolisthesis, don’t wait to schedule a consultation with a team member at Birmingham Neurosurgery & Spine Group.