Spondylolisthesis comes from the Greek words spondylos, which means ‘spine’ and listhesis, which means ‘to slip or slide’. Spondylolisthesis is when a bone in your vertebra slips out of position.
Types of Spondylolisthesis
Spondylolisthesis is the anterior or forward displacement of one vertebra compared to another. Though it is most common in the lumbar spine or your lower back, it can also occur in your thoracic spine as well as the cervical spine. It most commonly occurs in adolescents and adults. You will need to speak to a qualified physician for spondylolisthesis treatment in New Jersey to see what type applies to your condition.
Spondylolisthesis is classified as:
- Type I or Congenital spondylolisthesis: It is a result of abnormal bone formation which puts you at a greater risk of slipping.
- Type II or Isthmic spondylolisthesis: It occurs as a result of spondylolysis which weakens your bone so much that it slips out of place.
- Type IIA commonly occurs in people who engage in high-intensity activities like weightlifting, gymnastics and such which result in overstretching and overuse of the vertebrae. It involves several microfractures triggered by overuse and hyperextension.
- Type IIB is similar to type IIA, but the microfractures do not fracture completely and heal with an extra bone in place.
- Type IIC is a complete fracture that has been caused by trauma. It is also called traumatic spondylolisthesis.
Additional Types of Spondylolisthesis
- Type III or Degenerative spondylolisthesis: With aging, the cushions between the vertebral bones lose water, becoming less spongy and fail to resist movement by the vertebrae.
- Type IV is similar to type IIC and involves a fracture in the vertebra except in the pars interarticularis region.
- Type V or Pathological spondylolisthesis: It happens when the spine is weakened by disease, infection or tumor.
- Type VI or Post-surgical spondylolisthesis: It is a result of slippage that occurs or worsens post spinal surgery.
Symptoms of Spondylolisthesis
Following are the symptoms of spondylolisthesis which vary from person to person depending on the type of spondylolisthesis. Dr. Ali will be able to help you determine the cause of your symptoms.
- Lower back pain: mild to excruciating pain in your lower back or buttocks that gets worse during activity.
- You have difficulty walking or running.
- You experience weakness in the legs.
- The tightness in your hamstrings cause muscle spasm.
- Pain, numbness or tingling feeling that travels from your lower back to one or both legs.
- Stiffness or tenderness of your back.
- Lordosis or increased inward curve of your spine.
- You have difficulty controlling bladder function.
Treatment for Spondylolisthesis
Spondylolisthesis treatment depends on the severity of your symptoms. Non-surgical treatments include:
- Rest, avoiding activities that cause pain such as bending and lifting, contact sports and athletics.
- Use of anti-inflammatory painkillers to reduce pain and inflammation.
- Physical therapy that includes simple stretching, strengthening exercises and exercises to improve flexibility.
- Steroid injections: Use of steroid injection around the compressed nerve and into the spinal canal to reduce the pain, numbness, and tingling in your legs.
Usually, the symptoms disappear over time. Surgical treatment is recommended if non-surgical treatment proves ineffective and your symptoms get severe. Several surgical options are depending on the type of spondylolisthesis. The most common type is fusion surgery which fuses together the two affected vertebrae. Surgery relieves the pain and numbness caused by spondylolisthesis.
If you would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Ali to see what is the best spondylolisthesis treatment NJ can offer, please fill out the form provided or give us a call and one of our office staff will be more than happy to assist you.
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