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When a vertebra slips out of place and rests on the vertebra below it, this spinal condition is called spondylolisthesis, or spinal instability. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including degenerative spine diseases, congenital deformities, trauma or other diseases. Spondylolisthesis can occur in the cervical, thoracic or lumbar spine, impacting the spine stability in those regions. DOCS Health offers spondylolisthesis treatment at our medical facility in Los Angeles.

Cervical Spondylolisthesis

Slipped vertebrae in the cervical spine are usually caused by degenerative diseases that impact the spinal discs, facet joints and vertebrae, causing instability. Cervical spondylolisthesis can occur without any symptoms, but often it will result in neck pain. If the slipped vertebra puts pressure on the nerve roots exiting the cervical spine, it can cause radiating pain, numbness or weakness into the shoulders, arms and hands.

Thoracic Spondylolisthesis

When a slipped vertebra occurs in the thoracic spine, it can cause instability and back pain. Slipped vertebrae occur less frequently in the thoracic spine compared to the lumbar or cervical spine, since the thoracic spine has more stability and less movement. Upper back pain and stiffness are the most common symptoms of thoracic spondylolisthesis.

Lumbar Spondylolisthesis

The most common area of the spine to be impacted by slipped vertebrae is the lumbar region. Excess wear, tear, injury and degenerative damage to the lumbar discs, vertebrae and facet joints can cause instability in the lumbar spine. The symptoms of lumbar spondylolisthesis include low back pain and stiffness, as well as radicular pain, numbness or weakness that radiates down into the buttocks or legs.

Treatment for spondylolisthesis depends on the grade of severity. Most lower grades can be treated with minimally or non-invasive therapies to relieve pain and other symptoms. Severe spine instability may require surgery, including a laminectomy or fusion spine surgery.

If you have pain or stiffness in the cervical, thoracic or lumbar spine, you may have a slipped vertebra, or spondylolisthesis. To determine the cause of your pain, come see our neurospine surgeons at DOCS Health. We can provide accurate diagnosis for your neck or back pain and spondylolisthesis treatment if needed.