There are 33 vertebrae in the spine, each bone separately protecting the spinal cord and supporting the back and neck. When one or more slips forward and impacts adjoining vertebrae, it can cause nerve compression, pain and other symptoms that are associated with spondylolisthesis. If symptoms are severe and not controlled with conservative treatment, surgery may be recommended. Our neurospine surgeons at DOCS Health can perform spondylolisthesis surgery at our state-of-the-art medical center in Los Angeles.
Spondylolisthesis can occur for a variety of reasons. Genetics, injuries, degenerative disease and other factors can weaken the vertebrae and cause them to shift. When spondylolisthesis occurs, it can impact the space where nerves leave the spinal column. If the nerves are compressed, there could be back pain and neuropathy symptoms as a result. Conservative and interventional treatments are recommended as the first course of action. When spondylolisthesis treatment is ineffective for chronic back pain, surgery may be the best option.
Symptoms of Spondylolisthesis
Vertebrae slippage that results in spondylolisthesis does not always cause pain or any symptoms at all. However, when a vertebra slips over onto another vertebra, it can put pressure on the nerve roots. Spondylolisthesis is most common in the lumbar spine region, or lower back, but it can occur in the cervical or thoracic spine as well. Symptoms of lumbar spondylolisthesis include:
- Lower back pain
- Increased pain when bending forward
- Tightness and stiffness in the back and hamstrings
- Pain in the buttocks and thighs
- Numbness or weakness in the legs
- Tenderness in the lower back
Spondylolisthesis surgery techniques vary, depending on the patient. In some cases, arthroscopic or minimally-invasive surgical methods can be used to stabilize the spine and reduce nerve compression. More severe cases may require open spine surgery.
If you have been diagnosed with spondylolisthesis or you have chronic back pain, contact us at DOCS Health. Our experienced neurospine surgeons can provide you with a diagnosis, treatment and spondylolisthesis surgery at our orthopedic spine facility in Los Angeles.