Spondylolisthesis (stress fracture causing vertebrae to slip out of position)

About Spondylolisthesis

Lumbar Spondylolisthesis
In spondylolisthesis, one of the vertebra in the spine slips forward and out of place. This may occur anywhere along the spine, but is most common in the lower back. In some people, this causes no symptoms at all. Others may have back and leg pain that ranges from mild to severe.

Many types of spondylolisthesis can affect adults. The two most common types are degenerative and spondylolytic. Degenerative spondylolisthesis occurs when the vertebrae lose flexibility and strength, either from natural aging or arthritis, and shrink, swell, and move out of place. The other type, spondylotic spondylolisthesis is when a break in a lower back bone causes a vertebra to move out of place.

For some, the pain and discomfort of spondylolisthesis may be relieved with nonsurgical treatments such as anti-inflammatory or pain medications, injections of steroids or anti-inflammatory medications, and physical therapy, including exercises to strengthen the back and abdominal muscles. If non-surgical treatment does not relieve the symptoms, surgery may be necessary.

Our Specialists


MedStar Union Memorial Hospital Spine Center

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MedStar Union Memorial Hospital

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