Spondylolisthesis is a spinal condition that affects the lower vertebrae (spinal bones). This disease causes one of the lower vertebra to slip forward onto the bone directly beneath it. This can be very painful but in most cases, is treatable. Symptoms of spondylolisthesis will vary among patients but consist of persistent lower back pain, stiffness in the back and legs, lower back tenderness, thigh pain or tight hamstring and buttock muscles.
Causes of spondylolisthesis vary based on age, heredity, and lifestyle.
Spondylolysis is often a precursor to spondylolisthesis. Spondylolysis occurs when there is a fracture in a vertebra, but it has not yet fallen onto a lower bone in the spine.
Surgery might be necessary if the vertebra continues to slip or if your pain is not relieved by conservative treatment and begins to interfere with daily activities. Generally there are two surgical procedures used to treat spondylolisthesis. The first procedure is a decompressive laminectomy, which involves removing the part of the bone that is pressing on the nerves. The other procedure is a spinal fusion and is performed to provide stability. In a fusion, a piece of bone is transplanted to the back of the spine. As the bone heals, it fuses with the spine which keeps the spine from moving and stabilizes it