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Spondylolisthesis Treatment in Shrewsbury & Edison NJ

There are several different spinal conditions that Atlantic Pediatric Orthopedics is able to effectively treat, including spondylolisthesis. This condition refers to the slippage of a vertebrae, typically in the lower back, which leads the bone to become displaced and begin to press on the vertebrae below.

Many people often confuse spondylolisthesis with a herniated disc, but these two spinal issues are very different. A herniated disc concerns the cushioned disc that exists between the bones of the spine whereas spondylolisthesis is related to the bones themselves.

Common Symptoms of Spondylolisthesis

Anyone can be affected by spondylolisthesis, though athletes such as football players and gymnasts are among the most likely to encounter the condition due to their intense body movements and manipulations.

As with many diseases and disorders of the spine, individuals suffering from spondylolisthesis are likely to experience:

  • Low back pain
  • Muscle spasms
  • Pain when walking or running
  • Stiffness in the back
  • An inward curve of the spine
  • Pain and/or weakness in the legs
  • Abnormally tight hamstrings
  • Tingling or numbness in the lower extremities
  • Pain that travels from across the low back or down the legs

It is also possible for people with spondylolisthesis to not notice any symptoms at all. Many will not have their condition diagnosed until diagnostic imaging is completed, usually for an unrelated condition or injury.

Spondylolisthesis Types and Grades

There are a wide variety of ways to classify a particular case of spondylolisthesis, which are primarily determined by its cause and severity. In total, there are six different types of spondylolisthesis, including:

  • Type I: Congenital spondylolisthesis. This form of the condition means that an abnormal vertebrae formation has been present since birth.
  • Type II: Isthmic spondylolisthesis. When small fractures occur within a particular section of the vertebrae called the pars interarticularis, then they are classified under the second type of this condition.
  • Type III: Degenerative spondylolisthesis. The most common form of spondylolisthesis, this type is caused by natural wear and tear on the joints of the spine.
  • Type IV: Traumatic spondylolisthesis. This type describes a slipped vertebrae is brought about by a particular injury, and results in a fracture that is not located at the pars interarticularis.
  • Type V: Pathalogical spondylolisthesis. Individuals with this type of spondylolisthesis have experienced the condition as a result of another disease, which typically consists of a tumor that has pressed against the vertebrae and caused it to move.
  • Type VI: Post-surgical spondylolisthesis. As the name would suggest, this specific condition will present itself, or will worsen, after spinal surgery.

In addition to the type of spondylolisthesis, cases can also be classified based on their degree of slippage, which will be clearly shown in various X-rays and other diagnostic images. These grades include:

  • Grade I: 1-25% slippage
  • Grade II: 26-50% slippage
  • Grade III: 51-75% slippage
  • Grade IV: 76-100% slippage

Treatment Options

As with most conditions of the spine, your orthopedician will often recommend that patients explore all of their non-invasive opportunities before looking at spinal surgery as a solution to their spondylolisthesis.

These more conservative treatments are ideal for those with a low grade of spondylolisthesis, and can be as simple as taking extra time to rest the spine and avoid strenuous activities until the symptoms begin to subside. Other common methods of non-invasive treatment for spondylolisthesis include attending regular physical therapy sessions and implementing prescribed medications and/or exercises to help alleviate painful symptoms.

Schedule an Appointment

If these actions are not enough to relieve your pain, please contact Atlantic Pediatric Orthopedics to schedule a consultation with one of our orthopaedic surgeons who will be able to recommend more advanced treatment options for your individual case of spondylolisthesis. Call us today to make an appointment at (732) 544-9000.