Spondylolisthesis: Diagnosis and Treatment
Spondylolisthesis is a slippage of one vertebrae to the front, back or side of another one below it. It can be congenital, degenerative, or caused by an injury to a vertebra. Spondylolisthesis is typically diagnosed by using an x-ray.
Spondylolisthesis Treatment Options
Physical therapy can help strengthen isolated muscle groups to support the spine at various levels. There are also options for aquatic physical therapy to help those with mobility constraints. These may provide symptomatic relief, but not correction of the slippage.
Spinal injections, also known as epidural steroid injections or blocks, can help to provide relief at the level of the listhesis. The response to these treatments varies from patient to patient. We do not recommend more than three epidural steroid injections per year as it can affect bone quality.
Surgery is considered for high-grade spondylolisthesis, which can cause impingement on the spinal canal. An x-ray is used to assess the degree of spondylolisthesis and a CT or MRI may be used to better assess the nerves in the region.