Spondylolisthesis | Norton Healthcare Louisville, Ky.

Spondylolisthesis

Spondylolisthesis (spon-deh-lo-lis-THEE-sis) typically occurs in the lower back when one vertebra slips forward over the vertebra below it.

Many cases of spondylolisthesis stem from arthritis associated with aging. The condition can be treated with nonsurgical techniques, but sometimes surgery is required.

The lower back, or lumbar spine, starts at your lowest rib and reaches to the top of your pelvis. There are five vertebrae bones surrounding the spinal cord, with spongy, doughnut-shaped discs serving as cushions between the bones.

The spine naturally curves inward in the lumbar area. This curve, the lordosis, helps with balance and spreading the weight of your upper body over your legs and feet.

Spondylolisthesis Symptoms

A mild case of spondylolisthesis may have no symptoms, but severe cases can restrict daily activities.

Common spondylolisthesis symptoms include:

  • Back and leg stiffness
  • Chronic lower back pain
  • Tenderness in the lower back
  • Tight hamstring and buttock muscles
  • Thigh pain

Some children are born with spondylolisthesis, and people of all ages are susceptible to developing the condition if it runs in the family. Some sports, such as football, gymnastics and weightlifting, can put strain on the lower back and cause spondylolisthesis.

Spondylolisthesis Treatment

The first approach to treating spondylolisthesis is using nonsurgical therapy to ease pain and help the bone move back into place.

Nonsurgical treatments may include:

  • Bracing
  • Cold/heat therapy
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication
  • Physical therapy and occupational therapy
  • Mental health therapy to help you cope with your condition
  • Injections to reduce swelling around a nerve

Surgery is considered for patients who have not gotten relief or whose symptoms have worsened. Surgical options include:

  • Surgical removal of the cause of your spondylolisthesis can ease pressure on the nerves and help relieve pain. Minimally invasive surgery is often an option for this procedure.
  • Surgical fusion to stabilize the spine, which can be performed as a minimally invasive procedure, also can reduce pain and restore function.

Care That’s Focused on You

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  • No referral is needed.
  • With 11 offices in Louisville and surrounding areas, including Southern Indiana, we’re close to home or work.
  • Norton Neurosciences & Spine Rehabilitation Center is the only center in Louisville dedicated to outpatient neurological and spine rehabilitation.
  • Norton Neuroscience Institute Resource Center offers free classes and support to patients and their families.
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Why Norton Neuroscience Institute for Your Spine Care Services

  • Our experienced team includes 11 board-certified neurosurgeons, 12 advanced practice providers, neuro-spine specialized rehabilitation therapists and pain management specialists.
  • We are nationally recognized by Becker’s Hospital Review as one of 100 great neurosurgery and spine programs.
  • We offer comprehensive care ranging from nonsurgical treatments to the most advanced surgical technologies, including minimally invasive approaches and robotic-assisted surgery.
  • Surgery is considered only after trying noninvasive treatments.
  • Our physicians and advanced practice providers are skilled in pinpointing your diagnosis, offering the right care and working to get you back to feeling yourself.
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