Spondylolisthesis is the translational displacement, or “slip,” of one of the bones of the spine, called the vertebral body or vertebra in relation to the vertebra below. This condition can causes back pain, a tightening of the hamstrings. It also causes shooting pain in the buttock that travel downward into the legs. Symptoms may also include tingling and numbness and a forward leaning posture. Sitting and trying to stand up may be painful and difficult. An increase in activity level will often cause the individual to experience increased pain levels in the day(s) following the activity due to inflammation. By reducing activity and/or rest, you can often alleviate pain.
Conservative treatment for Spondylolisthesis usually includes activity modification, anti- inflammatory medication and physical therapy. In cases of severe leg pain, epidural steroid injections, performed under fluoroscopic guidance, may be effective.
Spinal fusion surgery may be an option in severe cases that have failed more conservative treatments. Fusion is used to restore stability to the spine, correct spinal misalignment and bridge spaces created by the removal of degenerated discs. The procedure “fuses” vertebrae together to eliminate motion. Spinal implants such as cages, rods and screws are used to hold the vertebrae together until the fusion heals. These precedures are often performed minimally invasively to promote a quicker recovery with minimally damage to the surrounding tissues.