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Degenerative Spondylolisthesis

This condition occurs when there is forward slippage of the vertebral body as a result of instability that develops secondary to advanced arthritis. As the intervertebral discs and facet joints degenerate, the spine loses the ability to hold itself in place. As one vertebrae slips forward on another, the dimensions of the spinal canal or nerve tunnels may narrow, resulting in stenosis or pressure on the nerves. Patients with this condition can present with both back and leg pain. This condition is common in older patients. Females are more susceptible to the condition than men.

Symptoms

  • Back pain
  • Leg pain
  • Sciatic pain

Degenerative Spondylolisthesis Treatment

The condition is treated with similar non-surgical approaches as the other common lower back conditions. These include anti-inflammatory medication, physical therapy, activity modification, and epidural steroid injections. Surgery involves a laminectomy or decompression to relieve the pressure on the nerves, and performing a spinal fusion which improves stability in the area and prevents further slippage. Spinal fusions are usually performed with screws and rods inserted into the vertebrae.

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