This condition occurs when a lumbar vertebra slips out of place. It slides forward, distorting the shape of your spine. This may compress the nerves in the spinal canal. The nerves that exit the foramen (open spaces on the sides of your vertebrae) may also be compressed. These compressed nerves can cause pain and other problems.
Spondylolisthesis has a variety of causes. In
children, it is often due to a birth defect in that area
of the spine. Some people develop this condition
because of an overuse injury called “spondylolysis.”
This is a stress fracture of the vertebral bone. In
adults, arthritis and the loss of disc elasticity that
results from aging are the most common causes of
Less commonly, spondylolisthesis can result from a
sudden injury that leads to a broken vertebra.
Diseases or tumors that weaken the spine can also
result in spondylolisthesis.
Symptoms vary from person to person. Many
people who have this condition have no symptoms
at all. If you do have symptoms, you may
experience pain in your lower back. You may have
hamstring spasms. Pain may spread down your leg
to your foot. You may also have foot numbness and
Treatment options depend on the severity of your
condition. You may benefit from rest. Medications
may relieve your pain. A back brace may also help.
And, you may benefit from physical therapy. If
those methods are not successful, you may benefit
from a surgical procedure to reduce nerve
compression or to stabilize your spine.