All about Spondylolisthesis Treatment
What is Spondylolisthesis?
Spondylolisthesis refers to a condition in the spine when one vertebrae slips forward over the next vertebrae. This instability or weakened part of the spine can result in pain in the low back and/or legs. Instability between bones can be caused by number of different factors. One of the most common causes for instability in the low back pain is arthritis resulting from the natural aging process.SpondylolisthesisIs often not painful. This painless spondylolisthesis can sometimes become painful after an injury.This injury pushes this weakened part of the spine beyond its limits, and now that weakened part of the spine becomes painful.
What are the symptoms spondylolisthesis?
When the bones in the low back slip and slide past each other, the nerves get pinched resulting in pain. Typical symptoms are back pain, and/or leg pain. The pain can begin in the low back and travel down into the legs. Usually this pain is worse with standing and walking and improved with sitting down, lying down or leaning forward on a shopping cart.
What are the treatment options for spondylolisthesis?
Usually a combination of activity modification, therapy, and pills if successful in treating the symptoms of spondylolisthesis. If symptoms do not improve with these measures over 3-4 months, then epidural steroid injections are in option. Epidural steroid injections are steroid injections given into the spine in order to decrease inflammation and pain. If the patient's pain persists beyond epidural injections, then surgery may be necessary.
What types of surgery can treat spondylolisthesis?
The type of surgery to treat spondylolisthesis will depend on the amount of slippage there is between the bones. Most patients have mild to moderate slippage which can be treated with less invasive outpatient surgery. Traditional surgery for spondylolisthesis involves a laminectomy (cutting bone), and fusion (gluing bones together). This type of surgery, while often necessary, is painful, risky, and usually involves a long recovery of 4-6 months.
For several years, Dr. Bendiks has been performing the less invasive Stenoplasty procedure on an outpatient basis. Patient's typically notice relief either immediately or within a few days.The benefits of this procedure including a shorter recovery period with less pain. This surgery does not require any removal of bone, muscle, ligament, or tendon. In addition, the procedure is completely reversible, and the implant can be removed with one screw. To learn more about this procedure, just click on the Stenoplasty video on our homepage.