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New York City’s Spondylolisthesis Specialists

Spondylolisthesis occurs when one of the spinal vertebrae slips out of the proper position onto the vertebra below it. The word spondylolisthesis comes from the Greek words spondylo, meaning spine, and listhesis, meaning to slip. Spondylolisthesis occurs in both pediatric and adult patients, for different reasons. The condition varies from patient to patient, and the severity will determine the treatment plan.

There is misalignment of the vertebra in spondylolisthesis. It can occur alongside a herniated disc, but is not the same thing, as the slippage is of the bone not the cushion between the bones.

grandmother teaching granddaughter how to ride a bike

What Causes Spondylolisthesis?

When spondylolisthesis occurs in kids, it is usually due to a birth defect or a trauma to the spine. It is the most common cause of back pain in teens. In adults, the most common cause of spondylolisthesis is normal wear due to aging and arthritis.

Types of Spondylolisthesis

Congenital Spondylolisthesis

A birth defect that causes the bones of the spine to grow outside of what is considered normal. The misaligned spine then puts pressure on the disc, which creates slippage. This type occurs mostly in children and teens, especially during an adolescent growth spurt.

Degenerative Spondylolisthesis

A condition that occurs when the normal spinal wear of aging and arthritis makes a vertebra slip out of place. This form of spondylolisthesis usually occurs in people over 40.

Post-Surgical Spondylolisthesis

An extremely rare condition that occurs when a disc slips due to back surgery

Isthmic Spondylolisthesis

A disorder condition called spondylosis puts pressure on the spine, causing vertebral slippage. The condition can be caused by certain sports that put large amounts of stress on the back, such as football, gymnastics, and weightlifting.

Traumatic Spondylolisthesis

An acute, traumatic injury such as a car accident or severe fall can cause spondylolisthesis.

Pathological Spondylolisthesis

A condition of the spine, such as tumors or infection, that weaken the vertebrae, which increases pressure and slippage.

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