Degenerative Spondylolisthesis

Degenerative spondylolisthesis is a spinal disorder where one disc slips forward over the one that is situated below it.  The condition causes not just lower back pain but also a lot of discomfort to the patient. This condition is a general occurrence of the aging process where the spinal column becomes weak and the bone, joints as well as the ligaments of the spine are unable to hold the spinal column alignment in the right way possible.

Most of the time people have received a diagnosis for degenerative spondylolisthesis are above the afe of 50 as this condition is far more common in people who are older than 65. This condition is also common in females as compared to males.

Degenerative Spondylolisthesis Causes

The main cause for this spinal condition as mentioned above is the slipping of one vertebral body on the other. The reason behind this the aging of the facet joints and when they age they also become incompetent and that means they allow too much flexion that causes the slip of the vertebrae as mentioned above.  The main function of facet joints is to restrain motion while allowing the spine movements like flexion and extension. When the facet joints are unable to restrain motion, the vertebral disc slips and that leads to degenerative spondylolisthesis.

Degenerative Spondylolisthesis Treatments

Degenerative SpondylolisthesisDegenerative spondylolisthesis is usually treated with non-surgical treatment option that broadly can be categorized in four categories namely:

  • Activity Modification including low impact strengthening exercises like pool therapy and stationary biking
  • Manual Manipulation like chiropractic treatment
  • Epidural Injections including pain medications
  • Lumbar surgery

Doctors usually prefer using conservative treatment options and surgery is always the last option and for conditions that are untreatable with the help of non-surgical options.  Lumbar surgeries like laminectomy and spinal fusion are usually preferred for degenerative spondylolisthesis and are done when the patient is experiencing progressive neurologic deterioration.