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Spine Surgery Guide

What Is Spondylolisthesis?
Spondylolisthesis is the condition, that affect the moveable joints of the spine. Spondylolisthesis is a degeneration of articulating (exterior) part of the vertebrae that reduces its strength, integrity, support and flexibility. The articulating part that is affected is in the rear of the vertebrae and tends to be located in L4 or L5 of the lumbar (lower back).

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Causes Of Spondylolisthesis
Spondylolisthesis is usually the result of age and "wear and tear" on the spine that breaks down vertebral components. Spondylolisthesis is most often caused by spondylolysis. Spondylolisthesis can be present at birth or occur through injury.

Symptoms Of Spondylolisthesis
Back pain is the most common symptom of spondylolisthesis. Pain in the back and buttocks is present in up to 80% of individuals with spondylolisthesis.

Other Symptoms associated with spondylolisthesis include:

  • Back pain which is aggravated by strenuous activity, relieved with rest.
  • Tightness or weakness of hamstring,
  • Aggravation of pain by lifting or bending
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Surgical Treatment Of Spondylolisthesis
The traditional surgical treatment consists of decompression of neurological tissue followed by a fusion without reduction of the slipped vertebra or instrumentation. Pedicle fixation instrumentation was introduced later and seems to increase the fusion and success rate. The most recent surgical treatment consists of decompression of the neurological tissue, reduction of the spondylolisthesis with restoration of the anatomy, followed by an anterior and posterior fusion and instrumentation.

An extensive back rehabilitation programme to restore normal function should always follow the surgical treatment.
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This information is not designed to replace a physician's independent judgment about the appropriateness or risks of a procedure for a given patient.
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