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Click here to return to the Medical News Today home page. Usually, this vertebra has slid forward over the vertebra directly below it. Spondylolisthesis is most common in the lower back, and occurs more often in adolescents and adults. Due to the varying degrees and causes of the misalignment, spondylolisthesis is broken down into types and grades.

The six main types are based on the cause of the spondylolisthesis. Type I - In some cases, people are born with spondylolisthesis.

Spondylolisthesis. What is spondylolisthesis l5/s1 level? | Patient

A child may also develop the condition naturally during his or her developmental years. In both cases of Type I spondylolisthesis, a child may not experience any symptoms or problems until later in life. Types II - In Type II, the most common type, there is a problem with a section of the vertebra called the pars interarticularis. Type II is further broken down into the following subtypes:. The fractures from Type II only become spondylolisthesis if they cause the vertebra to slip forward. Type IV - Type IV is a fracture that occurs anywhere in a vertebra except in the pars interarticularis region.

Type V - Type V involves tumors on the vertebrae that push on the bones and cause weakness. Spondylolisthesis is further classified into grades, according to how far out of place the vertebra is.

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The grades are:. A person may have had spondylolisthesis since birth and never experienced any symptoms from it. It is common for a person to develop symptoms as they age, however. Symptoms can range in severity from non-existent to a loss of urination and bowel movement control in more severe cases. The causes of spondylolisthesis vary.

Some people are born with a defective vertebra that may not be identified until much later in life. Others experience an injury to the back either repeatedly or on one occasion only. Knowing the cause can help a doctor determine the type of spondylolisthesis a person has, as well as help determine the best treatment. In many cases, a person may not know they have spondylolisthesis as they may have no symptoms. In these cases, a doctor might discover the condition during an exam for something else entirely.

Diagnosis starts with a physical exam and questions about what kind of pain or numbness the person is experiencing. This slippage can occur in 2 directions: most commonly in anterior translation, called anterolisthesis, or a backward translation, called retrolisthesis. The disc degeneration on subsegmental level was significantly related to age and duration of clinical symptoms, although it was not related to the severity of clinical symptoms or the grade of vertebral slip [5]. There are different classification systems regarding the etiology, terminology, subtypes of spondylolysis and spondylolisthesis, and treatment.

Wiltse Classification : It is one of the most commonly used classification systems to convey the etiology of spondylolisthesis. As the slip progresses, the pars elongates in response to the deformity. Therefore, with an elongated pars, it is important to evaluate the lumbosacral facets to properly classify the lesion. The basic lesion in isthmic spondylolisthesis is in the pars interarticularis and mainly appears at the lumbosacral level L5-S1.

Spondylolysis is considered a stress fracture caused by an excessive amount of mechanical stress that affects the isthmus.

This part of the vertebrae forms the connection between the corpus and the facet joints, at the back of the vertebrae. Therefore, a load for the facet joints results in a stressor for the isthmus. The stress on the pars interarticularis is the highest with extension and rotation. Anterior pelvic tilt, abdominal muscle weakness and hamstring tightness magnify these biomechanical forces.

Degenerative spondylolisthesis is believed to result from chronic intersegmental instability. Degenerative changes to both the facet joints and the intervertebral disk cause the slip. Sagittal orientation of the facet joints and facet tropism also have been related to the development of degenerative spondylolisthesis.

This fracture leads to slippage of the vertebrae. Myerding Classification; [28]. Figure 2: Highest stress during various lumbar motions is found at the pars interarticularis, as shown in a threedimensional finite element moedel [29]. Symptoms and findings in spondylolisthesis are: [30] :. Patients usually report that their symptoms vary as a function of mechanical loads such as in going from supine to erect position and pain frequently worsens over the course of the day. Radiation into the posterolateral thighs is also common and is independent of neurological signs and symptoms.

Symptoms decrease with sitting or standing with lumbar flexion and with lying. As symptoms worsen patients are more and more limited in their activities and walking distance. This relationship is known as neurogenic intermittent claudication [31]. According to Jerrad MD. Panteliadis et al. As it happens a fibrocartilaginous callus can also be sufficient for normal functioning and pain reduction, and can meet the requirements of an athlete.

Standard lumbar anteroposterior and lateral views are needed, but oblique views are essential to visualize the pars interarticularis directly. It should be correlated with further examination such as history and physical examination. There is insufficient evidence to make a recommendation for or against the use of palpation in the physical exam diagnosis of adult patients with isthmic spondylolisthesis.

Grade of Recommendation: I Insufficient Evidence 2. Approximately half of adult patients with symptomatic isthmic spondylolisthesis will have a positive straight leg test on examination. Grade of Recommendation: B Suggested The most appropriate diagnostic tests for adult isthmic spondylolisthesis: There is a relative paucity of high-quality studies on imaging in adult patients with isthmic spondylolisthesis.

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Work Group Consensus Statement: 1. MRI is suggested to identify neuroforaminal stenosis in adult patients with isthmic spondylolisthesis [10] [48] [49]. Grade of Recommendation: B Suggested 2. J Pediatr Orthop. Instr Course Lect. J Neurosurg Sci. J Bone Joint Surg Am. J Neurosurg Spine. Neurosurg Clin N Am. Epub Feb Poussa M, Remes V, Lamberg T, et al ; Treatment of severe spondylolisthesis in adolescence with reduction or fusion in situ: long-term clinical, radiologic, and functional outcome.


Bridwell KH ; Surgical treatment of high-grade spondylolisthesis. Hello Everyone, I'm 26 and just had my first car accident. I'm very fortunate to only have suffered an L5 I think fractured vertebrae in my back. I was slowing down for traffic ahead and was rear Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions.

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