Spondylolisthesis (Misalignment Of The Vertebrae)

Under normal conditions, the bones or vertebra of the spine are all in alignment. However, the vertebra can slip forwards or backwards out of alignment. This may be due to age-related severe arthritic wear and tear of the spine, an injury such as a fracture, repetitive trauma such as is seen in some professional athletes such as weightlifters. Other, more rare causes include birth defects of the spine and cancer. Spondylolisthesis can occur throughout the spine but is most common in the lower back. It does not always cause significant symptoms in the elderly, but in other cases, it can cause severe back pain when standing as well as sciatica symptoms.

Treatments often include a combination of physical rehabilitation, pain-relieving medications and in some cases spinal injections. Surgery may be required in a minority of cases, but is more likely to be needed in cases of significant acute trauma or where the spine may unstable. However, in many cases, invasive surgery can and should be avoided.

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