Spondylolisthesis

Spondylolisthesis is a condition where a vertebra (typically the 5th lumbar vertebra) slips out of place onto the vertebra below causing misalignment and narrowing of the spinal column. This places pressure on the spinal nerves resulting in pain in the back, buttocks, and/or legs when walking or standing. As the spine tries to stabilize itself, the joints between the slipped vertebra and adjacent vertebrae can become enlarged and pinch nerves.

Spondylolisthesis can be congenital (present at birth) or develop at any point in life. It is believed that some individuals are born with a genetic predisposition to developing spondylolisthesis but the condition can also occur as a result of physical overuse or trauma.

Symptoms

  • Pain in the lower back, legs, or buttocks
  • A feeling of “electrical shock” which travels down the legs
  • Numbness or tingling in the lower extremities
  • Weakness in the leg muscles

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