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Search Health Information    Spondylolisthesis

Spondylolisthesis

Spondylolisthesis is a condition in which one bone of the spinal column (vertebra) slips forward over another. This is caused by a deformity or weakening in part of a vertebra.

This condition results in a misalignment of the vertebrae. In some instances, this may lead to spinal cord or nerve root compression, back pain, and numbness or weakness in the legs.

Certain types of athletes (particularly weight lifters, football players, gymnasts, and javelin throwers) are at increased risk for developing this defect, as are Inuit (Eskimos).

A doctor diagnoses spondylolisthesis from a person's symptoms and the results of imaging tests, such as X-rays or an MRI.

Treatment usually includes a combination of bracing, exercises and stretching, and pain medicine. Sometimes surgery is also needed.

Last Revised: December 14, 2011

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & Robert B. Keller, MD - Orthopedics

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

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