Spondylolithesis

A spondylolithesis is essentially a defect in the locking mechanism that secures one vertebrae to the one above or below it, meaning the vertebra can ‘slip’.
The condition is graded according to the amount of abnormal movement available at the involved vertebrae.

  • Grade 1 = 25%
  • Grade 2 = 25 – 50%images-9
  • Grade 3 = 50 – 75%
  • Grade 4 = 75 – 100%

Cause: You can be born with a spondylolithesis or you may develop one due to significant trauma or wear and tear over a prolonged period. Fast bowlers and gymnasts are among those at risk of developing this problem.

Symptoms: Many patients with spondylolithesis have no pain. When it does cause pain, symptoms are often felt in the lower back, buttocks and possibly hamstrings on both sides. These symptoms will be made worse by running, standing and bending backwards.

Treatment: Acupuncture is very effective at relieving symptoms however, an appropriate strengthening program aimed at the back and abdominal muscles is essential. Severe cases may require surgery.

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